I've been an official developer on the Chromium project and WebKit in 2007 and 2008 (paid by Google as part of Google Summer of Code).
Since the feedback has been positive, I'd like to interact with the XDA community to get feedback, ideas, or just give help.
I'm a big fan of CAF Browsers, but unfortunately, they are not updated anymore and this is one of the biggest reason I've started the work.
This is *not* a variant of an existing project. The codebase varies significantly but it's conceptually inspired by CAF.
The browser is still very much work-in-progress, so I really appreciate feedback and ideas. I'm working 4 hours per day on the browser and I use it myself every day so decent stability is expected.
This is a hobby project, and I'm looking for feedback here, so I'm cool with any kind of critics.
I can only answer outside of daytime (Europe timezone) as I have to work during the day to buy food for my cats.
What is Kiwi Browser ?
- Kiwi Browser is a Chromium Canary that includes performance improvements and adblock.
- What's this browser for ?
Imagine a grumpy grand-pa, and that's how the browser should be. The browser should be forgotten and not go in your way.
No flashing stuff, no annoyances, Fast & Quiet.
If you want to add a search engine, just go on the search engine website, then the search engine will appear by itself in settings.
Features: * Support for Chrome Extensions
* Speed improvements
I've added lot of crazy hacks inside WebKit (Blink) to get it running faster.
* Night mode
* Move address bar to the bottom
* Cookie acceptance
Automatically accepts lots of "Please this is GDPR, and cookie, and blablabla" messages.
It's not perfect yet, as many websites have added GDPR messages lately.
* Notifications blocker
* Cryptojacking blocker
Saving battery and prevents phone from heating.
Try it on http://www.coinhive.com (you can re-enable cryptomining in chrome://flags if you really like it for some reason )
* Extensions support
Supports real Google Chrome extensions.
This is not the usual popup blocker, there is an heuristic inside to browser to determine whether the new window should be opened or not.
* Adblock & Tracking protection
The browser offers much better privacy protection than Chrome and Brave. It blocks also lot of ads. Not really because ads are bad, but mostly to make the browsing fast.
* Android 4.1+ support for both ARM and X86
Note: On certain Android versions, when you uninstall an app, Android also removes your downloads.
Keep it in mind if you manipulate Kiwi (to backup bookmarks file) or transfer to another device.
Version Quadea (October 07, 2019)
This version improves stability and add 2 new functionalities, in Main Menu, Settings, Accessibility:
- Always Desktop.
Useful if you are a tablet user, and you prefer Desktop version of websites.
- Toolbar always on screen
If you have a large screen, and want to keep the address bar always handy without having to scroll.
The toolbar is always on by default if you have Accessibility services. You can change that using this option.
Version Lena (September 28, 2019)
This version contains new speed optimizations and fixes minor issues.
The support of shortcuts (special keywords with the exclamation mark symbol) is now extended to all countries and to all search engines. Type: !bangs in the address bar to learn more.
- Fix: Reverse image search and certain cases where the browser was showing "(f).txt".
- Fix: Keyboard buttons (example: on Android TV, or hardware arrow buttons).
- Updated interface when you have > 100 tabs open.
Translations updated in 10+ languages.
- (New) This version improves stability on Adreno GPUs (Galaxy S8/S9+)
Version Impala (September 12, 2019)
Kiwi releases are back!
This version includes fixes (Google Translate language detection, images on the new tab page) and minor changes.
Added support for bangs (shortcuts in the address bar starting with !) in 'US', 'CA', 'GB', 'UK', 'FR', 'DE', 'ES', 'IT', 'IN', 'BR'.
Type !bangs in your address bar to learn more about it (only if you use "Default search" in Settings).
Added support for X64.
Better support for foldable phones.
Version Genie (June 28, 2019)
This version supports text rewrap / reflow (adapt text based on zoom level).
+ Interface and animations are really improved
+ Better performance (new GPU driver and 64-bits engine is now in stable!)
+ Google Translate, Yandex and Baidu (Settings, Translator)
+ Possibility to add exceptions / whitelist in content filter
+ Support for external download managers
+ Show extensions first
+ Protect incognito windows
Remember to activate Hide annoying ads in the main menu if you want faster browsing.
Version Eden (May 26, 2019)
This version resolves issue of extensions unloading.
On some devices (in particular Xiaomi), extensions may be unloaded by the system when the device wants to optimize memory.
During the optimization, the device (Android) chooses what processes to disable.
In this new release of Kiwi: Kiwi indicates to Android that if Android wants more memory, it should try to avoid disabling the current active tab and the extensions.
If the extensions are disabled by Android, Kiwi will try to reload them.
Version Deneb (May 23, 2019)
This version includes very significant performance improvements (especially when scrolling, pinching, zooming) and minor fixes.
On some older devices the difference can be very visible.
Version Centaurus (May 19, 2019)
Better stability, more performance improvements, correcting "Sandboxing not allowed" error messages.
Version Betelgeuse (May 17, 2019)
This version fixes Craigslist and adds support for Import / Export on the new tab page.
It also bring performance improvements and fixes an issue with the Search Widget in Night Mode/Black theme.
Support for extensions has been improved as well (chrome.tabs.onCreated/onUpdated/onRemoved).
Version Andromeda (May 10, 2019)
- Fix news on the homepage (can be showing NULL from time to time)
- Fix some crashes when using a tab manager extension
- Fix crash on Quick Tapping in WebView
- This build provides better protection against Omnibox spoofing (address bar) and a much better experience in the Chrome Web Store
- Improve cross-domain management with translator (can resolve some cases where translator was not working)
- Fixing crashes related to Windows Management and one in the Omnibox
- Improved extensions UI
- Improve chrome.tabs API
- Improvements to Video Playback Battery usage (+/- 10% less)
Version Pollux (May 8, 2019)
The bad news: Background play is now disabled on YouTube (request of Google).
XDA users are smart and may find better software for this in these forums and the most technical may even find way to mod the browser but I won't provide any support or help for this.
The good news:
- This version has better performance
- New content filters
- Better extensions support
- Introduces a Diamond Black theme and the homepage is compatible with Dark Reader.
Version Phi (April 19, 2019)
This version includes stability improvements and better extensions compatibility.
An issue with downloading PDF files has been resolved, and another issue where the extension window was sometimes connected to the incorrect tab.
You can now import .crx/.zip files and also user scripts (.user.js!) directly on chrome://extensions.
If you want to use or write your own filters, the extensions Nano Defender/Adbl# offer the best compatibility with Kiwi at the moment (according to the community).
Version Upsilon (April 16, 2019)
This is the 1-year anniversary release of Kiwi Browser.
This version adds support for (real) Chrome Extensions.
Version Sigma (March 6, 2019)
This version includes the latest security improvements from Chromium (including the FileReader bug CVE-2019-5786)
- Fix for news feed
- Hindi and Chinese Traditional translation
- Minor fixes (ex: view-source: )
Version Omicron (March 3, 2019)
This version includes performance and stability fixes.
Most of the changes are behind-the-scenes, this is work to optimize the core of the browser.
- Homepage loads much much much faster
- Fixed crash "Aw Snap!" that happens on some rare configurations.
- Improved stability on Xiaomi devices (GPU crashing)
- Smoother animations and user experience.
Version Lambda (February 27, 2019)
Introducing Reachability: (only if the bottom toolbar is enabled).
When you press the Hand icon, it brings the top of the page into reach (the top of the page slides down).
You can enable or disable the option in Settings, Accessibility.
The function is similar to the iOS "Reachability" function.
+ TLS 1.3 final support
+ Faster homepage loading
+ Faster tab closing
+ Better battery usage
+ Improved ad blocker, popup blocker.
+ Added StartPage in search engines (new installs only)
Version Kappa (February 15, 2019)
- Fix: Issue with the news date on the home page
- Improv: Content filters
Version Iota (February 12, 2019)
- Change: Slightly refreshed UI (icons / rounded corners)
- Fix: Touch not taken into account (in particular at the bottom of the screen)
- Change: Night Mode is default to 100% for new installs
- Improv: 101% Night Mode is now White text with differentiated links
- Improv: Automatically follow AMP links to non-AMP version if anti-AMP is enabled
- Improv: Better memory usage
- Improv: 400KB less
and minor bugfixes
Version Eta (January 30, 2019)
This version adds new gestures and improves the homepage.
You can now go back/next, just by swiping left or right on the edge of the page.
This can be enabled/disabled in Settings, Accessibility.
- Feature: Edge swipe to navigate history
- Feature: Improved news system (and can change news region)
- Fix: Improved content filters
- Fix: Bottom toolbar blinking
- Change: Swipe-up to open tab switcher is off by default (configurable in Settings)
Hint: You can switch tab by swiping on the toolbar.
Version Gamma (January 20, 2019)
This release includes improvements to Night Mode and major stability fixes for Android 8.0+
- Improv: Speed and stability
- Improv: Settings in Night Mode are now dark
- Improv: Responsiveness when searching or changing page
- Change: Contextual Search is disabled by default
- Fix: Crash on Android 8
- Fix: Simplied View setting is now functional
- When bottom toolbar is enabled, action buttons are now located
at the bottom (to be reachable with fingers)
Version Zucchini (December 19, 2018)
[+] Feature: Exit browser when last tab is closed (Settings, Privacy)
[+] Improv: Changing the Home page also changes the New Tab Page.
[+] Fix: Crash on Samsung devices
[+] Fix: Czech and Croatian translations
[+] Fix: Annoyances and cookie messages
[+] Feature: Integration with DuckDuckGo and Bing (some users only)
Tip: You can now switch back to the classic
New Tab Page by setting chrome://newtab as homepage in Settings
Version Yuzu (December 12, 2018)
You can now add and remove tiles/websites on the homepage.
Also, I completely removed analytics and Facebook SDK :highfive:
[+] Manage tiles on the homepage
Long-press to move or delete the tiles.
Important, to remove the news, just click on the cross (it's not deep in Settings anymore).
[+] Added Finnish translation
[+] Uses less data
[+] TLSv1.3 (better security)
[+] Improved content filter
[+] Improved privacy: Removed metrics / analytics SDK (0 tracking!)
The next step is to deliver lot of fixes and extensions.
Version Watermelon (October 23, 2018)
Good news! New release is already here, with Night Mode 2.0!
Thanks to the Kiwi community and contributors
[+] Added Japanese, Portuguese (Brazil), Russian, Turkish, Vietnamese
[+] Significant improvements to Night Mode
[+] Better compatibility with Android P
[+] Much better filter against intrusive ads
[+] Resolved issue with reCAPTCHA
Pro-tip: in Settings, Accessibility you can choose the Contrast level.
You are welcome on Discord (chat) for feedback.
Version Voavanga (October 15, 2018)
Happy release! Next release on 30th Oct
[+] Added Croatian, French, Italian and Spanish (thanks to contributors!)
[+] Improved privacy (new hosts in blacklist, user-agent same as Chrome)
[+] Fix Custom Tabs bottom bar
[+] Fixed Yandex, PayPal Communities, and more.
[+] Minor improv. to night mode
[+] Improved stability on Samsung
[+] Support for latest emojis
[+] Experimental: For 5% of the users, you can now use shortcuts, like !gt for Google Translate and try a minimalistic version of search.
Version Tangerine (October 3, 2018)
Thanks to everyone! You can join the Kiwi Dev community on Discord application: https://discordapp.com/invite/XyMppQq (hold and press "Open with external app").
Next release will arrive around 15th Oct.
- Fix: Bottom toolbar could get stuck in the middle of the screen
- Feature: Import and Export Bookmarks from a file
- Feature: Swipe-up to show Tab Selector
- Feature: Long-press on Back button to view history
- Feature: At the bottom of Accessibility preferences, you can enable/disable the simplified Tab Switcher
+ Cosmetic fixes
Version Raspberry (x86 only) (July 16, 2018)
Resolved stability issues on x86 devices
Version Macadamia/Orange/Papaya/Quenepa (July 14, 2018)
Thank you for spreading the word about Kiwi! More surprises, features and fixes to come.
This new release contains really significant speed improvements, uses less battery and videos continue to play in the background.
- Improv.: Browsing is very fast
- Improv.: Stability & battery usage
- Improv.: Background videos now autoplay when screen is locked
- Improv.: Adaptive icon
- Change: All top toolbar buttons are displayed when Duplex is on
- Fix: Content filter (Disqus login, and more)
Version Kumquat/Lychee (July 4, 2018)
This new release includes a bottom address bar and the translate functionality.
- Upgraded to Chromium 69.0.3477
- Feature: Bottom address bar (Settings, Accessibility, phone-only)
- Feature: Translate (Main menu)
- Feature: Clear data (Main menu)
- Feature: Kiwi can be moved to SD Card (on some devices)
- Improvement: Video player
The next release is planned in 10 days and will include bug fixes.
Version Jackfruit (June 17, 2018)
This version is an intermediate release that includes minor fixes.
The video player is not the final version.
- Upgraded to Chromium 69.0.3462
- Fix: Background play
- Fix: Status bar color
- Feature: AMP remover (Settings, Privacy)
- Feature: Open by default in external app (Settings, Accessibility)
- Improvement: Night mode stays on after restart (phone-only)
- Improvement: If you set more than 100% contrast, text becomes more visible in Night Mode (recommended: 101%)
Version Ilama (June 11, 2018)
This version features an improved night mode and unlocks Facebook Messenger.
- Feature: Facebook Messenger is unlocked on https://m.facebook.com
- Feature: Night mode grayscale and contrast setting
A contrast of 100% will turn off black pixels on devices with AMOLED screen.
- Fix: Dark websites becoming white in night mode
- Fix: Images incorrectly displayed in night mode
- Fix: Contextual search not working on Google (english-only)
- Fix: Annoyances and minor content filter issues
Version Hackberry (May 27, 2018) This version gives you adblock on/off button (site per site) and several usability fixes (over 40).
Thanks to Youssef, Gala, Mickael, Nitin, Sisi, Francois, Gugun, Rasitha, Jd (merci!), Sangkan, 4esterBY and everyone who helped.
- Upgraded to Chromium 68.0.3438
- Feature: Adblock on/off (Main Menu)
- Feature: Exit button
- Improved: New Tab Page
- Improved: Layout on AMP pages
- Fix: Disable News on Homepage
- Fix: Forum threads not displayed correctly
- Fix: Issue with reCaptcha
Version Guava (May 07, 2018) This version is more responsive and feels faster on many devices.
It also includes "Night mode", a functionality (experimental) to make websites easier to navigate in low light environments.
- Improved: Application responsiveness
- Feature: Night mode (Menu -> Turn on Night Mode)
- Feature: Disable news on Homepage (Menu -> Home page -> News on Home Page)
Version Feijoa (Apr 28, 2018) * RECOMMENDED UPGRADE *
This version resolves most of crashes from the previous release.
This version is faster (up to 200 ms per every click) so navigation is more responsive.
- Feature: Setting to close all tabs on exit
- Improved: Doesn't ask anymore access to Google account
- Improved: Takes much less space on disk
- Improved: Removed annoyances on Quora, NDTV, Prothomalo, Hamariweb and more
- Improved: Auto-dismiss "Add to Home Screen"
Version Cherry (Apr 15, 2018) - Upgraded to Chromium 67.0.3395
- Much faster release
- Fix: Clicking on button on websites did not react.
- Fix: "More results..." button from Google Search not visible.
- Feature: Homepage button.
- Feature: Screenshots work in Incognito mode.
- Feature: Delete history older than 30 days.
- Improved: Stability
- Improved: YouTube, Maps now play by default in Kiwi.
- Improved: Search terms in the top bar instead of the full URL.
- Improved: Menu when you long press on an image, or a link.
Version Blueberry (Apr 05, 2018)
Fixed ANR on First Start Screen
Every year, the tradition with Kiwi is to announce something big for its anniversary:
- 15 April 2018 - First Kiwi Browser release.
- 15 April 2019 - Kiwi Browser gets support for Chrome Extensions.
- Today, Kiwi Browser for Android is going full open-source, like Chromium or Mozilla Firefox.
Everything is released, including extensions code, no strings attached.
You are even allowed to integrate Kiwi in your commercial browser (yep, Microsoft Edge, Brave and Vivaldi are encouraged to use code) or create your own (if you have custom ROMs for example).
This project represents thousands of hours of work.
Pushing such code is absolutely important, it means that new browsers will be able to support extensions and add new functionalities by reusing the work done on Kiwi Browser. In the past weeks, I worked with other browsers to help them integrate Kiwi functionalities. Hope to see good news soon.
If you want to improve Kiwi, your changes will be reviewed actively on GitHub. If you want to create your own fork, feel free to do so.
My goal is to open new possibilities for anyone to mod their browser with absolute freedom.
Give back the power to the user.
The source-code is now available on GitHub and is now the reference for all future developments. It's in Java and C++. As Chromium build system can be sometimes complex to setup, all the dependencies are already included in the repository.
Feel free to share the news with the modding community and Android lovers around you.