Feb 22 AT 12:52 PM Taylor Wimberly 26 Comments

7 Complaints About The Google Android Browser

The Google Android Browser is the most powerful mobile browser I have used, but it is far from perfect.  Some fanboys refuse to complain about their phone, but I like making lists I think should be improved upon.  It is also nice to look back at these complains when new releases come out to see which things were addressed.  By continuing the discussion we can move the platform forward.

1. Control Over the Browser Cache.  With the limited internal storage space on the G1, most users have noticed the large amount of space the Browser application can take up.  I learned the hard way, that when you go to clear data, it also wipes out your bookmarks.  Android users with root access can move the cache to their SD card and I think Google should allow us that option.

Taking up space..

Taking up space..

2. Management of Bookmarks.  Most of the Google services offered for Android are automatically backed up online.  Why is it then that we can not backup our bookmarks?  This would allow us to easily transfer favs between our PC and phone and allow us to share them with contacts.  I would also like to see a better way to manage your backups.  You should be able to create folders and arrange them.

3. Multitouch Support.  I don’t care about reports that Apple nixed the multitouch feature.  It is a feature that users want and needs to be turned on.  Currently people who hacked their phone(root users) have the ability to try out the feature.  I’m am running one of JF’s builds with the feature turned on and I find it useful.  There are many times when the little plus/minus will not do and its easy to pinch and pull to zoom.

4. Autorotate.  It is annoying having to make 3 clicks to flip screen orientation.  I don’t see how this feature was left off.  Alternative browsers have the option and there are tools like Droidsans which allow you to turn it on.

5. More YouTube Options – So it might not be till 2010 when we finally see Adobe release Flash 10 for Android, but we can still play Youtube movies inside the browser.  There are other apps to allow this as well as download YouTube clips to your phone.  Make those features standard.

I'm starting to like Steel

I'm starting to like Steel

6. Upload Support – Opera Mini supports this feature.  Is there some reason the Android browser does not?

7. Touch Shortcuts – I want to see more innovation with the touch and gesture controls.  Steel is doing some interesting things with their control options.  I want to use more gesture motions to jump to the bottom of a page even reload the current page.

What else would you like to see in future updates to the Android Browser?  Would you like to submit your own lists of complaints about anything Android related? Contact us and we may publish your entry.

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

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  • Vito

    The cache removing your bookmarks can be pretty annoying. I personally use Steel for the touchscreen keyboard and the overall usability. To me it seems closer to a desktop replacement browser than “ChromeLite”

  • http://www.googleandblog.com/ Michael Martin

    Absolutely needs some SD card access for cache and other savings options, especially with the minuscule internal memory of the G1.

    Although to be fair I am impressed with the speed of the Webkit browser.

    ,Michael Martin

  • http://friendfeed.com/derlinzer Ralph

    Having used an iPhone 3G before, now using an HTC Magic (with Cupcake) and switching to a G1, i was shocked how slow the browser renders and how sluggish it is to zoom and scroll. C’mon, Google has Chrome – currently the fastest browser available – and they can’t get things running smoothly on Android? A pity they didn’t fix things in Cupcake :-(

  • Martin Bursell

    I like most of the functions of my brand new HTC Magic, but the browser can not handle all URL addresses which Explorer and FireFox, on regular computers can.
    For example one of my most important Web sites;
    www. poseidon.hcmr.gr
    does not work properly.
    This is an very important weather forecasting site in the Mediterranean seas. The most annoying thing with the android browser in my HTC is that the mentioned weather forecast site do functions sometimes, let us say one of ten trials leads to a weather forecast!!??
    I do not understand why? I keep on trying……. It should have been a more simple case for me if the browser never succeeded, ( may be due to a too complex multiple frame site) But ,as long it works one out of ten, it is difficult for me to give up. I need this service when sailing in Greece.
    I guess that there are other URL:s with the same kind of complexity like “Poseidon” that do not work with the Android Browser ?! Will there be any updates in a near future? Elsewhere I have to get myself a mobile phone that can handle all kinds of URL:s
    Regards Martin Bursell

  • http://htc-magic-android.gb-eu.com/ Xavier

    I actually think the Android browser is rubbish. The browser on my 2003 Symbian phone is way better – that browser was incidentally based on Opera.

    One of the most annoying things I find with the current Android browser is a complete failure to use cache properly. If I’ve been using another program and switch back to the browser, every page insists on reloading itself. Given the spotty availabilty of GPRS in the UK, this can make what should be a quick look at a previously opened page take several minutes.

    It’s rubbish and does not make you look or feel cool. Every page should be kept cached when the browser is minimised, and pages should not be reloaded unless you actively tell it to. Going back in your history should also just take a blink of an eye, if only thre browser were able to use caching intelligently.

    I would also expect much better (if not complete) Javascript support on such a high spec device as an Android phone.

    Another usability failure of the browser is the poor management of multiple windows. It should be possible to quickly tab through all the currently open windows with a single key or gesture.

  • mando flores

    Whenever I try to access q website that requires a login, I get an error saying that I’m trying to run multiple instances/sessions even when I had signed out and closed/”killed” the browser. Major annoyance when trying to access my school’s blackboard or my for webmail.

  • thijs

    What Xavier said

  • joeavery2

    It needs three major things.: first it needs bookmark folders… what web browser doesn’t have this? Second is bookmark sync, chrome does this and it would be a brilliant thing to have. IPhone safari wouldn’t be able to touch the android browser at this point. Last is restore of previous open pages. Safari does it as does chrome browser.
    I personally don’t care about multi touch. I used it twice on cm’s build but I used the double tap/triple tap a lot. And I’m not sure what this is about the screen rotation. Mine does it fine.

  • http://downelink.com andrew

    It won’t let me go on the website how com

  • Pingback: Google Calendar Desktop version is crippled in Android Browser - Android Central Forums()

  • http://www.jeffpinkham.com Jeff

    I ‘ m looking for an interface on Android which is similar to a PC one. Missing Firefox on Android. Which alternative browser also runs on Windows PC?

  • http://Website razmik

    I have a Droid x 7 looking for a way to change Browser/email/Text message.. screen background (White), to dark green/Black ur dark blu, with Yellow/white font colors. The reason is because I am low vision and it is hard for me to …

    So, please comment.

  • http://Website Suspiria

    The problem is your using a G1. I would suggest upgrading your Android.

  • http://Website Jess

    How did you code this damn website? Even using my iPad, I cannot zoom the page, and hence it looks so tiny I can hardly read it. Clearly it is autodetecting that it is a mobile browser, but it shouldn’t be…i guess. No offense, just lettin’ you know.


  • http://Website Ram

    Hello friends,

    i am looking for help.. i am working on web application which i have to run on android tablet. all the things are looking on same on mozilla firefox and android default browser on tablet. but only fonts are not looking same fonts are showing big on firefox but on android tablet its showking ok.

    is there anything to match them??

    plz anybody help me.

    Ram Mane
    [email protected]

  • http://techicloud.blogspot.com Technology Cloud

    Forget about the native browser, see the stunning browsing experience on android with Dolphin Browser, Now Mini version is out – http://techicloud.blogspot.com/2010/12/dolphin-browser-mini-now-available-in.html

  • http://Website travis

    1. TABS

  • http://howtodosteps.blogspot.com howto

    The android google browser won’t play animated GIF image whereas the Opera mobile browser does. That’s my biggest complaint

  • http://www.mysite.com Dave

    Hi. Will the admin of this website please contact me. I would like to purchase some banner ads asap. My name is David and I work with a CPA Network. You can reach me at [email protected] (please respond, our network can provide much better income for the traffic you are getting than adsense) I have tried reaching the admin via email with no response (I apologize for the spam)

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  • Carlos Gonzalez

    I think the Worst is the completely crap support of HTML5, whenever is a Video/Sound embeded it tries to open externally, with a “not playable” message in the end, it ruines the web design, Opera Mobile at least does not try to play the audio, and keeps running normally!

  • Abi

    i am working on web application which i have to run on android tablet. all the things are looking gud but I have to export XLS from the grid view which is not working on the android native browser alone. I have found many of the solutions like ” Have to use GET Method instead of using POST”, File name should be within Quotes, Extension should be in Caps. I tried to use GET Method , its working gud but other functionality like Hitting server for saving records, updating records are all not working in both web and the tablet.
    So please suggest any other solutions rather than this.

  • Melissa

    I have tried for a week to open the Android browser but it want open says force close. what can I do to fix it. I cleared cache out want let me uninstall it either I really it to work

    • WhereIsMyMindAT?

      Melissa, you can go into Settings, Application Manager, then swipe to the right to see “ALL” (installed)
      Scroll down to chrome, (clear all cache/then disable it).
      *NOTE!*—if you do not (at first) have the option to “Disable”, it might say “Uninstall Updates”
      Go ahead, uninstall Updates. Then, will allow you to “Disable”

      Then install *DOLPHIN*—SMOKING FAST! Browser with MORE FEATURES you can imagine (see my write up) the latest coolest is you can “throw” a Webpage from your phone to your Desktop and/or from your Desktop to your PC

      (so if working on something on phone. Get home/to work-just “throw it” to the CPU, finish there! :-)

      *OR*, if you have Tabs/Browsers opened (on your Phone)—can open them on your PC
      Vice/Verse–can open on your Cell whatever is on your PC

  • WhereIsMyMindAT?

    The Problem with Chrome for Android is that it’s now officially *BLOATWARE*. It’s a bloated HOG.

    I have a Samsung Galaxy S3–nothing else running, simply trying to browse, it brought my phone to it’s knee’s
    Ever since I’ve kept it disabled.


    @Taylor since you mentioned an alternative Browser, I feel it’s fair I do the same.
    (I see the article was written approx 9-months ago–a lot changes).
    As of end of October 2013–

    *DOLPHIN* for Android (or iOS) is *WITHOUT QUESTION* the best browser on the planet.

    IT IS *AGAPE*/*ASTONISHLY* fast. Remember the days when you used a 2400 baud modem. Thinking “One day” this will be like turning on a T.V. set. –it’s here.

    *NOT AN EXXAGERATION* Dolphin browser is *SO FAST*, it renders the page “ALMOST* as fast as you click it. L No more than 0.25-0.50-second lag (yes, 1/4 to 1/2 *A SECOND* lag).


    #1 Mobile Web Browser on Android Market
    Over 80,000,000 downloads (Yes over *EIGHTY MILLION* downloads (across platforms)

    There’s so many features, too many to list. However, I’ll list some of the cool one’s

    —side bar—One new–Bookmark/or “Speed Dial”–the “Desktop” inside the browser Dolphin has as a start page (if you wish to keep) so you can simply tap and go. (Allows for 7-Screens (think that’s correct count). Last rev, they introduced “Folders” you can put on the desktop, and have 9-speed dials in each one. Of course ,the natural bookmarking too.

    Backup everything to the cloud.

    –*ONE CLICK* You can “throw” a Web page from your “Device” (works on Tablets far as I know) but for ease, lets say “Phone”

    “Throw”-from Phone to PC *OR* PC TO PHONE

    One click, you can “throw” a page from your Phone to your computer.
    (It’s in the cloud, thus if you have a spouse at home, can “Throw” it to the computer you have the Browser Extention/Add-On with)

    Course, when you get to work, “throw” the page to finish what you’re doing.

    From your Computer you can “Throw” a web page to your Phone. Again, since it’s in the cloud. (both devices naturally need authentication). However, if your Spouse is hooked to your account, throw a page to them.

    Example-Hey, Honey want to go out to eat? let’s try this resaturant, looking at reviews now.
    “eh, not sure”.
    Here, “throw”—”Take a look” (less than 1-sec, page rendered on her device)

    Naturally Dolphin had “Gesture” about 5-Revs ago. Goes without saying.

    Last one.
    I don’t use this much (but should use more), as it does have a great speech recognition

    HOWEVER (ironically how I found your article), looking for Browsers/Browser Benchmarking,etc.

    *DOLPHIN SONAR* also has a “Hidden Menu”. Voice commands can do just about anything *WITH* the browser (not just surfing).

    EXAMPLES: http://dolphin-browser.com/secret-menu-of-sonar-commands/
    (Just learned something new, I’ve missed the “CTRL+F” to find in a page–it’s HERE!

    Action [Dolphin Does] Command [You Say]
    Bookmark Bookmark/Bookmark this/Add bookmark
    Refresh page Refresh/Refresh this page
    Find in page Find “xxx” on page/Search “xxx” on page
    Add to speed dial Add to speed dial

    Tabs (all the “Cool” stuff you can imagine)
    Open new, close all but, close right, close left,etc.

    (to BLAZING FAST! Browsing! ;-)

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