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PreCentral: Browse the web with stripped-down speed with wInNeR

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Browse the web with stripped-down speed with wInNeR

webOS homebrew developer 72ka - or as the humans say, Jan - has already left an indelible mark thanks to his highly functional and repeatedly improved Google Maps app. But he's not a one-trick pony, nor is he stuck in Mojo like the Google Maps app is. No, Jan can program in Enyo 2, and he's proving his chops with the newly-released wInNeR. The name might not make it immediately obvious what it is that wInNeR does, at least no until you break it down into its origin words, NASA-style: webOS Intelligent News Reader.

wInNeR serves as a stripped down web browser that does a lot of stripping down itself, and we're not talking about the kind of stripping that requires platform heels and a pole. No, wInNeR takes the websites you point it towards and strips away all of the formatting, shrinks down the images, and serves it up to you in a compact, easy-to-read format that focuses on the text content. By way of example, a graphics and formatting heavy website like the desktop version of the webOS Nation homepage, which weighs in at close to 3MB, is cut down to 900KB by wInNeR. Granted, the webOS Nation mobile site is far lighter than that, but it doesn't include any images on the main page to achieve that feat.

What makes wInNeR really unique is its use of caching; so long as you've got free RAM (which can be a hassle on webOS, we've learned over the years), wInNeR will cache up previously-visited pages, so going back not only doesn't require an additional load as the current crop of webOS browsers demand. So not only to you save precious KBs on your cellular connection, but you get to save that time you would have wasted waiting for a page you've already seen to redownload. That caching also saves your location on said page, dropping you right back where you were in an instant.

wInNeR's not perfect just yet - it is a first-release homebrew app, after all - but it's a novel idea with excellent execution. Heck, you can even tweak the text size so it works better on your little smartphone screen. As an Enyo 2 app, wInNeR includes the framework core, so you can install it on any webOS device, even that first-generation Pre or Pixi. No promises about performance, but our testing on a Pre3 revealed a lean and speedy app that does exactly what it promises. So fire up WebOS Quick Install or Preware and give wInNeR a go, you might be surprised.

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