Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich was a sweet frozen treat when it came out in 2011, but now something else is freezing—Chrome for ICS. Google has announced that Chrome v42 will be the final build available on Android 4.0. It's a sad day for any remaining ICS users... well, more sad than a regular day of being stuck on ICS already is.
Firefox's stable release channel for Android has bumped up to version 36.0 after spending about a month in beta. The most notable change in this update is a completely revamped tablet interface, which better uses larger screens and makes the app look more like its desktop counterpart.
There is now a full-screen version of the tab switcher, which might make management of large numbers of pages easier. A developer of the new look says that this page will be receiving several new features in the future that utilize the empty space better.
You're probably more aware of WebView after the recent dust-up over security issues in older versions of Android. WebView is a tool developers can use to display web content in an app without implementing a whole browser, and today Google is opening a beta test for WebView on Android 5.0 and higher. Simply head over to the Google+ page to join and get the latest tweaks and fixes.
Despite Chrome's wide availability these days, most OEMs still make a customized version of the AOSP browser for use on their devices. HTC is no different, but it has taken the additional step of adding the Sense browser to the Play Store so it can be updated independently of the system. It even comes with some new features in this first Play Store build.
Dolphin, one of Android’s most popular third-party browsers, continues refining its Lollipop experience after initially rolling out a compatible release a month ago. Now, with Flash support, Android 5.0 devices should have feature parity with KitKat and earlier systems. In addition to the Flash upgrade, Dolphin has a grab-bag of enhancements that apply to all 4.x users.
The most fun new doodads are some Christmas-oriented themes.
Maybe not the most integral feature, but their themes are fairly well-done.
The internet is a mysterious and magical place full of Wikipedia rabbit holes, animated GIFs of Ron Paul, and cat videos as far as the eye can see. There are also plenty of ads watching which of those things you are looking at. If that makes you uncomfortable, maybe Ghostery is the browser for you.
The stable version of Chrome for Android has reached version 38, which came to the beta channel last month. Google hasn't posted a changelog just yet, but we can surmise what's going on from the last update of the beta. Update: Changelog below. This isn't going to be a radical departure for the app, but it might fix a bug or two that's been gnawing at you.
It looks like Facebook is again testing a new bit of functionality in its Android app with a subset of users. After the most recent update, people are suddenly seeing a built-in browser that loads timeline links rather than booting you out to a full browser. Whether this is a good thing or a bad thing depends heavily on how you feel about the Facebook app in general.
Developer Chris Lacy's last release was Link Bubble, an app that loads web pages in Chat Head-like bubbles that float on the screen until you need them. The newly released TapPath seeks to refine the mobile browsing experience even further by assigning different actions depending on how many times you tap a link.
When George Mallory was asked why he wanted to climb Mount Everest, he famously replied, "Because it's there." I imagine a similar disposition possessed the developer of Wear Browser (better known for AIDE) when he shrugged his shoulders and said, "Well, I guess I'll put a browser on that watch." I say this because I can't think of a good reason anyone would do this. Still, it exists.