Dolphin HD, one of the most popular Android browsers, has been pretty unusable on large tablet screens due to choppiness and lag caused by the CPU having to work with a much bigger area. For example, when we got a demo unit of the Galaxy Tab, the problem was quite apparent to the point of Dolphin being downright frustrating on relatively complex sites.
Android 3.0 "Honeycomb" came to the rescue with hardware acceleration capabilities, which allowed shifting all the UI processing from the CPU to the GPU.
If you're anything like me, you text constantly. There are times, however, that I put my phone down and hop on the computer to do some more in-depth tasks or just enjoy some good, old-fashioned big-screen browsing. When I'm doing that, it's usually a pain to receive a text message, have to dig out my phone, open the messaging app, and use a tiny keyboard to reply, even though I'm sitting at a much larger, easier to use keyboard.
There's a new kid on the browser block, and it looks like he may be giving the others something to think about. Although it's been on the market for roughly a month and has between 10,000 and 50,000 downloads, this is the first we're hearing about Maxthon for Android. Take a look at the feature highlights:
Sync to the Cloud - Your bookmarks/favorites travel with you from desktop to mobile. RSS reader widget - Find, manage and read your favorite content quickly and easily Speed Dial - Quick access of the best sites on the web.
For those of us who regularly encounter a blizzard of emails, Gmail's Priority Inbox is a godsend. Previously exclusive to the desktop and Android devices, Priority Inbox has been expanded to support any HTML5-capable mobile web browser.
The process is simple. First, you have to have Priority Inbox set up for your email account (if you haven't already done so). Once this is done, load up your compatible mobile web browser and waddle on over to gmail.com.
Android users have been clamoring for an official online Android Market solution for ages, and today, El Goog finally delivered with the Android Market Web Store. Once the issues with the "Sign in" button (clicking it returned an 'Invalid Request' error) were fixed, we didn't think twice about delving in and giving it an in-depth look. Read on for our first impressions!
The front page of market.android.com (aka the Android Market Web Store) is simple, clean, and sexy - just the way we like it.
The impossible has happened: thanks to a new software update, the Xperia X10's Internet and Maps applications are finally multitouch-capable. And as if that weren't exciting enough for X10 owners, the update also introduces support for bi-directional languages (i.e. Arabic, Farsi, Thai, and Hebrew) - a nice addition, though definitely not as high up on most users' wish lists as a version of Android more recent than 2.1 (or 1.6, if you're using AT&T's edition of the device).
Having your app unceremoniously pulled from the Market just a few short hours after it launches can certainly be discouraging, but the developers behind Kongregate Arcade didn't let that stop them from trying again.
Indeed, Kongregate Arcade has returned to the Android Market, albeit with a few tweaks intended to please Google. Most importantly, the app no longer downloads game data to users' SD cards; instead, the information is stored in the standard browser cache (Kongregate Arcade is actually a WebKit-based browser with some heavy modifications).
For anybody who is still using their mobile browser to get weather information, Google has made a neat addition to their mobile site. By searching "weather," you'll see the new widget, and in addition to the same information you'd see regularly, it now has a slider that allows you to see an hour-by-hour forecast of the day. Temperature, wind speed, precipitation, and humidity will change, as will the background of the widget to reflect the time of day.
My current browser of choice, Dolphin HD, gained a little brother a few months ago, when Dolphin Mini (beta) was born. It was lighter, faster, and more elegant, yet still functional and robust. After over 50,000 downloads and weeks of testing, the Dolphin team just released v1.0 of the Mini, meaning it's officially out of beta and stable for everyday use.
Improvements in the latest version include:
UI upgrade ( menu & toolbox )
Add Bookmarks Label
Add on demand/ enable flash plugin
Data backup & restore
Quick access to clean data
If you haven't given Dolphin Mini a fair chance yet, I suggest you try it out by scanning the barcode below or clicking it if you're on your mobile:
Opera Software's Jeremy Forrester spent some time showing off Opera's latest browser, which was designed specifically for tablets. The browser was shown running on Samsung's Galaxy Tab.
The browser is not completely finished, but you can get a good idea of how it performs in the video above. It works nicely with Adobe Flash and should provide a familiar experience to those who are have used Opera's previous mobile browsers. More info will be made available by Opera come MWC in February.