Recently, we reviewed some of the useful browsers for Android. Even though we tried our best to be comprehensive, we still missed out on a few gems. And thanks to all of you who commented, we have uncovered another gem – xScope browser.
At first glance, I didn’t think xScope was anything noteworthy. It has a plain icon and unattractive interface. Anyone who are casually browsing the market can easily give it a miss. However, after using it, I began to like it. While the main features are similar to all other browsers, the subtle thing in the browser are what set itself apart from the rest.
While other browsers also come with tabs, xScope makes the tabs pretty accessible. This isn’t always the case with other browsers.
While you are surfing the mobile web, you can open as many tabs as you need. When it is time to go back and access the previous tabs, you can press the Menu button on your Android phone. There is an icon in the menu bar that, when pressed, will show all of the open tabs.
To quickly add a tab while browsing, press the [+] plus sign on the upper tab bar. This will open a new window showing the bookmark page.
A cool option many browsers do not offer is different views on your bookmark page. xScope gives you 3 views – Icon, List and Snapshot.
If this is not enough, you can also sort by Most Visited, Title or Date Created. This is a great way to save you time and increase your productivity.
When you press the Menu button, the control bar is displayed. In the control bar, you can select Bookmarks, History, Download History, Search the SD card for files, Settings and Close.
The gestures are not as fancy as Dolphin HD, but the options you do have will make xScope much faster to use.
By quickly swiping left or right to change tabs, you can easily find the window you want. Other browsers make you press the menu button then select something to see different tabs.
Revealing the Android notification bar when in fullscreen view is as simple as swiping from the top of the window down.
Pinpoint zoom is a pretty cool resizing gesture. Double tap like normal. On the second tap, drag your finger on screen. This is a fast way to get a more exact zoom. Many browsers just have a set percent they will zoom in when double tapped. Then you will need to use the [+] or [-] buttons to zoom in more.
Like a few other browsers, you can add themes to xScope. The themes offer cosmetic changes to the browser. There are different themes available in the Market. Depending on the degree to which they change the browser, there may be a cost for the themes.
You can change the location of the control bar. The control, by default is on the bottom of the screen. You can reposition it to the top of the screen if you prefer.
A unique setting is the ability to change the user-agent of the browser. This alone is not unique, being able to select between iPad or iPhone view is the one that set it apart from the rest.
In the Settings menu, you can customize device’s buttons (e.g.:menu press or menu long press). If you do a lot of web browsing, knowing the shortcuts to open a link in a new tab or showing the page options will make for a better browsing experience.
I used the free trial of xScope and found it is worth the 2.99 to buy. It does have some unique features, easy to use and is really fast. Recommended!
Is there any other features of xScope that I have missed out?