Web pages would load a lot faster if you didn’t have to deal with the pictures and other graphics, or Javascript and other technologies. That might not be a big problem when you’re surfing the web on a desktop computer with a fast internet connection. But on a mobile device with a slow connection (or a monthly cap on how much data you can use), sometimes it might be nice if you could just view the text on a website.

That’s exactly what TextOnly does. It’s a free web browser for Android that only shows you the viewable text on a website. This helps web pages to load very, very quickly.

Once upon a time before the whole graphical web browser thing caught on, you could surf the web using a text-based browser called Lynx. In fact, it’s still available if you want to give it a try, but most websites don’t look very good when you use it.

But TextOnly is optimized for use on a mobile device, and it does a better job of presenting modern websites in an easy to read way.

Just enter a URL on the start screen and TextOnly will bring up a black page with a list of white hyperlinks. For many websites, this list will basically be a list of articles on the homepage. Click on any of those links and you get a new page that just has text for the headline and articles — plus any hyperlinks included in the body of an article.

You won’t see any logos, sidebars, navigation menus, or other content. That includes advertisements.

If you decided you do want to see a full web page, you can tap a link that says “view the original” to load the original website. For some reason clicking on any link in an article will also take you to a full website instead of a stripped-down, text-only version.

TextOnly isn’t a full-featured web browser. There’s no password manager, and the browser is pretty much useless for conducting web searches — Google.com won’t even load. But there is a bookmark manager so you can save links to your favorite sites for text-only reading.

There’s also a TextOnly website where you can try out the service in a desktop web browser.

via eBook Newser

Brad Linder

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

4 replies on “TextOnly browser for Android saves bandwidth by skipping the pictures”

  1. Of course, I think many modern browsers have a setting that allows you to turn of images. At least Opera Mobile does.

    1. This goes way beyond just shutting down the images though. It strips *everything* from a webpage except for text and links and then reformats it to fit a mobile screen.

      I thought it was an interesting idea when I read about it, but I was surprised at just how fast it was when I actually tried it.

      I’m not sure I’d use it very often, because I kind of like search engines and other interactive web content. But it’s an impressive alternative to a traditional web browser or RSS reader. 

  2. Thanks Brad..I first initially didn’t understand when a user said he is not able to search through my app in a review on Android..but I  now understand..it’s google search..Will try to incorporate it as soon as possible..:)

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