Frankly, it's not my daily driver because I don't know who you are and don't trust you. Using a (no offense) no-name browser is somewhat of a risk as the developer could potentially be recording personal info. Of course, I have no guarantee that Mozilla isn't either. However, and yes I'm fully aware of how silly this sounds, I trust Mozilla despite never looking at their code or knowing any of the developers.
I'm guessing privacy is important to you (since you have the option of using a VPN service as IAP) so I'm curious how you would allay my fears of using a random browser from someone other than the big three.
Either way, I wish you luck.
Open sourcing could be a plausible answer. But fighting Google Play clones and what-not is really time-consuming and as an indie dev, my time can be better spent.
What do you suggest?
If some known person (open-source contributor or a startup founder) start using your product, ask for cross-promotion or endorsement of any kind.
Just be open. The more people know about you the more they are inclined to trust you.
I would suggest you open source it under a non-commercial license. Also, take a look at how some successful android open source projects are run. In particular, I like XPrivacy (https://github.com/M66B/XPrivacy). This is an excellent app. Open source with optional purchase, similar to yours. Personally, I paid the $6 they charge because I'd rather not compile the src myself.
You've already had a lot of downloads and are an established app. Clones can't replicate that.. If you are a recognized dev on xda, with your own thread for discussion, feature requests, bug reports etc, no clones will be able to replace that aspect even if they can clone your app.
You should be able to get more downloads/purchases from privacy-aware users. And you can have donations for feature requests if you want.
Just some thoughts.. best of luck with the app!
A non-commercial license is not, in any sane definition of the term, an “open source” license¹.
XPrivacy is a great example. Another one would be "Conversations" XMPP client, that is FLOSS, but is a paid app on Google Play. Even though I wouldn't call it completely mature yet (it's 0.7.x and lacks some polish and minor features), it's a good app that does its job very well and 1-5k users (not bad for non-gratis app, I guess) seem to agree.
However, one thing that I think would greatly help is a privacy notice of some sort detailing exactly what is tracked and how it's used. I don't see one on either the Play store page, nor in the app itself (your site seems to be loading slowly at the moment, or I'd look there too). While it may not completely remove my fears, it would at least serve as a good baseline and would make me feel a little better.
An idea: trust is a huge issue when it comes to development of apps (mobile or otherwise) that transacts important data (and what doesn't these days? Even games could be used to create personal metrics on people's IQ/skills/etc.). Some sort of consortium should be formed to work a coherent strategy on this, anything would pretty much be better than the current day situation: a combination of oath/register/proven-track-record-of-company/technical-guide-lines/technical-validation could prove very valuable resource to consumers and businesses alike!
They can copy your code, but they don't understand it like you do, and therefore can't provide the same level of support or quality in updates. If they copy your code and make it closed source, people won't trust it, and if they copy your code and make it open, you can just steal changes you like back again.
So im sure you can find a place even without making it the first choice for hackers.. but of course you can always take measures to address the concerns of this crowd..
But at first, i think is good to focus on what you are good at; than if you succeed you can grow and address more the security conscious people
Dont try to be everything to everyone else(at least at first), as browser market is crowded you have a very narrow door to pass through, once you find it, use it
(About Trust: it will come slowly with time; It's something you cant get for free anyway.. as in any relationship in life)
Whether/when I have to pay is a little unclear; can you put that front and center? As someone unused to VPN's, I'm a little unsure of what I'm paying for. I'd also suggest changing your payment plans to simply "Monthly, Yearly, and Life". And please, just tell me how much it costs per year in the yearly plan. 1.8*12 isn't hard to plug into a calculator but not something I want to do in my head.
That's not a silver bullet idea though, because it requires trusted voluntary (or not) people and there is always a slight risk of source code leak.
Take a look at the Play store, it's right below the product title ;)
Javelin isn't open source, so you're right, you have to have some amount of faith in an unknown group of developers.
Personally, that's not what's keeping me from using Javelin, I just need firefox sync support to consider it.
I've been working on Javelin since Feb this year and this is the 4th iteration, and on Reddit (r/android), and just a quick interesting byte. Javelin actually started as a "porn" browser! See: http://www.reddit.com/r/Android/comments/1xblv9/hey_reddit_s...
PS: I'm headed to SF in October, anyone wanna grab a beer/coffee? I'm contactable at email@example.com
*Full disclosure - I am a developer at Vox Media, the publisher of The Verge.
1. The advertisers who pay you get their money from us, added to the prices of the things we buy. There is no free lunch.
2. The overhead cost of advertising is huge and we pay for that too.
3. We pay the opportunity cost of a product that cannot put users first because you live or die by giving advertisers what they want (and what we want indirectly and secondarily). This includes both the cost of lost privacy as well as business, editorial and design decisions that optimize for advertising revenue. As has been said, you are using us as products more than treating us as your paying customers. Let me restate to be extra clear: WE are the paying customer, but we don't look like that to your finance department.
4. We pay the social costs. Democracy and the free market assume people make voting and purchasing decisions based on facts and reason. Advertising undermines democracy and the free market. Advertising is predominantly about manipulation and deceit. I believe this is the most expensive cost of content that relies on advertising revenue.
Added together, we readers are paying a lot more for "free" Verge content than if we could just straight up pay you for straight-up ad-free articles. And even we non-readers are paying because of the social costs, and all the link-bait that spams the web because of the perverse incentives of advertising.
[This is a condensed version of a more detailed case with reference links that I made here: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=7485773]
 Do you really need a link for this one? We all know that money decides who gets to run in an election, plays a big part in who wins, and has a tremendous influence on what legislation they introduce, support or fight.
If large numbers of people were to start using Javelin, it could certainly affect revenue.
My immediate reaction was to wonder whether any mobile browsers aren't mobile-first? From my (incomplete) knowledge of smartphone browsers they all feature interfaces designed for smartphones and smartphones alone.
There must be a better word to use in your tagline - I notice you decided on using "Truly Mobile" further down ;)
The kind of people who care enough about their web experience to install a new browser are the kind of people who won't mind parting with a few £$€ to do so.
To be profitable, free apps must target the broader market, but this is a relatively niche product. I don't think you'll get enough IAP fast enough to be sustainable.
So, disregard the average user. Market this as a paid product which offers a superior web browsing experience for the technology connoisseur and the privacy concious. These people, on average, have a lot more money, are easier to sell this product to, and don't mind paying.
Another reason to just charge money for this is that this provides assurances about your income stream which should mean that you are less likely to consider anti-user practises in order to generate income at some point in future.
All things said, I loved the browser experience. Especially easy access to bookmarks on right edge swipe and always available refresh button. I will definitely try it again. Speed dial looks good.
Edit: Just installed again and wow!! It totally looks different from the version I used some time back. Looks more slick and pretty now. Will definitely try again. Especially the 'Stack' behavior.
I just bought the pro version and I'm going to use it for a while before I comment more on it.
I just went ahead and bought the Javelin Pro version as well. I like what developer is doing here.
Once you have a Google account on your phone it is privacy game over.
Personally, I don't have Google Apps on my phone at all.
If it's not in F-Droid or available as an apk from the
developer, it doesn't get installed.
However, I don't work for any company of NSA interest. I have no threatening political or religious affiliations. I don't pose a threat to the status quo. I am not a wolf. I am a sheep. Therefore, my privacy can be traded for free Google features - slurp...
@niklasni1 though probably does care, which is why he doesn't use Google Play, because then he would need a Google account on his phone, that subsequently would be tracked by Google wherever he goes. Maybe @niklasni1 has a networking job for a European satellite provider that the NSA finds interesting. Maybe he is worried about being tasked. In which case, it isn't bombastic at all.
It should be noted that I'm glued to my laptop most of the time, so I mostly think of my phone as a computer with a small screen and crappy input method.
I understand that I'm not the target here - I dislike Chrome/Chromium and I am a happy Firefox user.
But what drives people to use this browser? The UI alone? Maybe it would be something I can recommend to family and friends? Any decent, concise "This is why I like/use this thing" story?
It seems trivial, but seeing that word often is a red flag for an uninspired product. You guys have done great work, so I'm surprised your marketing isn't as great as the browser. Best of luck
This is simply fantastic. Pro purchased.
One suggestion -- if it is possible to insert yourself as two entries on the Open With page, it would be nice to have the option to click a link and open with "Javelin" or "Javelin (Reader Mode)" (I'm talking about the android system popup for handling mime types)
"Jabalina es una hermosa, móvil-en primer lugar, y el pensamiento para navegadores de Android"
It has no sense.
Really DON'T USE AUTOMATIC TRANSLATOR!
Also, nice browser. I trying it, mainly by the "block ads" feature
Swipe from the left to open the menu, then scroll down, so that part of the text is cut off, then swipe to the left to close the menu part of the way, but drag your finger back right before the menu closes. If you now scroll, the cut-off text is still visible, creating weird visual artifacts. This goes away when you close the menu completely and reopen it.
When I edit the title and URL of a bookmark, the buttons are “Cancel” and “Edit”. I think “Save” would work better. I feel like what I am doing is already “editing”, since I chose “Edit” to get here.
I tried to set Javelin as the default browser, but when the browser list popped up, by reflex I hit Just Once instead of Always. But Javelin still said “Javelin is now your default browser”. (Then I realized what had happened and went back and did it again.) If possible, Javelin should detect when the user clicked the wrong button. If that is not possible, maybe you should show a small picture of the Always button before showing the dialog, to remind the user to hit that button.
In the page describing the Pro features, one of them is choosing your homepage. But I can already do that in the free version. It works when I go to Settings > Change homepage.
Javelin doesn’t support a blank homepage. I tried setting the homepage to nothing (“”) or to “about:blank”, but either way, the homepage just becomes “Webpage not available”. The error shows because Javelin is automatically adding an “http://” before “about:blank” – “about:” pages should have no protocol.
I tried to press and hold on the icons (the eye icon and share icon) in the toolbar to see a tooltip describing what they do. However, those icons don’t have tooltips. I would have liked to have been able to see a “Reading Mode” tooltip when I pressed and held on the eye icon instead of having to actually press it to find out. The icons in the toolbar for reading mode have the same problem.
When there are no tabs, I see a message “Javelin Browser, flies.” The message confused me a bit because it is ungrammatical. It should be either “Javelin Browser flies.” or “Javelin Browser – it flies.”
I couldn’t get Javelin Sync to work at all. I authorized it for my Google account and saw the message saying I have been sent an email. But my bookmarks are still the default Javelin ones (minus the ones I manually deleted); none of them are my Chrome for Android bookmarks. This is still the case even after I “Sync bookmarks now” – though since that command gives no feedback, I couldn’t tell whether it worked. (I didn’t install the desktop Chrome extension linked in the email because I don’t want that home page, but the email said my device was already synced, so that shouldn’t make a difference.) So either your Sync is broken or there is another step that you forgot to mention, like “wait one hour” or “restart your phone” or something.
In the menu on the left, the checkboxes look a little weird, because it is a blue checkmark on a turquoise background. I can see it, but I think they would look better if you made the check-marks very light gray, a color closer to the text but still distinct from it.
When I logged into a site, I got two dialog boxes asking me to save the password. The first was a generic Android one like in Google Chrome. I clicked Not Now, and then Javelin showed its colorful one at the bottom. You should hide the default one so that only the Javelin one shows.
I couldn’t figure out how to activate the “Fullscreen Browsing” that you show in one of your website’s screenshots. I tried scrolling through web pages, and I looked at all the settings, but I never had the Action Bar and the soft buttons displaying but transparent like in the screenshot. The soft buttons are always visible. I can hide the Action Bar completely with that setting, but then I can’t open it all from within the app, and that’s different from the screenshot anyway. It’s not described as a Pro feature on the Enable Javelin Pro page either. You should make it more obvious how to enable that mode, or remove the screenshot if that feature is now gone.
This is a big list of bugs, many tiny ones and some big ones, but I’m still trying out Javelin for now – you haven’t driven me back to Chrome yet. I am especially interested in your Adblock and full-screen features (so it’s too bad I can’t figure out how to use full-screen). I wish you luck with developing your browser.
Regardless, this is clearly a forward-thinking mobile browser, more so than Chrome, and so I support it wholeheartedly.
BTW almost all people in Singapore grow up speaking English, it's the common language of 4 ethnic groups and is used on all signs, government correspondence and so forth.
I wish it was easy to toggle on/off. Mobile chrome is a couple clicks.
Is there a way to save pages for offline viewing?
(I do think you could make value-added browser services a business, but you'd have to go to enterprises to do it.)
You could argue that to be successful at generating a passive income of any magnitude, you'd be better off selling value-added services on top of a free browser rather than just selling a browser. I'd be curious to hear that argument, because the opposite seems true: making freemium work means that you need to invest not just in making a great free product that people will use, but also invest in creating enough additional value to make the sale. Thus I think wanting a lower commitment to the company actually says you should just sell the browser.