I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Link Bubble is a brilliant concept. It allows Android users, many of whom are voracious consumers of content, to load up web pages in a resizable “bubble” that overlays on top of the existing application. While it works great in many situations, Link Bubble is especially useful on social networks like Facebook and Twitter, which are increasingly focussed on loading external content in a browser window.
The application got a nice update today to version 1.3, improving overall performance and adding support for Android L. That, and initial support for mirroring webpage content to Android Wear, makes for a pretty sizeable update.
One previously annoying aspect of the app has also been fixed: the ability to toggle the bubble from the notification bar. Now, apps like YouTube can continue to work in the background even when the bubble is not shown on screen, sidestepping the background audio limitations imposed by Google.
The full change log is below:
- NEW: Text content from a link can be displayed on Android Wear devices (requires Pro). Links can also be opened/closed on your device via Wear.
- NEW: Link Bubble can now be ‘hidden’ via the notification. When hidden, the app will still be running, just no longer visible (thus enabling background YouTube playback or similar).
- IMPROVEMENT: Much smoother animation when web content slides on/off screen.
- IMPROVEMENT: Restore slide-in animation when the first link begins to load.
- IMPROVEMENT: Add hack to stop Pocket from displaying when you add links to it.
- IMPROVEMENT: Link Bubble is minimized when links are sent to external apps when running the L Preview.
- IMPROVEMENT: “Intercept links from” works correctly for Android 4.4 and below.
- IMPROVEMENT: Cookies are now enabled in Incognito Mode, but cleared at the end of the session.
- IMPROVEMENT: Changing the Incognito Mode setting forces open bubbles to be reloaded.
- CHANGE: Tabs from the previous session are no longer automatically restored. A prompt is now displayed requiring confirmation to restore these tabs.
- CHANGE: Periodically empty cached web data.
- CHANGE: The “Intercept links from” option has unfortunately been disabled for those running the L Preview due to the Android API required for this functionality being depreciated by Google.
- BUG FIX: Fix rare issue where no tabs would display and pressing the device’s Home button failed to close Link Bubble.
- BUG FIX: Fix issue where web content sometimes failed to slide on screen.
- BUG FIX: Fix issue where bubble favicon is not updated after the Pro trial has finished.
- BUG FIX: Fix issue where “Unable to launch 3rd party application” toast erroneously displayed.
Link Bubble is also being discounted, for a limited time, by 50%, to $2.69 CDN. The Pro version is needed to unlock unlimited tabs, Android Wear support and Article Mode.