How much time have you wasted waiting for web pages to load after you've tapped a link in another app? For those who have Android version 4.1 Jelly Bean or above, Link Bubble loads the page in the background so you can continue what you're doing. When you're ready, the web page will be there instantly. This is great for Facebook and Twitter or news reader links.
The idea is simple. After you tap a link in another app, Link Bubble loads the web page in its own browser in the background and puts a bubble on the screen. A tap of the bubble displays the web page instantly. If you don't tap the bubble immediately, it can be moved or flicked around quite easily or left there for later. It snaps to the nearest screen edge. If you drag or flick the bubble to the bottom of the screen, it's dismissed.
The free version of Link Bubble is limited to opening one link at a time and can only be used with one app of your choice. This can be defined or changed in settings. It makes sense to pick an app you open links from the most, such as Facebook, Twitter, or a news reader app.
After you've chosen the app to be monitored, any links you tap will pop up a bubble. When you tap the bubble, a browser window with the already loaded page will animate up on your screen. This actually floats above the app you were using and another tap on the bubble will slide down the browser window. A nice feature is when a web page contains YouTube Videos, a play shortcut is shown at the top of the page. A tap of that will list the videos, and open the one you select in the YouTube app. Link Bubble is set up so you can quick save pages to Pocket (formerly ReadItLater) but you can change that to another app or action in settings.
Link Bubble should work straight away for you. You may be asked to 'choose a Default for this action' after tapping a link for the first time. Just choose Link Bubble and tap OK. If your main browser opens instead, you may need to go to Android Settings to make some changes to default apps. Check first that you don't already have a bubble on the screen. An attempt to open another link in that case will open the system browser or Chrome if you have it. This is a limitation of the free version.
You don't have to actually launch Link Bubble. If you do tap the app's icon, you'll be shown how much time you've saved. The app settings are accessible here as well as in the apps browser window when it's on screen. The history of all links you followed can also be viewed from here. You can disable this in settings by selecting 'Incognito Mode'. While you're in settings, there's a FAQ list which is worth a read.
Because Link Bubble runs as a service all the time waiting for links, it does have an impact on system resources. In my tests, it was using 105 MB of RAM on my 2014 Samsung tablet. That's of little consequence if you have 2 GB of RAM or more. It is a problem on older devices with lower specs. The bubble movements and page animations look pretty smooth on a high end device, but might lag badly on older or lower cost phones or tablets.
Overall, the idea of Link Bubble is clever and on the cutting edge of what can be done on Android. The functionality is not possible on other mobile platforms like Apple iOS. It's up to you if it's worth having a sizable chunk of memory tied up in case you might tap a link in just one target app in this free version. [Opinion] — I can't imagine why established Android browsers don't have a similar 'load in the background' option already. Regardless of what this reviewer might think, Link Bubble is a unique time-saver and is certainly worth a try if you like saving time. Waiting for web pages to load is a thing of the past with this app, and that's a good thing.
Link Bubble — Free Mobile App of the Week
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