Mobility

Browse the web on your Android device more efficiently with Flynx

If you're looking for a more efficient (and data plan saving) means of viewing links within Android, Jack Wallen has just the app for you.

Flynx

When using your mobile device, a key element is efficiency. You're constantly on the go and under the thumb of pressure—the last thing you need to deal with is slow-loading, ad-heavy web pages. That's where apps like Flynx come in. Similar to Link Bubble, Flynx loads pages in the background (represented by a small chat-head-like bubble on the screen) so you can view them at a later time. The two biggest differences between Link Bubble and Flynx is that Flynx is free and its browser strips away ads from pages for more efficient loading and viewing.

Here are some of the features you'll find with Flynx:

  • Background loading of multiple pages
  • Open links from your favorite apps
  • Use less data from your plan (thanks to the stripping of advertisements)
  • Save pages for offline viewing
  • Easy page sharing

Though Flynx may not stand up to Link Bubble in a feature-for-feature comparison, its ability to background-load pages sans ads makes this take on "bubble browsers" stand above the competition.

Let's install and use this time- and data-saving app.

Installation

Installing Flynx is quite simple. Just follow these steps:

  1. Open the Google Play Store on your Android device
  2. Search for Flynx
  3. Locate and tap the entry by InfiKen Labs
  4. Tap Install
  5. Read the permission listing
  6. If the permission listing is acceptable, tap Accept
  7. Allow the installation to complete

Once it's installed, you'll see the launcher on your home screen and/or your app drawer. Tap the launcher and walk through the introduction. Now, let's take a look at some of the features and walk through how to use Flynx.

Usage

Using Flynx is quite easy. From nearly any application, simply find a link and tap it. You'll be prompted to select between Flynx or Chrome to open the link (Figure A).

Figure A

Figure A

Using Flynx on a Verizon-branded Nexus 6.

Tap Open with Flynx, and then tap JUST ONCE (until you know you want Flynx to be the default app for opening URLs). When you do this, the link (and all of its content, minus ads) will open in the background (as displayed by the chat-head bubble on the edge of the screen).

Once the link(s) have downloaded, you can then tap the Flynx bubble to open up the Flynx browser. Within the browser, you'll see bubbles across the top of the screen (Figure B). Each bubble is a page that has been opened by Flynx and is ready for viewing. Tap on the bubble you want to view, and the page will display.

Figure B

Figure B

The Flynx browser in action.

To close a Flynx browser page, long-press the bubble, and then drag it down to the X (Figure C).

Figure C

Figure C

Closing a Flynx browser page.

Offline reading

Flynx has a really cool feature that allows you to read a page offline. Here's how:

  1. Open the Flynx app (by tapping the app launcher from your home screen or app drawer)
  2. From the Flynx main window, tap on the HISTORY tab (Figure D)
  3. Double-tap the page you want to save for offline viewing

That's it. You can now view that page from within the SAVED tab at any time.

Figure D

Figure D

Saving a page for offline viewing.

Facebook and Twitter integration

You may find that apps like Facebook and Twitter don't play well with Flynx. There's a trick to getting them to work. For Facebook, here are the steps:

  1. Open the Facebook app
  2. Go to Facebook options
  3. Go to App Settings
  4. Enable Always open links with external browser (Figure E)

Figure E

Figure E

Enabling Facebook to work with Flynx.

For Twitter, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Twitter app
  2. Tap on the menu icon
  3. Tap on Settings
  4. Open General settings
  5. Disable Use in-app browser (Figure F)

Figure F

Figure F

Enabling Flynx to work with Twitter.

At this point, Flynx should work with most apps you have. Use this time saver for a while and, if you find it helpful, set it as your default link handler.

What is your go-to means of viewing online content when you're on the go? Share your experience in the discussion thread below.

Also see

About Jack Wallen

Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website jackwallen.com.

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