Every Android user has run into the WebView browser. They might not know what it is, but they’ve surely interacted with it. The WebView browser is a little basic stock in-app browser used by apps like Facebook, Twitter or any third-party app. When you open any link from Facebook, this is where it opens – not in Chrome but in a little secluded browser inside the app.
This browser is usually bare-bones, limited and slow, and it doesn’t carry any of your sign-in details for sites, cookies, history, bookmarks or anything like that. Not to mention that each in-app browser has a slightly different UI, and you have to go looking for that share or back button.
Google is trying to fix this problem by introducing a feature called Custom Chrome Tabs which lets apps integrate a real, fully functional Chrome tab as an in-app browser. It’s a great idea. The problem is behemoths like Facebook and Twitter are never going to adopt it because they want control over the in-app browser.
Well, what’s a geek to do? Take the matter into his/her own hands.
Chromer is a slick little utility that replaces any app’s crummy built-in browser with Chrome Custom Tabs.
Now every time you tap a link from Facebook, it will open in a familia, and fast custom Chrome tab.
It’s that simple, and it’s just one of the wonders of Android that you can even do that just by downloading an app!
How to Use Chrome Custom Tabs Everywhere
Once you’ve downloaded the app, it’s time to make it the default for opening links from apps.
From the app’s homescreen tap “Set default browser,” and from the menu that shows up select “Chromer” and then “Always.”
Below, you can also specify the secondary browser.
From the Personalization section you can change the color of the toolbar and the animations.
Chromer also has this really cool feature where it will automatically prefetch content in the background. Now if you have unlimited data and don’t care about background activity, turn this feature on. This feature will scan your screen for links and preload the data, so when you tap the page will be right there!
If you don’t like in-app browsers, there are other alternatives for you as well.
What are some of your favorite browser hacks? Share with us in the comments below.
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