In a market that is already overcrowded with too many well-known players, Go Launcher dev. team has released their own browser for Android — Next Browser. The team is well known for their popular Go launcher as well a couple of other useful apps.
The browser has a beautiful user interface and both the interface and scrolling are pretty smooth — not as good as Firefox for Android though, which is undoubtedly the best browser in this area, but certainly a lot better than Chrome (I’ve been complaining about this issue in Chrome for long).
Next Browser has support for extensions as well and comes pre-loaded with recommended short cuts for two extensions, namely Pocket and Evernote. Strangely, I was unable to find any option for finding more extensions, which the browser is capable of as per their website screenshot.
Other features include voice search as well as syncing of bookmarks, but that is currently only limited to Next browser only. And as a spoilt person who heavily relies of Google Chrome’s incredible tab and bookmark syncing functionality, it’s tough to get impressed with a functionality so limited in Next Browser.
AGGRESSIVE CACHING FOR FASTER LOADING OF PREVIOUSLY OPENED PAGES
Next Browser is impressively fast, thanks to two ingredients: First, an aggressive caching engine that stores as much data as possible of pages that you visit so that it doesn’t have to do much work the next time you re-visit those pages, saving you both, time and data.
The second ingredient is a bit interesting — a placebo. The browser’s progress bar has been designed in a manner that makes the browser seem as if it is loading pages at an incredibly fast rate. It instantly covers about half of the total progress as soon as the URL is entered, giving a faux impression of speed.
Overall, I found Next Browser to be equally fast as Chrome and Firefox in loading web pages, but for loading pages the first time only. On subsequent loading of the same webpages, Next Browser emerged out as the clear winner, thanks to its efficient caching engine.
Is Next Browser equally impressive in benchmark scores as well? Numbers don’t say so. Although the browser does a great job in speeding up loading of pages, I found its performance less than average in various benchmarks.
The rendering engine of Next Browser seem to be based on the old stock Browser, which has been replaced by Chrome lately, and hence its scores are more-or-less similar to it.
I can’t help but keep thinking about the striking similarities that Next Browser shares with Chrome and Opera mobile. The functionalities packed in Next Browser are nice, but the design is nothing new. It’s the same UI that Chrome introduced for the first time and Opera followed to mimic it. Next Browser too has nearly the same UI design, particularly the menu.
In fact, Next Browser not only does mimic Opera’s UI, but further seems to be a mash-up of a few popular browsers. It includes a Top Sites page similar to Chrome and Firefox as well à la Discover of Opera dubbed as Next View.
Nevertheless, Next Browser is a great web browser that deserves at least one try. It is available as a free download on the Play Store:
Play Store: Next Browser (free)