A new browser has hit the market, and it’s bringing something new to the table. Well, not new exactly, but new to the world of Android browsers. OverSkreen (floating browser), by MBFG, is a new browser that actually “floats” in it’s own window over your homescreen. It’s very similar to what you’d find on your PC desktop. While there are other “floating” apps out there for Android, this is the first browser app. It costs $1.49 to purchase it, but I think it’s well worth it, if only for the novelty.
OverSkreen Floating Browser does exactly what the name suggests. It sits on top of your Android homescreens and allows you to move, resize, and minimize the window altogether. The window is minimized to the notification bar and can be expanded just like any other application. You also have the option to terminate the window altogether from the notification bar. While the window is up, provided you have open space, you can still interact with your homescreens behind the window. You can swipe between screens or launch other applications. Overskreen stays sitting on top until you minimize or close it.
The other amazing thing you can do is open more than one instance of the browser. So you can literally have two windows up showing different content, switch between them, or line them up to compare information. That being said, there is currently no tabs to open within existing windows, which is one of the cons for this browser.
The window itself is pretty basic. It has a very “Apple” look to the window with two green and red circles in the upper right corner. The green minimizes the window while the red closes it completely. The left side has a grey “rounded rectangle” that, when pressed, brings up a menu with the standard back, forward, home, refresh, and settings buttons. The settings itself is pretty basic and is very similar to the standard Android browser settings screen. There’s not really anything out of the ordinary here. And that is really the only negative for this browser: it’s very basic.
It does look like it pulls your bookmarks from your existing browsers, though it doesn’t maintain the folder structure. I have several bookmarks all sorted into several folders. Within OverSkreen they are all thrown together in one long list. I wasn’t sure at first if I was looking at my bookmarks or my history. Hopefully that’s something that they will change moving forward.
Performance itself is pretty good. I’ve had a few FC’s here and there, but I assume those will get worked out as the browser progresses. As of this article, I already see an update that’s meant to fix several of these. So it’s good to see some active updates already.
Though it doesn’t say so, I’d take this app as more of a beta. I’m sure there are more options that are coming, but right now there isn’t much to it. Options are pretty minimal and there are no in-browser tabs. I guess you really don’t need tabs if you can open multiple instances, but I like my tabs. Helps keep things a little neater. It’s certainly something I can live without for now to have a browser that I can minimize and resize, however. While this browser is awesome on my tablet, it’s not quite as awesome on my phone. The multiple screens and resize options don’t really work too well on a smaller screen. Perhaps some of the 4.3+ screens will work a little better, but anything less than that and you might as well stick to something that has tabs.
Overall I really like this browser. It’s pretty basic right now and has a few negatives here and there, but nothing that can’t be fixed with future updates. I don’t know that I’m quite ready to use it as my daily driver, but it’s certainly one I’ll have installed an will use quite often.