Thursday, 7 August 2014

webCat, Sailfish browser for Jolla Smartphone supporting landscape

Leszek Lesner has coded an alternative webCat browser for Jolla. It's a native SailfishOS browser, and it's available for download either at github, openrepos or at Jolla Store.

Update: Version 0.9.7 released on August 6, 2014 includes some great new features like search on page

Let's begin with a video by Leszek. This is from version 0.8.3:

Link this post to your friends. Sharing is Caring!

Features in version 0.9.7

  • Landscape support
  • Tabbing support (real without reloading of tabs)
  • Bookmark support
  • Setting browser user agent
  • Setting default font sizes
  • Opening up links in new tab (by long press and hold on link)
  • Copy links (by long press and hold on link)
  • Open rtsp, rtmp and mms links with external viewer (e.g. LLs VideoPlayer)
  • Setting DNS Prefetch
  • Setting Offline WebApplication Cache
  • Manually add bookmark with specific user agent
  • Fast scroll to top or bottom of page
  • Download manager
  • Default Search engine chooser
  • URL suggestions
  • Downloadable images
  • Custom SSL certificates
  • Orientation lock
  • Watch YouTube with external players
  • Clear cache/cookie/history


The settings: First image is from the pulley menu, from where the settings can be found. Second image shows another pulley menu inside the settings.

Images below show all available settings. The most interesting one is the possibility to change the user agent. User agent is a line of text sent to the server, by that the server selects the content and layout which is sent back to the browser screen. webCat browser can act as an Sailfish, Android, Nokia, Firefox, IE, Opera, Blackberry, NTT Docomo or any custom browser you select. This feature enables e.g. accessing mobile or desktop view of the page.

Last image above shows the bookmarks. Some are there already, selected by the coder (thanks for including Review Jolla), and more can be saved by the user. Bookmarks can't be edited, but they can be removed with a hold gesture, and new ones are saved either via settings (including the wanted user agent) or via the browser window:

These two images shows an example of using google map directions with webCat. On the left, a screenshot of the map, and on the right, screenshot from the list of directions while scrolling it up. While scrolling, a tap button to quicky reach the top of the page appears to the top right corner. Another tap button appears when scrolling down, likewise to reach the end of the page.

On the footer bar you can see a button for entering tabs/bookmarks, a back button, the url where you currently are, and a star to add the page as a bookmark/favourite.

Tap on the url brings up the virtual keyboard, from where you can also refresh the page.

Tap on any free (linkless) spot on the page minimizes the footer bar to a very small one, right to the edge of your screen. Bringing it back requires some good aiming. You can barely see the footer on the image on the right.

When the tap hits the footer, sometimes you still see it as minimized above the keyboard. It should be tapped again to bring it to its normal size.

YouTube video content can be plyed either directly in the browser or opened in an externla player (For example LLPlayer available in OpenRepos).

Landscape support works great, as you can see in the first image of this article (browsing All the new features are great too - I like especially the option to open new tabs with a simple hold + swipe up gesture. Also, private browsing and search on page features are so great.

Thanks for your great work Leszek!


  1. A big thanks Leszek! After a few fixes this will definitely become my defaul browser.

  2. WebCat is great! Is there a way to change the default web browser to be WebCat? - Erlend

    1. I have the same question. I don't like the bundled browser at all, and wsnt to change the default to either WebCat or Firefox.

  3. thanks for the great review with screenshot,,,