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Loccy's BetterBrowser - now in Donut edition (v1.5: 8th Oct 11am/BST)

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Senior Member
Jul 12, 2005
The important bit - get it here:

Version 1.5 (Donut - also Hero)
Version 1.5 (Cupcake)

I've changed the hosting of these files from 4shite. You shouldn't now have any problems downloading. The new links are hosted at www.androidspin.com - thanks guys!

Optimised version of V1.5 (Donut) (thanks Dwang)
Optimised version of 1.5 (Cupcake) (thanks Hotweiss)

(note ref the optimised versions; Dwang's works fine on my Magic but I haven't tested Hotweiss's. If you have problems try the originals instead.)


Older versions can be found at the bottom of this post.

So what actually is this?

This is a new build of the stock browser, that incorporates the multitouch code from Cyan's build, along with some additional code of my own, primarily intended to make zooming less painful, and looking to gradually move towards an experience as rich as the Hero browser.

What does it do that's new, then?

* option in settings to disable the obnoxious on-screen zoom buttons that usually appear whenever you so much as breathe on the screen (turn off "Visual Zoom Controls" in the menu to get rid of them - off by default).
* when Visual Zoom Controls is disabled, option in settings to add zoom in and zoom out to the menu (although this will bump over options that are normally on the main menu to the "More..." list)
* Double-tap the screen to zoom in. When it gets too ginormous (about four zooms) a subsequent double-tap will zoom all the way out. Or you can just change this in the settings so double-tap always zooms in. Obviously it still has the multitouch option too from Cyan's code.
* Triple-tap to zoom out! (which I am particularly pleased about given that such an event doesn't actually exist in Android :D)
* Click top-right corner to pull down address bar. Click top-left corner to go back to homepage. Click top-left when on homepage to exit browser (i.e. "clear" it from memory insofar as Android apps ever get cleared from memory).
* Click bottom left to go to previous tab, bottom right to go to next tab.
* Maintain zoom level across a domain, so that when you get a comfortable viewing size, you don't lose it the second you move to the next page on a site.
* Maximum number of tabs increased from 8 to 32.
* As requested by fastludeh22, an option for "Mobile Web Settings". Select from Android, iPhone or Desktop browsing.
* As requested by fit333 (and who was as good as his word, and donated :D), an option to lock in landscape mode.
* setting to enable hiding/showing of notification bar. Note that this needs the entire Browser process to be restarted to take effect (so use the top-left click to go home, click again to quit the browser, and then reload to see the effect).

What do I need to run it?

Well, a Cupcake or Donut based rooted Android phone, basically. Make sure you download the correct version. If you are installing on Hero, you might need to wipe all the application data otherwise you'll get force closes.

How do I install it?

The only "safe" way is to push it with ADB. Delete /system/app/Browser.apk and any Browser.odex. Then adb push my browser into /system/app/Browser.apk. Many people had success on Cupcake by just installing via file managers. I managed to upgrade - note, UPGRADE, not install from scratch - by downloading it on my phone from the download link. It'll tell you this is a system application, do you want to update it - say yes. This was on Dwang's Donut ROM. However, the only method I'll "support" is via ADB because it's all so variable. ADB should (in theory) work on any ROM.

I installed your browser and now I can't browse the interweb, my phone exploded, I lost my job and suffered an embarrassing rectal prolapse in a public place. I blame you!

Thank you, please call again. All purchases are final. I would suggest that one uses a program to back up your bookmarks at the very least before installing this.

This is the best thing since self removing trousers! What do I do now?
Send me money by clicking here.

Future improvements I'm hoping to do:

* A proper full screen option (i.e. where you'd also hide the title bar as well as the notification bar, and only show it when pages are loading)
* Hero-style lairy Mac coverflow-esque bookmarks (some way off in the future methinks!)
* tidy up what behind the scenes is, unfortunately, some really kludgey code!

Thanks go to:

* Cyan, obviously, without whom none of this would have been possible, and whose ROMs continue to break new levels of awesomeness
* makethetick, who pointed me in the right direction for the code in the first places

Raspberries go to certain individuals in this thread.


Version 1.4.3
Version 1.4.2
Version 1.4.1
Version 1.4
Version 1.3
Version 1.2
1.1 (hide notification bar)
1.1a (notification bar left intact)

Hate the way the Android browser throws zoom controls in your face whenever you so much as breathe on the screen? Double-tap to zoom sound like your bag? Or maybe you want the option to view non-mobile versions of websites? Try my BetterBrowser.

Crazy enough to want to send me money? Click here!

Yes, I've gone to the dark side and dipped my toe in this social networking smeg. Follow my Twitter here.
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Senior Member
Jul 12, 2005
Loccy's BetterBrowser - new stuff and bug fixes (v1.5: 7th Sep 11:30am/BST)

Changes for 1.5

* Bottom left/right corner click to cycle between tabs (so bottom left goes to previous tab, bottom right goes next)

* Slight change to top bar behaviour, because a couple of people didn't like it and were being put off upgrading. Top left corner to go back to the home page (and then again to quit the browser) is as it used to be. Pulling the address bar down is now top right corner rather than everywhere across the title bar - many people were complaining that they kept doing it accidentally so I've made it a little more "deliberate".

* Removed zoom in/out menu options. They were an early feature before I figured out double/triple tap, were buggy anyway (and non-existent in Cyan's implementation for Donut, even though the menu option was still there!) and I suspect no bugger used them any more.

* Glorious Donutty goodness! (i.e. you don't need to wait for Cyan to incorporate my changes, or suffer dodgy screwed up icons if you install the Cupcake version). I used Cyan's Donut branch as a base. He'd manually pasted in the code from my Cupcake based builds to create this in the first place, a real tedious and laborious process that I now didn't need to do, so many thanks for him for that.

Changes for 1.4.3

* Fix/change for maintain current zoom level across page loads. Now, it only maintains zoom across a domain (so if you're on site xyz.com, and zoom out to a comfortable level there, it'll maintain the sizing across pages on that site. When you go to another site abc.com, that one will start out at zoom level 1. This has the side effect of fixing the column-sizing issue that affected most sites but was most prevalent on mobile sites).

* Slight refinement to the top-corner and top-bar click algorithms. Should work a lot better now for those of you who have the notification bar visible when in the browser.

* Increased maximum number of tabs from 8 to 32. Not sure how this'll hold up, memory-wise - feedback please.

Changes for 1.4.2

* Maintain current zoom level across page loads (so it doesn't suddenly zoom back in whenever you go to another page)

* Fix for top bar clicks (i.e. click title bar to pull down address bar, click top left to go home) when notification bar not hidden.

Release notes/changes for 1.4/1.4.1

* fix to force close on mobile sites when double tap zoom cycle goes back
to the "all the way out" setting (and this time it's DEFINITELY fixed :D)

* you can now double-tap/triple-tap anywhere on a page to zoom - previously, you'd have had to avoid areas where there were links, otherwise the link would start to load before your zoom would happen.

* setting to change triple tap delay value in advanced settings (so the
lower the setting, the more responsive double-taps are, but the quicker
you have to get your triple-tap in!)

* setting to change double-tap behaviour, between the existing zoom cycle,
and also now just a simple zoom out only setting (so if you want to just
keep it simple, and have double-tap to zoom in, triple tap to zoom out,
the latter will be the setting for you). How many zooms this will result in per cycle will depend on the page you're viewing.

* change to double-tap zoom cycle behaviour - now zooms ALL the way out
to give a true page overview, and also introduces an intermediate step
between page overview and 1:1 zoom (this is a nice level for sites with
big fonts, eg. aintitcool.com)

* click title bar (or top of screen) to bring down the address/search bar

* click top left of screen to go to home page. Click it a second time when on the home page to exit the browser completely (or double-click from elsewhere).
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Senior Member
Jun 17, 2009
cover flow

It would be great if u could add the cover flow feature that the hero browser has for bookmarks and Thanks a lot those buttons kept getting in my way to.


Senior Member
Jul 12, 2005
I do need to uninstall the old browser apk first? Probably so.

mount and push APK to /system/app

do I need to chmod? and if so what is the number? 775?


Your Guinie Pig!


Yes, I'd uninstall the old browser first.

Install would go something like this, from your command line on your PC:

adb remount
adb shell
cd /system/app
mv Browser.apk Browser.original
adb push Browser-cyan-pn-mod2.apk /system/app/Browser.apk

It would be great if u could add the cover flow feature that the hero browser has for bookmarks and Thanks a lot those buttons kept getting in my way to.

Bloody hell. It's taken me a week to get this far :D


Senior Member
Apr 2, 2009
Little Rock, AR
I think the zoom buttons can be beneficial sometimes instead of multitouch zoom for situations when you are using the phone with one hand. That's when I have use for them. But I guess if the double tap feature from Hero were implemented, this would have the same effect. Good job on the idea tho and keep up the hard work! :)


Senior Member
Dec 10, 2007
The double tap from hero would be nice :) good work on this.

Anyway you could post detailed uninstall old and install new instructions? Maybe terminal and adb commands?


Senior Member
Jun 9, 2009
Big Bear City, Ca
Works Great!

This was a really cool idea! I also would like to be able to double tap as well.
One more would be a way to get the screen back to original size without having to go back or open a new page.

I installed completely through terminal.apk

Good Job!


Senior Member
Jun 17, 2009
no rush

Thanks for the intallation info. No rush take your time. I know u just posted this not too long ago. Think of it this way though if u could get that cover flow going for the bookmarks that would be a major breakthrough for u cause then the rest of the devs would have to come to u for help. I think Hycuro had it to but with a second home launcher from the hero built. Thanks again.


Senior Member
Jul 27, 2008
I installed completely through terminal.apk

Good Job!

I mounted /system and rm -r to remove the original Browser.apk and com.android.browser in /data/data.

Then did the following..note that I renamed the apk to Browser.apk:

mount -o remount,rw -t yaffs2 /dev/block/mtdblk3 /system
cd sdcard
install Browser.apk /system/app/Browser.apk

Edit: Everything works fine.
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