RetroBrowser 1.2 Help
The F.....riendly Manual - Please Read!

RetroBrowser is designed for just one task - simple, straightforward and comfortable mobile web-browsing. No waisted screen space, no gimmicks, but featuring all you need for that purpose:

- minimalistic yet sophisticated navigation

- quickly switch between browser and search

- one click choice between Google and DuckDuckGo

- simple but powerful bookmark management

- offline mode to re-read sites without internet connection

RetroBrowser consists of three full-screen areas: Browser, Search and combined Address-Bookmarks window.

Browser and search feature a minimalistic navigation without address-bar, huge buttons or other controls. Instead there is a small semi-tranparent area with navigation-arrows and menu-button on the bottom: 

Entering a web-address (URL) as well as selecting and managing bookmarks is exclusively done in the combined Address-Bookmarks window.

1. Browser-window and Search-window

Short clicking the arrows navigates back and forward through visited sites both when browsing as in the search window.

Long clicking either of the arrows switches between Browser and Search. Clicking a search result will open it in browser window. The search is kept in background and you can bring it back anytime by long clicking an arrow.

Click the three square-dots in the middle to enter a web-address and open your bookmarks. Long click to access the context-menu. If your device has a menu button, you may use that either.

During the first starts the navigation buttons have a white background that will fade slowly within the next 12 sessions. This is to maximize browsing area once you are familiar with the interface.

2. Address-Bookmarks window

Clicking opens the Address-Bookmarks window. On top there are four toggles with a blue-green 'LED' indicating active state:

toggles the protocol between default http and https (SSL). If no protocol is entered default http will be used.
adds/removes the 'www.' prefix from the address.
toggles mobile and desktop mode. This is a per-address setting and will be stored within a bookmark. Desktop mode tries to request the desktop version of a website. However some sites redirect from e.g. website.com to m.website.com once the mobile version has been requested. Reenabling desktop-mode will not work in this case. To toggle between mobile and desktop versions allways try to bookmark generic addresses, not mobile or desktop-specific ones.

is on if the address in the white address panel is already bookmarked and off if not. Desktop and mobile versions of the same address are treated as seperate URLs.  Bookmark name and position can be altered any time you want.

Special functions (be careful and think before you click):

- Switching on with a new address in the address panel immediately bookmarks this address at top position. Long clicking will open a dialogue to alter name, position and URL of the bookmark.

- If the address-field shows an already bookmarkes URL then switching off immediately deletes the bookmark.

In the white address panel below the toggles you may enter a web-address. When opening the window the URL of the website last visited is displayed here. Click into the edit field to open the keyboard. Click 'x' in the bottom right corner to clear.

To open a bookmark you either single click it and press or double click or long click it. With many onscreen keyboards Enter acts like  .

Below the address-field there are the and   mode toggles.

In browse-mode bookmarks or URLs will be displayed normally. If is active, it will change to respectivley . Toggle between the two with a long click. sets normal browsing mode. opens all bookmarks and sites from cache if available. So you may read any formerly visited website even again without needing an active internet connection. This is particularily useful with e.g. online tutorials - browse them once online and continue your studies where no internet connection is available. Please note, some sites might block this explicitely.

In search-mode you can submit search terms directly. If is active it will show the actual search engine: or . Long click to change the actual search engine.

submits your search.

2.1 Menu

Long clicking(or the menu-button) opens the menu:

Exit really quits the app, for details see Main Menu and Privacy below.
Delete Bookmark deletes the active bookmark marked by the indicator on its right side and shown in address panel.
Edit Bookmark opens a dialogue to edit the actual bookmark. Position, Name, Mode and URL may be changed.
Save Bookmarks stores all bookmarks as a plain text file in the directory RetroBrowser on your internal SDCard.
Restore Bookmarks copys saved bookmarks back to your bookmarks list overwriting existing ones.

2.2 Edit bookmarks

Long click to edit the actual bookmark. Alternatively press menu and choose Edit Bookmark.

The toggles on top work the same way as in Address-Bookmarks window with one exception: Long click to delete and close.

closes the dialogue without changes. saves them. Click another bookmark to edit that.
Long click on saves and closes the dialoge. saves and opens the bookmark.

3. Browser-menu

Long clicking(or the menu-button) opens the menu:

Exit really closes the RetroBrowser and stores all current settings. Cookies and bookmarks will be preserved, the history of visited websites is cleared. On next start the app will start in the saved state.
Help & Credits shows this help file.
Refresh reloads the actual site.
Auto-Refresh opens a dialogue where you can set up auto-reload interval or stop auto loading. Auto-Refresh will also stop if you leave the website.
Bookmark adds the actually visible website on bookmark position 1, moving all other bookmarks one step down. The position may later be changed in Edit Bookmarks dialogue.
Bookmark As...
adds the actual website's URL on bookmark position 1 and immediately opens Edit Bookmark to set Position, Name etc.

4. Search-menu

Long clicking(or the menu-button) opens the menu:

Exit really closes the RetroBrowser and stores all current settings. Cookies and bookmarks will be preserved, the history of visited websites is cleared. On next start the app will start in the saved state.
Help & Credits
shows this help file.
Reset Search
deletes the actual search.

5. Security

To make it short RetroBrowser should be as secure (?) or insecure (!) as your tablet or smartphone, your version of Android and the manufacturers' and mobile providers' customizations. Think for yourself what that means for you ...

It works as a normal Android App without critical permissions. Of course it needs Internet access and the permission to write to external storage. The latter is used to save and restore bookmarks.

Websites are displayed in Android's built-in Webview which is used by most if not all Android browsers and the standard browser as well.

6. Privacy

RetroBrowser is set up for easy usage and stability. It accepts and stores Cookies but the browsing history is only kept during the actual session. RetroBrowser uses Webview's cache for faster page loading. The cache stores copies of the websites you visit. Cookies allow websites to save additional information on your device. Cookies and cache are stored in RetroBrowsers private storage which is not accessible to normal users or other normal apps you install.

Software with root rights however, that is the Android system itself and some software installed by the device manufacturer or mobile provider can read the website cache and cookies. On rooted devices basically anyone who has physical access to the device can read these data.

RetroBrowser does not save any form data or passwords. Access rights to many web forums and social sites are stored in cookies so you don't need to enter them on every visit. It depends on the individual website if this is a safe procedure. Normally it should not be possible to read your credentials from cookies, but someone with access to your device could (ab-)use your account. So think twice before you set 'remember me' or similar on login.

If RetroBrowser is exited through the menu option (not only paused with 'Home Button') it forgets the history. Since there is no autocomplete feature there will be no traces inside RetroBrowser other than your bookmarks if you quit calling 'Exit'.

However that doesn't mean that you are not trackable when surfing the web. You are trackable in many ways, and 'THEY' will do it :)

I can only promise that I respect your privacy and always will and that I do as much as I can to protect you.

7. Credits

This app is written in Basic4Android. I wish to thank Erel Uziel for developing this great tool. Thanks to all of the B4A community for their help - be it personally or with their contributions to the forum. Special thanks to Martin Pearman for his excellent libraries WebViewExtras, WebViewSettings, CookieManager, Andrew Graham for the Reflection library and Markus Stipp for AHLocale library.
 

© 2014 Nikolaus von Bomhard

google@bomhard.de . www.bomhard.de