Cake wants to reimagine mobile browsing. Swipeable search results is just the start.
Cake Browser is arguably the most interesting thing in the world of mobile browsers right now. It comes at a time when there is renewed focus on delivering mobile browsing ‘experiences’, as opposed to merely cramping a web browser onto a mobile screen.
The likes of Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Safari, and others have a new challenger in Cake. It originated as a startup in Utah in mid-2016 and rolled out its first product — the swipeable mobile browser — in early 2018.
Cake soon went on to raise $5 million led by Peak Ventures, with participation from Pelion Venture Partners and Kickstart Seed Fund, and is now firmly focused on “reimagining” mobile browsing — something that hasn’t been done in 15 years, it reckons.
Founder Jase Bosarge says,
“The idea for Cake began as an attempt to speed up academic research. I’m amazed by the information you can find on the internet, but I always found the Search Engine Results Page a painfully slow experience — you click a link, wait for the page to load, click back to the index, click another link… on and on, until you find what you’re looking for. So much unnecessary work — why not just start by looking at the results?”
The app has been fairly well-received. It is rated 4.7 on the App Store and 4 on Google Play Store. Over 50,000 Android users have downloaded Cake in about two months.
YourStory takes a closer look at Cake Browser.
Unlike other mobile browsers, Cake allows you to minimise search time by suppressing the search index and preloading pages in the background after you’ve searched for a word or topic. The top five or six search results are displayed.
There is a Tinder-like swipeable feature to browse through the results, and this has become the app’s most talked about feature. It gives mobile browsing a new, edgy touch and enables users to arrive at the results quickly instead of clicking and going back-and-forth on multiple page links.
When you open Cake Browser, it asks you to choose a default search engine from Google, Bing and DuckDuckGo.
The next step is to choose location which helps throw up more relevant search results. You can skip adding location though.
You can also make Cake your default mobile browser in the next screen, or can ‘Skip’ this too.
The ‘Search’ screen displays top trending topics, and a bar where you key in your search topic.
Cake allows you to search across categories like web, video, images, news and shopping. You can select sources in ‘Settings’, and get a personalised browsing experience. There are options to block ads and pop-ups as well.
Video searches source results from YouTube, Vimeo, Bing Video, Dailymotion and more. Image searches source from Google Images, Giphy, Bing Images, Flickr and so on. Shopping searches crawl eBay, Amazon India, Flipkart etc. You can set your preferences and favourite sources by tweaking Settings.
Every search screen throws up four neatly arranged options at the bottom - Back, Bookmark/Save, Share, Switch Tabs.
There is a private browsing option too, where Cake does not remember the pages searched. Unlike in other browsers, where you have to open a separate Incognito tab, Cake offers you a one-tap option to hide your browsing activity.
In case you’ve forgotten to go private, you can clear history like on all browsers.
The most attractive thing about Cake Browser is its neat and uncomplicated interface. To top that, it is innovative. The swipe-cards are fun, and make browsing seem like a new experience altogether.
The app is light as well. It takes up 23 MB of storage on a device, compared with Mozilla’s 35 MB and Chrome’s 61 MB. The text results load fast even on 3G connections, but videos and images are better searched over high-speed internet.
Just for the novel experience that is Cake, it deserves a download and tasting.
Those who like to have better control over search results may not relish Cake because it displays a limited number of results as swipe-cards. Users might then prefer to search the old-school way, scroll through endless page links, and click on the one they like. For a user who’s not time-crunched, Cake might not be appetising enough.
There’s the other emerging refrain about Cake not allowing users to sync their bookmarks, passwords, search history across devices — something other browsers allow.
This, however, could change as Cake is now adding more functionalities and features.
Founder Jase has said, “We plan to make integrations with 1Password and LastPass; build enhancements that make filling out forms easier; and make Cake even faster on devices that are typically slower.”
Website: Cake Browser