Today Ghostery, makers of the popular Chrome extension of the same name, have released a proprietary browser to the Google Play Store and the Amazon App Store. We had an opportunity to check it out before release so we decided to take a quick look at what this browser is all about. You can watch it above or read it below.
Ghostery Browser is a web browser and thus it does web browser kinds of things such as surf the internet, search, and all of that of stuff. Ghostery relies on the standard tab system that is accessible with the square icon at the top next to the ghost icon which we’ll get to in a moment. Beside that is the three dot icon that gets you into the settings and the navigation keys like back, forward, refresh, share, and bookmarks.
The tab system is pretty standard. You can open various tabs and switch between them pretty easily. It’s a very clean interface so you shouldn’t be getting lost. As per the norm, you can swipe away any tabs you’re no longer using and a nifty little reminder will show up at the bottom in case you want to undo the closing of the tab.
In terms of performance, Ghostery Browser is based on Android WebView and does about as well as all the other browsers that are based on Android Webview. It scored relatively well in the Peacekeeper by Futuremark and should score right around what Google Chrome scores in most benchmarks. In real world performance, it works about as well as you can reasonably expect a browser to work. We didn’t see any dips in performance that worried us but it’s also not going to win any speed records.
The biggest features are the ones that deal with privacy. Ghostery aims to make web browsing more transparent. The ghost icon at the top keeps a count of how many trackers each website you visit attempts to employ. If you click the icon, you’ll see a list of all the trackers present on that website.
From there you can block them or allow them as you so choose. You can also whitelist a website which will allow it through the track blocking if it’s a site you trust. You can also pause the tracker blocking if a website is acting weird and it allows you to see if the site works without the blocking in place.
In the settings, you can change a number of different things. The default search is Duck Duck Go but you can change it to Yahoo, Google, or, ugh, Bing, if you so choose and there are others. You can also manage your Ghostery settings and decide whether or not to allow tracker blocking and whether or not to enable GhostRank which sends anonymous data back to Ghostery to help them improve their product.
About the only issues we ran into are that some sites seem to hiccup a little bit when tracker blocking is 100% enabled. Every now and then you may have to whitelist a website or turn the tracker blocking off but otherwise everything seems to work as intended. There is no flash player support but there hasn’t been on an Android browser in ages unless they do some weird hackery so I wouldn’t take lack of flash support too seriously.
Overall, this is a very solid and stable web browser. The clean interface makes it easy for casual users and the app is generally well laid out and has good performance. The privacy additions that Ghostery have added in are icing on the cake and this is a must have browser if you’re worried or even curious about what websites are tracking you and what they’re tracking you with. If you’re interested in checking it out, click the button below!