Brow.si is a free website add-on that enhances your mobile site by making it act a bit more native and increase engagement with readers.
When viewed on a mobile browser, a website that enables the brow.si add-on will have a flyout bar that contains buttons for saving the article via Pocket or Readability and sharing the article through e-mail or via Facebook, Twitter and Linked In. The bar also lets you control the font size of the site as well as subscribe to push notifications for updates via the brow.si app on the App Store.
Brow.si can be easily installed into any website and is compatible with major content management systems like WordPress, Drupal and Joomla.
In my tests with this blog and MyCebu.ph, the brow.si mobile flyout bar was very responsive and did feel like that of a native app.
But I encountered problems in connecting my Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter accounts for the first time in order to share the articles. I clicked on share and chose a social network and was taken to the log in page to enter my username and password. After entering my credentials I just got a blank page. But when I went back to the article that I wanted to share, the flyout bar recognized that I was already logged into the social network I wanted to use and let me share the article.
Brow.si said they will be offering “really soon” mini-apps for the platform. They said in their site that website owners can either build their own mini-app for the platform or get one from their marketplace.
I think brow.si holds much promise because it bridges the on-going debate of site owners on whether to go the mobile Web approach or to build native apps.
Max is a journalist and blogger based in Cebu. He has written and edited for such publications as The Freeman, The Independent Post, Today, Sun.Star Cebu, Cebu Daily News, Philstar Life, and Rappler.
He is also a mobile app and web developer and co-founded InnoPub Media with his wife Marlen.
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