App Review: NetFront Life Browser for Android
NetFront Life Browser
- Stable and intuitive
- Cool features like scrapbook and checkmarks
- Quick filter buttons for search tool
- No pinch-to-zoom support
- Doesn't wrap text or zoom to block width
- Flash overlays the bottom toolbar
Like the stock Android browser, NetFront's offering also comes with a search tool except it's tied to Yahoo. Still, Access has justified this odd move by throwing in quick filter buttons for Twitter, news, weather and Yahoo Answers. The only niggle we have here is that there's no way of entering a URL other than by toggling the search tool first, and then tap the truncated URL bar on the right. We were more puzzled by other issues: the aforementioned tilt mode -- which tilts web pages to a fixed angle rather than tilting freely -- is meant to provide an "optimal readability-lines ratio," but problem is it really doesn't. As you'll see in our video below, this browser doesn't do pinch-to-zooming, and while the zoom buttons -- detachable for centering your zoom -- are easily accessible in portrait and landscape mode, they disappear in tilt mode. Of course, you can always double tap to zoom into a block of text, but guess what? The browser doesn't zoom to the width of the block or wrap the text into the screen. Shame, although we can't imagine this being a difficult fix.
Despite the flaws above, we were very pleased with NetFront Life Browser's stability, speed and intuitiveness. The only real bug we spotted was that Flash content overlays the bottom toolbar, but we'd be surprised if Access struggles to push out a fix within a short period.
Having spent some time using NetFront Life Browser, we're actually growing fond of its handy unique features, and it certainly doesn't feel bloated in any way, shape, or form. What's more, the app is free of charge! There's definitely a lot of potential here, but until pinch-to-zoom is implemented, we'll stick with the other choices for the time being -- there's only so much hair that we could tear out. By all means, have a go yourself if you've been longing for an alternative choice for your Android's browser.