Browsy 1.2 - Above and Beyond

Submitted by Sl on Mon, 16/05/16 - 20:36

Almost a year ago, at the beginning of June, a few weeks before the release of Browsy 1.1, I started working on version 1.2 of Browsy. Throughout the year, I worked on a lot of different things for the app (and Sl's Repository in general) and today is the day to finally reveal this big update.

Browsy 1.2 goes above and beyond your iPhone with a ton of new features.

Here's everything about the new features:

New Views

The Reading View

Last year, right after the release of Browsy 1.0, Marky, the API originally created by Brett Terpstra to Markdownify the web, was moved here to Sl's Repository Ltd. I announced this move and promised some big improvements to Marky with the release of Browsy 1.1, and with Browsy 1.2 I'm proud to reveal the new Reading View, powered by Marky.
The Reading View allows you to read all of your favorite websites in a clean layout without any ads, menus or other content. Something that services like Pocket and Instapaper have been doing for years. But why read later when you can read now? Use the new Reading View or the Marky website, to read and share your favorite websites comfortably wherever and whenever you want, with different fonts and an optional dark mode.
You can also use the URL Scheme to open a URL in the reading view immediately, using browsy://?readq=(Your URL or Search Term).
You can dismiss the view with a tap on the X button or with a swipe from the top.

The Tabs View

Browsy now has support for multiple tabs. I don't really know what else can be said about Tabs, but I worked a lot on this feature and I hope you'll like it.

The Notes View

The New Notes View allows you to write quick thoughts, ideas and remarks you have while watching videos, reading and browsing and then allows you send that text to other apps.
The Notes view also includes an extra keyboard row that allows you to move the cursor with a swipe, select text with a two-finger swipe and move to the start or the end of the view with a double tap with two fingers on the edges of the row.
To hide the buttons on the Notes view, you can swipe right with 3 fingers. You can also dismiss the view with a swipe from the top if you hide the Close button.

New Settings

Disable Cache

From the start, Browsy was designed with Privacy in mind. Previously, due to the way Apple's WKWebView is built, cookies and other website data were cached while using Browsy, but were never accesible. Now with the new Disable Cache feature, you can disable the caching of this data for each tab.
With Disable Cache enabled, no website data will be cached and you'll be logged out of any website you log into.
Disable Cache is enabled per tab, meaning you can have one tab with the cache enabled and another with it disabled, enabling Disable Cache is not universal and does not change any tabs you already had open.

Recent Sites

Some users of Browsy asked for a way to make visiting frequently used sites quicker, so I thought how can I make it happen while keeping the users privacy, and the answer is Recent Sites.

It's completely optional and works by matching your Omnibar input with the last 100 websites you visited.

The Feedback Center

With Browsy 1.2, I wanted to create a way to allow users of the app to have a quick way to contact me and share feedback or send in support. Users could contact me via Email and Twitter before but the new Feedback Center, powered by Apptentive makes it more easier and simpler. The Feedback Center is just another way to get in touch, you can still use Twitter or Email if you would like.

Support for the latest and greatest

iOS 9 brought with it a lot of great new features. And now, Browsy supports each and every one of them. Here's the description of each of the new features taken from the Changelog.

  • The font used by the app has been changed to San Francisco, the new system font on iOS 9.
  • The app has been optimized for use with iOS 9’s iPad Multitasking features, you can now Slide Over Browsy for a quick browse, Use Browsy alongside another app with Split View and continue watching your video from Browsy in other apps with Picture in Picture.
  • Keyboard Shortcuts for every view, available with iOS 9. Long press the Command key on your keyboard to view all of the available shortcuts for the view you are in.
  • Spotlight Search - Search your Notes, Bookmarks and Recent Sites from your Home Screen on iOS 9.
  • 3D Touch - Open the Notes View, Bookmarks view, Start a search or visit a website from your clipboard straight from your Home Screen on the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, or use Peek and Pop to preview sites in the main view and the Bookmarks view.

While introduced with iOS 8, Browsy didn't have support for Handoff, but the wrong has been righted and now you can seamlessly move your browsing session between your iPhone, iPad and Mac.

More Improvements

Browsy's main web view, the heart of the browsing experience with Browsy received a few new improvements.
Now you can access websites that use authentication, view JavaScript dialogs, print websites, and also have a completely fullscreen experience by hiding every button (including the More button) with a 2 finger swipe. And when you encounter an iTunes link throughout the app, you will now be presented with a convenient in-app view that you can easily dismiss, instead of being sent to the iTunes or App Store app.
Also, Markdown Syntax in Markdownify is now highlighted with Prism and you can launch the app and go to the Bookmarks, Notes, Tabs or Settings directly using the new browsy://?view=(View Name) URL Scheme.

One More Thing...

The last new feature of Browsy is... Browsy for Apple Watch!

You can use the Watch app to remote control the iPhone app from your Watch, view your Bookmarks, or do a quick search online. You can also have the Watch speak your search results to you through your iPhone and use Handoff and the Force Touch menu to move between the Watch and your iPhone (Handoff also works with your iPad or Mac).

A use case that a little surprised me at first is with people using Browsy with an Apple TV for presentations or "kiosk mode". And I think the new Remote feature will be perfect for that.

What's Next?

Now with Browsy 1.2 released, I plan on releasing some other things I have been working on this year and also another app that is coming soon.
My plans for Browsy 1.3 currently include some smaller additions to the app, including Downloads support, but we'll see.
To help support the future of Browsy, I removed the In-App Purchases and made the app a paid app at 3.99$.
I really hope you'll enjoy Browsy 1.2, the Marky website and everything else I got in store.

You can download Browsy from the App Store for 3.99$ here. Or check the full changelog for the app here.

If you download Browsy this week (May 16-23), 20% of your purchase will be donated to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

And as always, if you require assistance, have questions, ideas, suggestions, feedback or something to say about Browsy or anything on the website, feel free to contact me via email, Twitter or App.net, Thanks for reading! :)