Category Archives: Browsers
Latest UC Browser 9.4 (Signed Java Version) Modified to Remove the Virtual Keypad On Samsung, LG and Other Touchscreen Phones
I did a post a while ago explaining how to modify Opera Mini's jad file to hide the unneeded touch keypad that displays at the bottom of the screen on some touchscreen phones. The post included a link to the modified Opera Mini. I received a request asking for a copy of the latest signed Java version of UC Browser modified to hide the keypad.
The process for modifying the UC Browser or any other Java app is exactly the same as what was described in the original post:
1.Download the app's jad file to a PC. You can get UC Browser jad files (signed or unsigned ) at http://www.ucweb.com/ucbrowser/download/
2. Open the downloaded mini.jad with a text editor or Windows Wordpad
3. Scroll to the bottom of the file and paste in the following lines:
4. Upload the file to Dropbox.com or another file sharing service that is easy to use in your phone browser. Click here to get a free 2GB Dropbox account (by using this referral link I get an extra 250 MB of storage in my Dropbox which I thank you for).
5. Visit Dropbox with your phone browser and click the modified mini.jad link to download it to your phone.
If that didn't work or you don't have a PC or are just in a hurry, here's are links to the latest signed version of the UC browser as well as some older versions.
UC Browser 9.4 (16-Nov-2013) The latest "full" UC Browser release. According to UC, new features are:
- Watching Youtube now is supported on more phone models.
- The problem of automatically logging-out from some websites has been solved.
- Smaller size for a faster startup speed.
- Touch-screen phone models can now preview uploaded pictures.
- Indian customer service hotline now is available.
To install, go to is.gd/uc94touch with your phone's browser.
UC Browser 9.3 (24-Sept-2013) The latest "full" (non-cloud) UC Browser release. According to UC, the new features in this version are: a smaller install package, user interface changes, increased stability and two new themes.
To install, go to is.gd/uc93touch with your phone's browser.
UC Browser 9.2 (5-Aug-2013) A "full" (non-cloud) UC Browser release. New features: smaller file Size, optimized night mode, new hot words search, password saving on HTTPS webpages is now supported.
To install, go to is.gd/uc92ts with your phone's browser.
UC Browser 9.1 (25-Jun-2013) A "full" (non-cloud) UC Browser release. New features include: bitmap fonts let you read pages in Arabic, Persian, Urdu, and Hindi, even if your phone doesn't support these languages, support for the Bengali language , support for eMule and FTP downloads and bug fixes.
Download the modified UC Browser 9.1 jad at:
Short Link: is.gd/uc91ts
To install, go to is.gd/uc91ts with your phone's browser.
UC Browser 9.0 (25-Apr-2013) A "full" (non-cloud) UC Browser release. New features include: Fast Video and Audio Playing using the UDisk cloud service, password manager works on more sites including Facebook and GMail, improved usability especially on touch screen phones and bug fixes.
Download the modified UC Browser 9.0 jad at:
Short Link: is.gd/uc90ts
To install, go to is.gd/uc90ts with your phone's browser.
UC Browser 8.9 (29-Jan-2012) A "full" (non-cloud) UC Browser release. New features include: Incognito Browsing, Improved Search Bar, Select and Copy and Optimized Text Input
Download the modified UC Browser 8.9 jad at:
Short Link: is.gd/uc89touch To install, go to is.gd/uc89touch with your phone's browser.
UC Browser 8.8 (25-Dec-2012) Another "full" (non-cloud) UC Browser release. New features include: increased download speed, customizable shortcut keys and an improved File Manager.
Download the modified UC Browser 8.8 jad at: dl.dropbox.com/u/4637247/UCBrowser_V184.108.40.206_Java_pf70_%28Build12122410%29.jad
Short Link: is.gd/uc88touch To install it, go to is.gd/uc88touch with your phone's browser.
UC Browser 8.7 (7-Nov-2012) This is a "full" (non-cloud) UC Browser release. New features include: users can switch between multiple accounts when signing in to a website, long press the OK button to invoke the Actions menu, users can save pages directly without changing the page name.
Download the modified UC Browser 8.7 jad at:
Short Link: is.gd/uc87touch To install it, go to is.gd/uc87touch with your phone's browser.
UC Browser 8.6. (20-Sept-2012): This is a "full (non-cloud) UC Browser release. New features in this release are: full offline download support with synchronous status shown in the download manager, you can now preview the images before uploading, "clear all history" option before exiting UC Browser added, new options to disable the virtual keyboard, faster uploads and display of the upload speed in KB/sec while uploading. This version uses the new user interface from the cloud version with different menus for touch screen and non touch screen phones
Download the modified UC Browser 8.6 jad at: dl.dropbox.com/u/4637247/UCBrowser_V220.127.116.11_Java_pf70_%28Build12092011%29.jad
Short link: is.gd/uc860touch To install it, go to is.gd/uc860touch with your phone browser.
UC Cloud Browser 8.5 (6-Sept-2012): This is first non-Beta version of the UC Cloud Browser, a redesign of the original UC browser optimized for smaller download size and faster page loads. New features in this release are: new user interface with different menus for touch screen and non touch screen phones. Supports copy and paste in the URL bar and all input fields. New screen brightness setting. New share image on Facebook feature. New Game Center free game download store.
I've posted the modified UC Cloud Browser 8.5 jad at: dl.dropbox.com/u/4637247/UCBrowser_V18.104.22.168_Java_pf83_%28Build12082909%29.jad
Short link: is.gd/uc85touch. To install it, go to is.gd/uc85touch with your phone browser.
UC Browser 8.4 (23-Jul-2012):. Major changes are: simplified theme installation, the traffic statistics display is back, the link to browsing history has been moved to the top of the bookmarks page and a there's a new Tools > Phone menu option for making phone call or send a texts from within the browser. See my review for more about 8.4: UC Browser 8.4 for Java Released With Bug Fixes, New Features.
UC Browser 8.3 Alpha (7-Jun-2012): New features include; UDisk cloud based storage and the App Gallery, a new home screen tab providing quick access to UDisk, bookmark backup and restore and the Quick Reads news deader.
Short link: is.gd/uc83touch. To install it, go to db.tt/ajY88aHm with your phone browser.
UC Browser 8.2.1 Production (non-Beta) (20-Apr-2012): New features include a built in RSS reader and bookmark backup and restore. See my review for more details.
Short link: db.tt/ajY88aHm. To install it, go to db.tt/ajY88aHm with your phone browser.
UC Browser 8.2 Alpha (21-Mar-2012): It features many enhancements and bug fixes see my review for details. This is the latest patch release that adds swipe navigation and fixes a bug that made entering URLs on bada phones impossible:
Short link: is.gd/uc82touch. To install it, go to is.gd/uc82touch with your phone browser.
UC Browser 8.0 (1-Feb-2012):
Short link: is.gd/uc8touch. To install it, go to is.gd/uc8touch with your phone browser.
Opera Software's Webkit/Blink based Opera Browser for Android, currently at Version 16.0 keeps getting better with every release. I especially like it because it lets me try the latest Blink engine on my older Gingerbread phones that can't run Chrome Browser.
Although the Opera Browser is coming along well in terms of performance and stability it's still lacking some basic features like the ability to edit, import or sync bookmarks. That's because there's no real support for the Opera Link bookmark synchronization which has been part of every Opera browser since 2008.
Actually, Opera Browser CAN import bookmarks from the old Presto based Opera Mobile browser - which in turn does support Opera Link. The trick is to have Opera Mobile installed and then install the Opera Browser over the top of it replacing Opera Mobile. During the install all of Opera Mobile's Speed Dial shortcuts and bookmarks will be imported. So to get all your Opera Link bookmarks and Speed Dials in the Opera Browser you just have to install Opera Mobile, sync once with Opera Link and then install Opera Browser.
That would be easy except that Opera Mobile for Android has disappeared from the Play Store and the Opera site. Well not actually disappeared, it's been renamed Opera Classic so that it can be installed alongside Opera Browser. That's nice but it also means that if you didn't have Opera Mobile installed when you first installed the Opera Browser you missed your only chance to import your bookmarks.
Fortunately there is a workaround that lets you do a one-time import of your Opera Link Speed Dial and bookmarks. Before I installed Opera Browser I made a backup of the last release of Opera Mobile, version 12.1.14. I've put a copy of the Opera Mobile .apk on the Wap Review Download page. So if you want your Opera Link Speed Dial and bookmarks in Opera Mobile here's what you need to do:
- Download and install Opera Mobile 12.1.14 from here: wapreview.com/dwnld/Opera Mobile_12.1.4.apk
- Run Opera Mobile, enable Opera Link (Menu > Settings > Opera Link) and wait for it to finish synchronizing
- Install Opera Browser from the Play Store. If you are running Gingerbread you won't see the Opera Browser in the Play Store but you can download it directly from Opera at: choice.opera.com/mobile/download/versions/ and in most cases it will work.
When Opera Browser launches you will see all your Speed Dial shortcuts plus a new one labeled "Legacy Bookmarks". Click to see your imported bookmarks. It you have saved some bookmarklets in Opera Link they will be imported too but will only work in the Opera Browser's Opera Mini based "OffRoad Mode" not in direct mode.
Opera Software has released an updated Beta of their Chrome/Webkit based Opera Browser for Android. According to Opera the changes in this version include:
- Chromium upgrade to version 29
- Compression method change in Off-road mode
- Improvements in download manager
- Improved NFC communication
- Various stability and performance fixes
Opera wants Beta testers to concentrate on testing Off-road mode, so it's enabled by default in this version. I switched freely between the two modes and didn't see any differences in rendering and performance between them. So it seems we are getting reduced data use "for free" with no loss in functionality.
I tested the new Opera Browser Beta on my somewhat dated Motorola Photon 4G, which although it has a dual core processor and 1 GB of RAM, is stuck on Gingerbread due a lack of display and camera drivers compatible with current Android kernels.
The Opera Beta ran quite well on the Photon except for an annoying and unexpected bug. For some reason the Opera Browser displayed all text on every page using a serif font (image below, left), completely ignoring the font-families specified by the page's designers. The font issue seems to be specific to either the Photon or Gingerbread as it didn't occur on my wife's Nexus S running Jellybean.
Except for the ugly font issue, Opera worked pretty well on the Photon with accurate rendering, mostly good usability and smooth scrolling, although the browser did sometimes freeze for several seconds while loading large pages.
On the Nexus, which has a single core processor and only 512 MB of RAM, performance was a bit degraded compared to Opera Mobile Classic or the Android browser. Opera Beta performed much like the Chrome browser on the same phone. It was usable but scrolling wasn't particularly fluid and moving between fields on some web forms caused the browser to freeze momentarily.
On the more powerful Photon, the browser was usable on every site I tried except Quartz's qz.com responsive site which is kind of an acid test for mobile browsers. The only browsers I've used that Quartz works properly in are iOS Safari and Firefox Mobile. Not surprisingly, the Opera Browser Beta struggled with Quartz, frequently displaying blank pages and freezing when I tried to scroll.
The latest Opera Browser was stable on both devices. In my testing I used the Beta for about 5 hours over several days. The browser never crashed or force closed but a couple of times it encountered an error and displayed a sad cat graphic. In both cases I was able to recover by refreshing the page.
Overall I'd rate the latest Opera Browser Beta a worthwhile upgrade from previous versions. Stability is improved and the new Off-road works properly with many more sites, although it doesn't seem to be as good at reducing data consumption as the old Opera Mini based one. Over the course of my testing Off-road mode reported that it had reduced data traffic by 60%. The old Opera Mini based Off-road mode typically achieved better than 80% data savings.
In spite of the improvements I'm not ready to make the Opera Browser my daily driver for for a couple of reasons. The font problem is an obvious show stopper but it it doesn't effect the majority of devices, just mine.
A bigger problem that effects everyone is Opera's lack of proper bookmark management. It's possible to bookmark the page that you are viewing but there's no way to edit bookmarks and that means no bookmarklets. I can't live with a browser that doesn't support bookmarklets, which I use multiple times every day for things like saving interesting content on pinboad.in, sharing it on social media, translating pages with Google translate, viewing a page's http headers or its Google Page Rank or a host's whois information or fixing a page's with unreadably low contrast text. You can partially work around the lack of bookmarklet support by installing a bunch of apps, but that adds unnecessary bloat to your device to support something that every other Android browser supports out of the box.
Opera Browser Beta 16 for Android is available in the Play Store for most devices running Android 2.3 or latter.
When I reviewed UC Browser Mini 8.6 for Android last month I was pleasantly surprised that it was able to load almost every site I tried. Even more impressive was how well the browser rendered popular sites including Twitter and Google Plus. Mini 8.6 seemed to be much improved compared with previous UC Browser Mini versions that had rather inaccurate rendering and a tendency to throw errors when asked to open a number of pages.
UC Browser Mini is proxy browser like Opera Mini or Nokia Xpress. It users a cloud service to retrieve and render Web pages and compress them before sending them to the thin client browser on the phone. The proxy architecture has the advantage of greatly reducing the amount of data sent over the mobile network. Browsing with UC Browser Mini typically uses 80% less mobile data than with a conventional direct browser like the Android Browser.
UC Browser Mini is actually a dual mode browser. It has proxy mode (called Speed Mode) and a direct mode that bypasses the proxy and uses the Android Webkit browser engine directly access the web. Users can switch between Speed and Direct mode using a button in the left corner of the browser's header.
I think I've discovered the secret to UC Mini's new found site compatibility and rendering accuracy and it's rather sneaky. On popular sites that the proxy can't handle well or at all the browser silently switches to its non-proxy Webkit based direct mode even though the user has selected "Speed" (proxy) mode.
The screenshots demonstrate what I think is happening. At the top are images showing the WapReview mobile homepage in (left to right) UC Mini's Speed (proxy) and direct modes and in the Android Gingerbread browser. UC Mini does use its proxy on WapReview, as evidenced by rendering differences (like the non-floated images) in the screenshot compared with the other two. The images directly above and below show Twitter.com and plus.google.com in the same order. As you can see, UC Mini's rendering of Twitter and Google+ in its alleged proxy mode is identical to its direct mode and to that of the Android browser.
As further evidence of what's happening, here's a table comparing the data consumed while loading the three sites in both UC Browser modes and in the Android browser. The browser's cache was cleared between each test and I used the 3G Watchdog Android app was used to measure data consumption.
|Site||UC Mini Proxy||UC Mini Direct||Android Browser|
|WapReview||40 KB||150 KB||140 KB|
|710 KB||720 KB||690 KB|
|Google+||1250 KB||1270 KB||1210 KB|
It seems obvious that even though I've selected proxy mode, UC Mini is using direct mode when visiting Twitter or Google Plus. This trick makes the browser seem better than it really is but it also misleads the user into thinking they are using less data than they are.
Last week UC released UC Browser Mini 8.7. It's a minor update to 8.6 that according to UC includes speed and stability enhancements, a smaller file size and support for the Russian, Spanish and Portuguese languages. I've confirmed that 8.7, like 8.6, bypasses the proxy in proxy mode on Twitter, Google+ and probably other sites.