How To: Get the Chrome Experience on Android Without Google Tracking You

Get the Chrome Experience on Android Without Google Tracking You

If you're tired of Google tracking you, but love how Chrome works, CyanogenMod has you covered.

Their browser is called Gello, which is based off Chromium, Chrome's open-source counterpart. It's basically a souped-up version of Chrome—without all of the intrusive Google stuff. So if you're uncomfortable with Google displaying personalized ads based on your browsing history, or using your location to bring the "Physical Web" to your phone, you won't have to worry about any of that with Gello.

Sure, this means you won't get bookmark and history sync if you're deep into Google's ecosystem, but for everyone else, the extra privacy and the added features it brings make Gello an instant contender for best Android browser.


Step 1: Install Gello

To get this one going, the first thing you'll need to do is download the Gello installer file. Once you've done that, simply tap the "Download complete" notification, then press "Install" when prompted.

Note: Future builds of Gello can be downloaded here.

Step 2: Configure Your New Browser

Once you've got the app installed, there are a few options that you should definitely check out. So tap the three-dot menu button at the top of the screen, then head to "Settings."

From here, make sure to tap the "Edge navigation" entry, then select "Navigate across history" to get one of the app's best features. In addition to that, you can enable immersive mode to get more screen real estate, and you can have the title bar match the website's color on compatible sites. To take the privacy angle a step further, you can enable the "LookLock" setting, which prevents other apps from reading content that Gello displays.

Then perhaps the most interesting option here is the "Night mode" switch. With this one enabled, Gello will invert the colors on websites, which makes night time browsing a lot easier on the eyes.

If you want to remove Google altogether from this browser, you can change the homepage to whatever you like, and change your search engine to either Baidu, Yahoo, Bing, or DuckDuckGo.

Step 3: Browse the Web in Style

With everything set up now, you're ready to try out your new browser. It's just as snappy as Chrome, due to the shared code base. But if you swipe in from the left edge of your screen, you'll go back one page, and you can do the same from the left edge to go forward.

Add that to the innovative Night mode, and Gello is already a very powerful and unique browser, even in its first release. Ultimately, without Google's meddling, Gello has almost all of the benefits of Chrome, with none of the privacy concerns.

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Cover photo and screenshots by Dallas Thomas/Gadget Hacks

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