This App Lets You Browse the Internet on Your Apple Watch

This App Lets You Browse the Internet on Your Apple Watch
Screenshot: Pranay Parab

Ever wanted to browse the internet on your Apple Watch? There’s an app called µBrowser (A$1.49) that lets you do just that, so that if your phone is dead or you’re at the gym without it, your Apple Watch can still help you find things on the web.

Even if you’re not looking for a serious use case, why not have some fun and try something new? That’s what brought us to µBrowser (pronounced Micro Browser) in the first place.

It’s a fun little browser that works fairly well on the Apple Watch. You can already sort of access webpages on the Apple Watch through Siri search results, but that experience leaves a lot to be desired — you can’t edit URLs, and you’re at the mercy of Siri’s ability to both understand your query and to show you relevant results — but µBrowser gives you more control than that.

How µBrowser works on your Apple Watch

µBrowser is optimised for Apple Watch Series 7, so you can use the built-in keyboard to type the names of websites. On older Apple Watch models, you’ll have to rely on the handwriting keyboard, dictation, or bookmarked links. The fastest way to open various websites, though, is µBrowser’s iPhone companion app that lets you bookmark your favourite URLs and access them on the Apple Watch app.

You won’t want to use µBrowser on your Apple Watch to replace your iPhone’s Safari or Google Chrome browsers, but µBrowser does open websites such as Lifehacker.com without problems, and it allows you to read long articles like this one about the best Chrome extensions of 2021. The font size is a bit small, but it’s big enough relative to the size of the Apple Watch’s screen.

µBrowser has some limitations on watchOS

Unfortunately, µBrowser has to show you a “Sign In” prompt each time you load a website. Even though you aren’t signing in to anything, you’ll have to keep tapping Continue to access websites. The app’s description mentions that the app uses the authentication flow of watchOS, which forces this dialogue on you. During initial setup, you’ll see a page that says this limitation will be removed whenever Apple allows the developer to do so.

Other than that, the browser doesn’t work well with pages that use a lot of Javascript. Sometimes these pages automatically reload, and elements such as video embeds or images may not load correctly either. You’ll also miss the back button — the app makes you start a new browsing session each time.

It’s not the typical browsing experience at all, but it does work. For just a dollar, it might be worth the chance that it comes in handy someday. And sometimes it’s just nice to find new things you can do on your Apple Watch.