There are generally two ways to zoom in and out of web pages and images on Google Android devices: You can use two fingers to pinch and zoom or double tap with a single finger to zoom. The xScope web browser offers a third way. Double tap, hold, and drag your finger left and right to zoom in and out. It may sound like a complicated maneuver, but if you’re holding a phone in one hand, or if you have a device that doesn’t support multitouch, it’s actually really easy to use. And it’s far faster and more precise than Android’s vanilla double-tap to zoom feature.
But that’s just one of the things that makes xScope worth checking out. I’ve shot a brief video of the user interface, which you can check out after the break. But here are just a few of the cool features in this browser:
- Full screen mode which removes the Android taskbar
- Scroll on the xScope address bar to reveal additional functions
- Create new tabs by tapping and holding a link, or hitting the tab button from the address bar
- Optional feature lets you scroll up and down using your phone’s volume buttons
- Ability to set the default page zoom level
- Start page offers an Opera Speed Dial-like list of bookmarks
- Built in downloader and file browser
- Task manager lets you kill running tasks to free up memory
The xScope browser comes in free and paid versions, with the full version costing $2.99. The paid version offers the ability to store more favorites and to open files, but the free version is quite functional. In fact, it’s the first third party browser I’ve tried that I like enough to seriously consider making my default browser.
There are two versions of xScope, with one version designed to run on Android 2.0 and newer devices, while another build is available (without multitouch support) for Android 1.6 and older devices. Both versions are available in the Android Market.