SPIDERSS For Android: Browser, RSS Reader And Social Network Update Aggregator In One

Tokyo-based jig.jp has been developing mobile browsers since 2003, claiming its “jig browser (which was downloaded over 4 million times so far) is the world’s first Java-based browser that made it possible to view PC sites on cell phones. And now the company has released an ambitious Android app called SPIDERSS, which combines a browser with an RSS reader and an aggregator for social network updates.

Available in English and Japanese, the free app’s main selling point is that all elements are accessible from a single screen: You can either choose to directly type in a URL or search term in the top bar (to then open a full browser window), check your Facebook newsfeed and Twitter timeline in the “Application Deck” under that or scroll through your RSS feeds in the bottom part. All feeds and web pages can be easily shared by SMS, Email, Twitter or Facebook with the push of a button.

The Webkit-based browser supports HTML 4.0.1/XHTML 1.1 and JavaScript 1.5, provides native support for the VGA and QVGA resolutions and can be used with Android OS 1.5 or higher (full specs). Feed formats supported include RSS (0.9, 0.91, 1.0 and 2.0) and ATOM (0.3 and 1.0). Users can bookmark pages, use tabs, choose between four different search engines, keep a record of links visited etc.

The browser is pretty hard to use though, as it “magnifies” websites, displaying the top left part first (skip to 1.00 in the video below to see what I mean). SPIDERSS does offer different layouts and a zoom-out function (50% maximum), but still, most of the times you need to scroll in various directions to view a website in its entirety.


But SPIDERSS is still in beta, with jig.jp saying future updates will bring a better overall browsing experience and additional functions (versions for Nokia (Ovi) and Windows phones are scheduled for release in the near future). The app is free, so take it for a spin if you’re not satisfied with your current Android browser.

Other Android browsers available or currently in development include Opera Mini, Steel, Dolphin, Firefox Mobile and Skyfire.