Bubble is an Android app that acts as a sort of quick browser as well as a stop-gap between older, insecure browsers inside of apps and the Google Chrome browser. It makes use of the new Custom Tabs feature found in Google Chrome versions 45 and above, and it's a much more secure, lightweight browser than the full version of Chrome or many others available on Android. With the floating bubble present on top of whatever other app you might be in, Bubble is easily-accessible no matter which app you're in and it opens nice and quickly. The idea of using Chrome Custom Tabs is to make sure that you're signed in to your favorite sites and such when you open up a browser quickly from another app or open a link. So, let's take a closer look, shall we?
First of all, you need to make sure that you have Google Chrome Version 45 or above, which can be downloaded from the Play Store here if you don't already have it. Then, you'll need to download Bubble from the Play Store. The process of using Bubble is pretty simple, and the developer has put together a pretty straightforward poster to follow.
The idea is that you can use Bubble to open links from within an app, instead of having to load up Chrome or your other default browser, which can take quite a long time if you already have a number of different tabs open in the first place. So for instance, if we take a look at one of my favorite News apps, there's options to look elsewhere for more in-depth topics. I already have Bubble open as a little globe floating around as you can see.
I chose the Sky News expanded story, and I was asked which browser to open it in.
I choose Bubble and 'always' and then Bubble slides out from the side and opens up my page, nice and quickly.
The beauty of using Chrome's Custom Tabs is that it opens a page nice and quickly, but it doesn't open everything else that Chrome does or my other tabs, which keeps things nice and light for my phone. Hitting the back button in Android takes me right back to the app I was in, and if you notice the Bubble itself has moved but still available when and if I need it.
All of this was really quick, and it was a nice complement to one of my favorite news apps. This sort of process will work for any app that tries to open URLs, and it makes checking websites within an app much easier. You might have noticed that the color of Bubble for me was a little different, and that's because you can customize it in the simple settings menu of the app.
There's more to Bubbe than simple link-opening of course, thanks to the hovering bubble, you can use it to quickly open a browser to check something, and then get back to the conversation or what you were watching, or whatever.
Here, I'm chatting to my friend Joe about games, and he says he's looking for something else to play, so I can easily hit the Bubble quickly and look something up, copy the link, hit the back button and quickly share it with him. This is what's nice about something like Bubble.
Bubble is an Android app that might not be built on new principles, apps have been opening links better than a default browser for some time now, but its sheer simplicity and speed are what makes this a nice addition to any smartphone. Having a simple, lightweight browser to call upon at any time using the bubble was pretty nice, and it makes looking something up when in a conversation or watching a film much less intrusive and a whole lot quicker. For the majority of people however, they'll be using Bubble to open links from within apps, which is where this neat little app succeeds really well. Clicking on a URL in an app of any kind and then being sent to a quick and speedy browser – where you're already signed in to Google and your favorite sites, thanks to Chrome – that slides out from the right is much easier and more secure than using the older WebView browser.
- Speed (5/5) – This is where Bubble excels, the speed at which it opens as well as how quickly it loads sites makes opening links from other apps a real breeze.
- Theme (4/5) – Aside from the ability to change the color of the tab bar at the top, there's not much else to look at, which means the website will always look its best when using Bubble.
- Features (4/5) – At its core, there's not much new here with Bubble, custom tabs have been around for a while, and the idea of opening something up in a better browser isn't new. However, this app is the only one with the ability to minimize the custom tab in a bubble and this is so simple and so quick that it's definitely a useful little app.
- Overall (4/5) – A solid little app that's super-quick and gets the job done, Bubble is worth checking out, especially if you share a lot of links and open a lot of them regularly.
- Super-easy to get setup with and to use, no complicated setup procedure.
- Very light install size on the device.
- Small bubble makes it super-easy to bring up a lightweight browser no matter which app you're in.
- Makes opening URLs and links from within apps not only a lot simpler but also a lot safer as well.
- Isn't an entirely new idea, small and lightweight apps that open links have been around for some time now.
- Sometimes the bubble will disappear when hitting the back button, but not always.
All-in-all, Bubble is what it is; a simple and easy-to-use app that doesn't claim to do too much. For opening links from within apps, all while being signed in to your favorite sites, as well as being more secure, Bubble gets the job done. Perfect for popping online and then popping back into an app, this is a simple and easy-to-use app that's completely free and has a lot going for it.