Google has their own web browser – Chrome – right? And that web browser has a feature called “Incognito” that allows you to open up a window that saves NO personal information, cookies or anything of the sort while you’re connected through it – right? So why doesn’t the Android browser have the same feature?
A University of Cambridge student (Connell Gauld) used his summer project to achieve something similar. By downloading and installing two applications that Gauld created you are able to browse and use sites from your Android Phone anonymously.
The first application is called TorProxy and it handles the passing of anonymous data and cookies through the Tor network. The second application is called Shadow and is an alternative, 3rd party mobile web browser that uses TorProxy. The default Android browser does not integrate TorProxy so you have to download a compatible browser and in this case Shadow is used. Both apps are available for free on Android Market and Gauld has Open Sourced the code using GPS version 2.
This is a GREAT job by Gauld and in my opinion, Google will need/want to include this functionality in later Android builds by default. While mobile is the next big frontier to conquer in terms of technology, people will need to gain comfort in making purchases from their mobile phone. Offering out your credit card, social security number and other information over the mobile web might be adopted more quickly if the Android browser had its own “incognito mode”.
Of course, including this mode might create the unwanted perception that all mobile transactions are unsafe unless you’re using anonymous browsing. And you’ve still got the possibility that an Android Application in the background could somehow maliciously sniff the info. Unlikely sure, but not impossible. We’re in the infancy of smart mobile tech and we’ve got all got an awful lot to learn and grow.
Go grab the apps from A.M. and let us know how it works for you!