The xScope web browser for Google Android has been one of the most feature-packed Android browsers since its earliest days, thanks to support for tabs, a speed-dial like function, a full screen mode and a built-in file browser. But to be honest, I was never all that taken with the user interface which kind of looked like it was slapped together to be functional rather than attractive.

Now the developer has launched xScope 6 and while it has all the same features as earlier versions it has a completely redesigned user interface which is actually kind of stunning — although perhaps a bit too flashy using the default settings.

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When you tap the screen, a semi-transparent bar pops up showing you buttons for your home page, refresh, back, forward, browser tabs, and additional settings. Tap the tabs button and you’ll see thumbnail icons of open web pages plus a button to press to open a new tab. You can also flip between open tabs by scrolling to the left or right edge of a web page and then flicking past the edge. This will bring up the next or previous web page in your list of open tabs.

The app also features slick animations when you’re bringing up the menu, flipping through tabs, or performing other actions. But I feel like they can waste a bit of time. Fortunately you can disable the animations from the settings menu, as well as tweak the default zoom level for new pages, the page layout, user agent, and other settings.

One thing that bugs me a little bit was the reliance on icons instead of text for some menu options. Several times while testing the app, I clicked on the Power icon and exited the app when I meant to click on the icon next to it to open the settings menu. Both icons show circular objects and it’s a bit easy to get them confused at first, although I suspect you’d get used to them after using the browser for a while.

There’s a free trial version of xScope available from the Android Market which appears to be fully functional, but which says “Trial Version” in large text along the bottom of the screen. The full version of xScope 6 costs $2.99.

via Droid Life

Brad Linder

Brad Linder is editor of Liliputing and Mobiputing.He's been tinkering with mobile tech for decades and writing about it since...