Ahoi hoi! [waves at everyone] So it’s a new year and that means the holidays are behind us and I can finally get back into the groove of posting these regularly. And for those who are new year, and it certainly seems like there are a ton of new people because I honestly don’t recognize all the names I see anymore, I am bangishotyou and when it comes to Android and related items I am all over it insofar as news goes. I mean I read anything and everything for the most part related to Android, I get lots of hands on time with various devices due to work or tinkering at home, and so on and so forth. So this is my way of sharing any interesting info or thoughts with all of you who don’t spend your day on the various Android and tech related sites. I do the hard work of filtering it down to the essentials and “must knows” so you don’t have to.

All that being said I want to point out something, specifically the title of the post. Previously these went by “Wednesday Android Update” and that was primarily due to the fact that Google tends to update their apps on Wednesdays. However, they’ve changed that over the past few months and while they still primarily keep updates to Wednesdays it’s not uncommon to see them updated either the day before or day after. So going forward the post will simply be titled “All Things Android”.

On top of that life has gotten to a point where it’s not always possible to do these posts specifically on Wednesdays, at least not without feeling rushed and worrying that I’m just trying to churn them out to keep them consistent . So the new change for the new year is as follows: These will go up on Wednesdays or Fridays from now on, mostly because that gives me some leeway for those weeks where things are either incredibly slow or ridiculous busy in the world of Android. This week being an example of a “goddamnit, stop with the news already”, for those who don’t know this week is CES and that means there’s been a lot of tech news (not all Android related) and as a tech enthusiast it’s proven hard for me to keep up with all of it and naturally that means I’ll spend a significant amount of time this weekend just catching up on everything that was announced and discussed this week.

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And now back to your regularly scheduled programming, although given how I’m barely getting back into the groove of things after a two month pause I’ll try and keep today’s post a bit brief.

CAF Chromium Browser

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EDIT npBrowser (now the official name of the one below) is now in the Play Store! If you’re currently using CAF Chromium Browser uninstall it and then install the Play Store version, otherwise you’ll get an error when you try and install the Play Store one. Once you do that it’ll install fine and you’ll be even more up to date than you currently are and won’t have to worry about updating manually anymore.

CAF Chromium Browser is basically a version of Chrome that has been optimized for Qualcomm devices. (If you don’t know if you have a Qualcomm device just tell me what device you have in the comments and I’ll let you know if you do or don’t.)

Seriously, that’s pretty much all it is. However, with said optimization comes a few things. Namely it’s snappier and more responsive than stock Chrome and also it has a few features that have been built into the browser that most people would likely find useful in one capacity or another. What are these features? Night mode and built-in ad blocking.

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I’ve been using this for some time now and I like it, the built in ad blocking is a serious plus when it comes to browsing the web and reading a number of articles as I’m prone to doing on my phone throughout the day when not chained to my desk.

I should point out that while I specifically mentioned that this is geared mostly towards Qualcomm devices it isn’t limited as such, you can use this browser on any device but that “snappier” feel I mentioned earlier will only be noticed on devices that have a Qualcomm processor.

Chromer

For this one I’m gonna skip the write-up and instead suggest you watch the following video found on Chromer’s Play Store description page.

Combining Chromer with Chrome (or Chrome Dev or even CAF Chromium Browser in my case) means you no longer have to leave apps to view any links contained therein. Gone will be the days of tapping a link and then being launched out of the app and into your preferred browser of choice.

What you see directly above is what you’ll see when you first launch the app, a simple explanation on what it does and how to use it.

And what you see above are the options you can enable once you’ve passed those initial explainer screens.

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EDIT: Additional info, I hadn’t realized it yet because somehow I hadn’t had a reason to do so but I just now received a link from my bestie via Google Messenger and upon clicking it Chromer launched it from within the app. I know that’s the point of Chromer but it’s so weird and awesome to see that this works in at least one app that most of us make use of on a daily basis, that being our texting and messaging apps.

Block This!

But hey, maybe you’re perfectly happy using your stock browser whatever it may be and maybe you don’t see a need for Chrome custom tabs. Maybe you’re happy with everything as is. I mean people get used to doing things a certain way and why change what works, right? But let’s be honest here, if there was one thing we could all change about the internet it would definitely be getting rid of all the ads and popups and everything that annoys the hell out of us or makes visiting some sites absolute hell.

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That’s where an app like Block This! comes in.

Block This is the app we deserve and need right now.

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The only negative I personally have found for the app is that if you aren’t using the Pro version then you need to re-enable it after any device restart. Adguard, a similar app, does not require re-enabling. However, Adguard is also not available in the Play Store and so isn’t as easily updated.

Not a bad start to the year

So there you have it, a not that long post that should help you get your browsing on while mobile. Not too shabby for the first post of the year.

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If you have any questions, comments, complaints, etc feel free to chime in below and I’ll get to them as I can. And that goes doubly so for future posts you’d like to see, I’m always open to suggestions and topics that people want to see covered.