Android App of the Week: Miren Browser
Miren Browser isn’t exactly a unique proposition – after all, Android’s Market boasts dozens of third-party browsers – but this new contender boasts a shedload of features alongside one of the slickest interfaces we've seen.
It’s much easier to use than many of its rivals, which are feature-packed but often fiddly. Open a page in Miren and it’ll default to its full-screen view – which automatically hides Android’s status bar, too – so you can take advantage of every one of your device's precious pixels.
Navigation options are both useful and unobtrusive, hidden in the corners of the screen and fading from view if they're not in use. The right-hand corner houses a button to open Miren’s address bar as well as a handy loading dial, and the bottom-left corner provides a back button. The top of the screen provides links to your tabs alongside a small symbol to open a new page.
Desktop-style features are present elsewhere to make life easier. Chrome users will be familiar with the eight thumbnail images of your favourite sites that appear on boot, and they're present here, too, alongside links to your bookmarks, history and downloads. Those eight thumbnails can also be customised with links to either a selection of bookmarks or simply the sites you visit most.
Delve into Miren’s intuitive interface and more options become available. A small star beside the address bar lets you easily bookmark a page, and the address bar will bring up likely URLs and search suggestions once you've started typing - an invaluable feature that'll be familiar to any Chrome or Firexox users.
The settings menu is divided into basic and advanced modes, with the former providing simple text side, image loading and cache-clearing options and the latter allowing you to delve into much more detail.
Flash can be disabled, for instance, if you’d prefer the full iPhone browsing experience, and a whole range of page zooming, pop-up blocking and encoding settings can be tweaked. Privacy and security options include clearing your cache, history, cookies and form data, and your passwords can be remembered or cleared with the click of a button.
Miren has options beyond those of other Android browsers, too. Your bookmarks and data can be automatically backed up to your phone and imported from your SD card, and the full-screen mode’s floating buttons can be deactivated or set to automatically fade from view if you’re not using them. There’s even a neat option to pause all downloads if you’re not longer using Wi-Fi, to ensure that you don’t incur high data charges. The only thing we're missing, at least on the surface, is the option to enable desktop rather than mobile versions of sites.
It has almost all the options you'd want, packed into one of the best interfaces we've seen of any browser on the Android platform. It's free, available right now and is our Android App of the Week - so what are you waiting for?