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Android Web Browser - Android OS Tips and Tricks

Surfing the Internet is one of the advantages smartphones have over regular cell phones and are one of the main reasons people buy them even though can do so much more than browse the Internet. Like with most applications, you have choices as to which web browser you will use for your browsing. Since web browsing is such a big part of the Android operating systems functionality, it makes sense to have a built in web browser as part of the OS.

The Android web browser is most likely one of your most commonly used apps. It's used to access websites just like you would with your computer using Internet Explorer or Firefox for example but it's just not quite as easy to use as on a computer.

Although the Android browser may not have all the features that your computer browser has it still does a good job of letting you surf the web. To access the browser you can tap your Browser icon or if you use the Google search widget start typing your search in there and it will open the results in your browser app.

One nice feature of the Android browser is that it gives suggestions as you type making it faster to do searches. As you are typing it will show you what it thinks you are looking for and if you see it in the list you can tap that word or phrase rather than finish typing the whole search term.

Android Browser

As you can see the browser page looks like it would on your computer except much smaller of course. Some webistes have secondary versions called a mobile website that is designed to be viewed on a mobile device such as a phone.

Android Browser

Pressing the menu button on your phone or tablet brings up some options where you can do things such as open a new window for a new search, view your currently opened windows, access your bookmarks and refresh the web page.

Android Browser

Windows are like tabs which I'm sure you are used to using on your computer's web browser. They show you what pages you have open and allow you to switch back and forth between them as well as close them or open a new window.

Android Browser

Choosing Bookmarks will show you pages that you have bookmarked in your browser giving you a quick way to access your favorite websites.

Android Browser

Tapping on More in the menu popup will give you some options as well as shortcut keys to help you navigate faster. Here is a listing of the shortcut key combinations

Menu+a – Add bookmark
Menu+f – Find on page – allows you to search for certain text on that web page
Menu+e – Select text – choose this option to highlight text to copy into another app
Menu+g – Page info – gives you information from that website such as its description
Menu+s – Share page – lets you send share the page via email, text, Twitter, Facebook etc.
Menu+d – Downloads – this will show you your download history
Menu+p – Settings – here you can configure your browser to your liking. More details below

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Changing browser settings

The Android browser has a lot of settings that you can configure to make it easier to use for you. Here is what you can do in the settings section:

  • You can increase the text size if it’s too small for you to read
  • Change the default zoom for when you open a site
  • Show an overview of web pages when you open them
  • Change the text encoding or language used
  • Turn the popup blocker on or off
  • Choose whether or not to load images to increase page load time
  • Have pages auto fit to your screen
  • Have pages shown only in landscape view
  • Enable or disable JavaScript
  • Turn plug-ins on or off or set them to be used on demand only
  • Change your default home page
  • Clear the browser cache, history and cookies
  • Enable or disable cookies
  • Remember form data so you don’t have to type it in each time
  • Clear your remembered form data
  • Enable location so your browser can give you content based on where you are
  • Clear your location access for websites
  • Have the browser remember user names and passwords for website logins
  • Clear remembered names and passwords
  • Show security warnings on websites that may have security issues
  • Set your default search engine such as Google, Yahoo! And Bing
  • Set settings for individual websites
  • Restore your browser to its default settings

There are other browsers that you can use for your Android device such as Firefox, Opera and Dolphin so be sure to check out the Android Market and try some out. Just be sure to check out the reviews too so you can fine out what others think and see if a particular browser has issues with your model of smartphone.


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