Tangram Browser: Efficient Research Via Beautiful Browser

When I first saw Tangram browser in the Play Store claiming it could “complete complex information tasks that usually take hours in minutes,” I was a bit cautious – sometimes, claims are overblown. I took a look at the screenshots, and it certainly wasn’t anything like a usual browser. This one actually looked good. I gave it a shot.

Upon opening, I was presented the option to enter my email for updates, or to skip it. Then there was a quick tutorial summarizing Tangram’s features, and the purpose between each of the three “parts.” The FAB in the bottom right is similar to the omnibar of Chrome or Firefox.

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Tangram’s real power comes from when searching for something. I used “design freebies” for this, because I’m a broke aspiring designer.

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Which leads to this:

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That’s neat. Let’s take a look at the second one.

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That font looks interesting. Here’s where things get a bit interesting, actually. You can click and hold on the image to “save image,” which will, when you return to the list by swiping from left to right, keep a little thumbnail of that saved image.

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Notice the background of the list entry I was just on has changed to a darker shade, that the title has changed to reflect the title of the current page, and that the thumbnail at the bottom of this specific entry is the image that I saved. Cool stuff. If I go back into that page and look at the related items portion, I’ve found another interesting font. Open it in a new tab via hold.

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Opening the page in a new tab has caused both tabs to be grouped together away from the search results, and that the heading of the group is the name of the site it’s from. That’s neat. You’ll also notice that I’ve saved a couple more thumbnails from the first page as well. Let’s find some more free stuff, and stack the two we have now.

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You’ll note the 2 in the bubble above the stack icon, representing how many items are in the stack tab, and that we have three different items grouped in the web tab. Let’s stack these three as well.

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You’ll notice that these are date and location stamped (currently hidden), and that there is no grouping by website here. You’ll also see those images we had saved earlier are still here, giving us a quick glimpse at why we saved the page. Let’s make two new folders in the bookmarks panel, one for fonts and the other for images.

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This is a gorgeous, no frills app. Love it. Let’s bookmark those stacked pages so we can have them for later.

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Sort them into folders by holding on similar items. Place them into folders with the two-way arrow icon.

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You may also highlight areas and take a snapshot, which will appear as a thumbnail under the entry similar to saved images.

Backing out of Tangram will ask you if you’d like to quit. I’m not a big fan of such prompts – of course I meant to quit, that’s why I tapped it – so I’m hoping an update will make this an option. Speaking of, there is a hamburger menu on the left:

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But tutorial throws a 404 error and there’s nothing under browser settings. Check for update simply sends you to the Play Store page, and set as default…sets Tangram as the default browser. A later update will most likely patch these.

Reasons I’d recommend:

  • Fonts/colors/UI is good
  • Easy for most people to pick up and use – fairly intuitive use
  • The point behind it – getting stuff researched and organizing that information – is beautifully executed

They could fix:

  • That hamburger menu…
  • Archive button under stack in webview? Why?
  • When in a folder in bookmarks, the back button should go one level up each time until it gets to the root folder to ask if you want to quit. The current implementation is ask to quit on back button wherever in application, excluding webview.

It doesn’t come with advertisement blocking nor content parsing, which would probably turn off some people. Otherwise, it’s a fabulously clean browser that does more than the others on the market. I highly recommend taking a look and finding out for yourself all that it can do.

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