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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
57,019
19,904


If you've ever wanted to have a web browser on your wrist, there's now an app for that. µBrowser is an app designed to let you enter a web address or execute a search with DuckDuckGo so you can view websites on Apple Watch.


Available for $0.99 from the App Store, µBrowser offers a lightweight browsing experience that's useful if you have no other device on you but want to look something up quickly. In addition to visiting a specific URL or searching the web, you can also see your last visited pages or save pages to your favorites. You can use the companion app on iPhone to manage your bookmarks.

The app is only able to offer a limited browsing experience on the wrist. The developer warns that there are limitations with Javascript and large webpages, and logins most likely will not work. There is also no back button.

Note that the Apple Watch does have a built-in browsing experience, but only in apps like Messages where someone has sent you a link. You can tap on that link and browse a webpage, but you can't enter a URL or search for a page like you can in µBrowser.

µBrowser is not the most practical app because most people probably aren't going to want to browse the web on the tiny Apple Watch display, but it's an interesting utility to have in a pinch.

Article Link: Video: Browsing the Web on Apple Watch With µBrowser
 

motulist

macrumors 601
Dec 2, 2003
4,223
596
Neat to see, but it seems like the kind of app you download because it seems nifty and then never use again.

Hmm, maybe i was a bit hasty in my previous comment. I can imagine a small number of edge cases where it could be handy.

For example if you go out exercising without your phone and your watch has cellular, then when you're taking a short rest from exercise you can browse the web a bit while you rest. It'd be kinda good for that specifically because the browsing experience is so limited, so you'll be less likely to keep browsing for no reason and get back to exercising.

Another example is if you're at a boring in-person meeting where you're not supposed to use your phone, you might be able to slyly browse the web a bit.
 

Makosuke

macrumors 603
Aug 15, 2001
6,483
914
The Cool Part of CA, USA
Seems like a good time for a Jurassic Park quote…
Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn’t stop to think if they should.
Seriously, though, I can imagine some rare occasions I would have actually used this, mostly along the lines of quickly checking a fact on Wikipedia.

Not often, but might even be worth the dollar.

Better would be if it stripped all CSS and just spit out text. Badly-coded sites would be useless, but well-built ones you could actually get something from on a postage stamp display. And badly-coded sites would probably be unreadable anyway.
 
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pgiguere1

macrumors 68020
May 28, 2009
2,163
1,139
Montreal, Canada
This feels very close to charging for a system feature (something Apple doesn't allow).

watchOS already has a web browser. It's just not meant to be launched like an app. You only see it when clicking links in messages / emails etc.

What this developer did is basically create a launcher for the built-in web browser, and added a way to navigate to different URLs. So it's like 99% Apple's work, and 1% this developer's, yet they charge for it, and market it like they actually built a new web browser (they didn't). Doesn't feel very ethical to me.

Meanwhile you have legit, hard-working app developers like Apollo's dev who were not able to add push notifications as a paid feature on their app, because Apple rejects it for charging for a system feature (even though renting and maintaining a push notification server has ongoing costs)...

App Store rules are a mess, and aren't enforced uniformly.
 
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827538

Cancelled
Jul 3, 2013
2,323
2,829
This actually sounds good, I often get sent a web page to quickly scan through, it would be nice to be able to do it on my Watch.
 

Makosuke

macrumors 603
Aug 15, 2001
6,483
914
The Cool Part of CA, USA
This feels very close to charging for a system feature (something Apple doesn't allow).

watchOS already has a web browser. It's just not meant to be launched like an app. You only see it when clicking links in messages / emails etc.

What this developer did is basically create a launcher for the built-in web browser, and added a way to navigate to different URLs. So it's like 99% Apple's work, and 1% this developer's, yet they charge for it, and market it like they actually built a new web browser (they didn't). Doesn't feel very ethical to me.

Meanwhile you have legit, hard-working app developers like Apollo's dev who were not able to add push notifications as a paid feature on their app, because Apple rejects it for charging for a system feature (even though renting and maintaining a push notification server has ongoing costs)...

App Store rules are a mess, and aren't enforced uniformly.
Going to disagree pretty strongly here. Apple doesn't offer web rendering outside of Messages, for better or worse. Their OS, their call.

The dev spent time figuring out how to build an app that would use the system capability to display web pages (which is easy and uses existing features, yes, but still takes work), the necessary (and clean) interface to enter a URL or do a search, and a companion iPhone app that lets you manage simple bookmarks and would be the only practical way to create a link to a page with a complex URL. And then they charge a buck for it, which is not exactly a lot of money.

It's not a lot of work, but it's work, it's useful, and Apple has chosen not to provide it, so if it's worth the buck to you, pay it. If not, don't. Maybe Apple will add their own browser some day, in which case you get the same functionality without paying, or maybe they won't.
 

tgwaste

macrumors 65816
Sep 18, 2013
1,436
2,385
This feels very close to charging for a system feature (something Apple doesn't allow).

watchOS already has a web browser. It's just not meant to be launched like an app. You only see it when clicking links in messages / emails etc.

What this developer did is basically create a launcher for the built-in web browser, and added a way to navigate to different URLs. So it's like 99% Apple's work, and 1% this developer's, yet they charge for it, and market it like they actually built a new web browser (they didn't). Doesn't feel very ethical to me.

Meanwhile you have legit, hard-working app developers like Apollo's dev who were not able to add push notifications as a paid feature on their app, because Apple rejects it for charging for a system feature (even though renting and maintaining a push notification server has ongoing costs)...

App Store rules are a mess, and aren't enforced uniformly.
Quiet. This app is great. The developer finished apples half-a$$ed work for them. They deserve a dollar. After all, we gave Apple 2 trillion of them.
 
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