Google Chrome is great for your basic browsing, and it certainly has come a long way on mobile, but I can’t be the only one that gets annoyed by it on a regular basis: it’s slow and has performance issues, it uses a lot of memory and it’s somewhat basic in its natural state. So, it’s not unsurprising that we all look around for alternatives once in a while. Those alternatives exist, and some have been out there for a very long time: Dolphin, Opera, even Firefox have filled a void left by unhappy Chrome users looking for something new. Today, we’ll be looking at Javelin Browser, another alternative that does a lot of things right.
Out of the gate, Javelin proposes itself to be different: a browser focused solely on the mobile experience, and made by a developer that was tired of the lack of smoothness and poor performance of mobile browsers out there. So, it has a few handy features carved specifically for the end user and surfing the web on the go. Despite all this, it’s not a basic browser. In fact, it’s quite nice looking and filled with options! Let’s dive into it!
You can get Javelin browser free by clicking here, through the Google Play Store. Once it’s installed, open the app and you’ll see a few screens letting you know about some of the features of the browser. Swipe through them and then tap the “See for yourself” button to exit and you should then be able to see the main browser interface:
As you can see, you have your standard tab bar, an address bar and some icons. You can also tap over the Javelin icon or swipe from the left to access extra options, like the Settings and Spirit Mode (more on that later). For now, let’s see how the browser works. Open a few of your favorite websites by tapping the “+” icon on the tab bar to open another tab:
Once you have a few tabs open, let’s take a look at how navigation works. Obviously, the standard navigation standards of pinch to zoom and scrolling around to navigate the page are still there, but Javelin does much more, with integrated gesture support, as you can see below:
Some of these gestures include two-finger swipe to switch tabs on the webview, two finger down swipe to see a preview of all available tabs, two finger swipe up to close the current tab, and much more, like holding over the tabs for previews and one handed navigation. Javelin also comes with some extra features, like built-in Incognito mode at any time (just swipe from the left or press the Javelin icon and select: “Go Incognito”). Another feature worthy of mention is that little “eye” icon in the address bar. Tapping it enables “reading mode”, which extracts text from the page and serves it to you in an easy to understand and easy to navigate fashion:
Javelin also comes with integrated bookmarks available at any time: just swipe from the right and you can add the current page to your bookmarks right away, share them and see your History (clock icon at the bottom). The bookmarks will also be arranged automatically based on frequency of use and most recent visit:
Javelin also comes with “Spirit Mode”, which is a built-in VPN service that allows you to bypass carrier, ISP and regional limitations when you browse. It’s a power-user feature for sure, but it can be a godsend in certain situations and guarantees anonymity and freedom from real-world or government limitations online. It’s a paid service, but it comes with a one-month free trial if you want to see what it’s all about:
As you can see, Javelin is a well- rounded browser that does a lot of things right and differently than most. It also feels very good, scrolling is generally smoother than other browsers and, while it does have a few kinks to figure out, it’s a pretty good app to give a try. Feel free to let us know what you think about it in the comment section below!