Update: Gabriel from DuckDuckGo points out that it’s possible to get most of the way there with the DuckDuckGo for Android app. I now have it configured to “show recent searches on launch” and “open queries in external browser” — the combination of these two is quite good.
I’ve been racking my brain with this, and haven’t been able to find an answer. Here’s what I’m looking for:
On my android phone (I use a Motorola Razr Maxx HD, but it doesn’t matter), what I want to do, all day long, is quickly hop into my browser and type something into the address bar. Type something in quickly — either a search query or a url — and either be taken to a search result (I prefer DuckDuckGo) or the actual webpage.
Sounds so simple, as this is exactly what I do a million times a day on my regular computer.
The problem is, on mobile, it’s impossible to replicate this. If I go directly to the Chrome app and start typing in a search query, chrome is always a step behind, trying to re-load the last page I visited. So my experience goes something like this:
* hmm, I wonder what Albert wrote about this morning
* open Chrome, click into address / search bar, start typing “www.cont”
* Shit! Chrome starts re-loading the last page I was on, stealing focus and slowing everything down
* I hit “X” and try to stop it.
* Click back into the search/address bar, start typing again
* Finally get there.
Maybe this seems nitpicky, but it’s particularly annoying on a mobile device where for starters you’re on the run, plus everything is slower to begin with, plus typing is harder. So instead of making it SUPER EASY for me to just type in a search term or URL, it makes it REALLY ANNOYING.
So that’s going straight to Chrome. Another way to quickly launch a web query is using the Google or DuckDuckGo search apps. Both of these give you a relatively quick step into a web search. Both of these suffer from the same problem: a) they won’t take you directly to a website if you type in something looking like a URL and b) they are too slow to load, loading up a whole app and stealing context, rather than just giving you a tiny little unobtrusive search box, passing you along to the browser, and getting out of your way.
There is one app that ALMOST does what I’m talking about: Go to URL + Search will give you a simple input box and let you either search or go to a URL. Problem with this is that it makes you tell it which you’re doing — by choosing either “go to web page” or “search” before you submit. This tiny extra step is annoying enough as to make it not worth it. Instead, I wish they’d just pass me along to Chrome (or any other browser), which already knows how to determine whether I’m searching or loading a specific web page.
Is there anything that does what I’m talking about, simply and elegantly? If there were I’d be all over it.