One of the earliest third-party browsers for Android just got a revamp and a relaunch, and its potent combination of speed, presentation and features could be reason enough to drop the Chrome. Aimed at users with Ice Cream Sandwich and higher (the legacy version, which is compatible with earlier OS’s, is free from the developer’s website) the browser is one of the fastest, smoothest and most attractive mobile browsers I’ve ever used.
There are some features that set xScope apart from Chrome, two of which have made my browsing experience significantly more enjoyable. First is a true full-screen mode, which intelligently hides the tab bar and navigation menu when you scroll down the page. The second feature is the ability to return to the top of the page by double=tapping near the top of the browser window, something I’ve been desiring from Android for years (this functionality is built into iOS throughout the OS).
Like xScope of old, the “pin-zoom” functionality is still present, though its purpose is no longer to accomodate for a lack of pinch-to-zoom in the OS (remember those heady Donut days?) Double-tapping anywhere in the browser window and moving your finger up or down will zoom in or out; double-tapping and swiping from left to right will switch between tabs.
Speaking of switching between tabs, you can go back and forward between pages in a single browser window as you would switch between tabs in Chrome. This is accomplished by swiping left and right at the edge of the screen (you can see the effect in the top-right screenshot).
xScope Pro is $2.99 from Google Play.