While most Android users are probably strapped to Firefox, Chrome, or Dolphin, there is always room for innovation in browsers. While Javelin Browser could potentially be one of those, it does have some warts that might cause some to steer clear of it.
Javelin’s unique set of features revolve around the user interface and add-on services. Sporting a flat, minimalist look, the browser makes use of gestures to navigate through tabs. A two-finger swipe left or right will go to the adjacent tabs, useful when the tab bar is out of immediate reach. When the tabs are visible, on the other hand, a tap and hold gesture on any tab will bring thumbnails of opened tabs for easier switching. Bookmarks and settings are also a swipe away, from the right and left respectively.
Javelin also boasts of a built-in reading mode similar to that of Pocket or Readability. This basically throws out fancy formatting out the window for a simpler reading experience. Of course, unlike those aforementioned services, you can’t save those for offline reading later. While Javelin does have an Incognito mode like many modern-day browsers, it takes security and privacy one step further. It offers “Spirit Mode”, which is essentially a VPN service. Naturally, the service isn’t free and requires a subscription of $1.99 a month, though you are free to try it for three months without cost.
Perhaps the biggest issue with Javelin Browser is that it is essentially shareware. While the app and most of its features are free, the developer decided to put a limitation to encourage users to donate, essentially buy the app. The free app is limited to opening only 10 tabs at once. Not many mobile users will probably run into this limitation, but it still feels arbitrary nonetheless. For a one time contribution of $2.99, or $7.99 or $9.99 if you’re feeling generous, you not only get unlimited tabs but also the future chance to have Javelin on an Android Wear device as well as the ability to change the browser homescreen, and, of course, help fund the developer.
Download: Javelin Browser on Google Play Store