Despite the fact that the majority of Android apps render online content inside of their own app, there are some that simply default to a web browser, inside of their app. You’ll have noticed this when it happens, all of the UI from your favorite app will disappear and you’ll be left using a slower and older-looking browser. There are some good reasons why apps do this of course, many of them being security or because the feature hasn’t been implemented inside of the app yet. Chromer is a new Android app that leverages new feature found within Google’s own browser, Chrome, to deliver a smoother and more secure browsing experience within apps that render content from the outside world.
Chromer makes use of the new ‘custom tabs‘ feature that was announced during Google I/O back in the Summer, these are tabs that use the Chrome browser found on your device but inside of an app. Android has a built-in browser that a lot of apps still use, and it’s a simple WebView browser, but it’s not updated as frequently as Google Chrome and it’s certainly not as quick. What Chromer does is essentially replace this WebView browser within apps, so when WhatsApp (for instance) tries to render a web page it will be rendered using a custom tab from Google Chrome, rather than an older version of the WebView browser. What’s nice about this, beyond the speed of Google Chrome, is that Google take the security of Chrome very seriously, which means you’ll get the same level of security no matter which app your using if you have Chromer installed and setup.
The app is completely free to download and use, and the only caveat is that you have to make this your default browser. While that might mess around with the Google App and opening up tabs inside of the Chrome browser itself, it shouldn’t be too much of a problem and for a lot of people the extra functionality will certainly be worth it. Chromer will work on devices running anything from Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and above, and users need to have version 45 of Google Chrome for Android, or above. Take a look at the screenshots below, and those looking for Chromer can find it for free in the Google Play Store.