A phone that's just a web browser

o pilin e ni - Here's a cursed thought that was running through my head when I woke up this morning.

Web browsers, and the modern web in general, are bloated. [citation needed] A lot of people are trying to get away from that, whether it be with the smol web, a return to Gopher, the invention of Gemini, or what have you.

But what if you leaned into it? Just make a whole damn OS that's *only* a web browser (with an underlying file system for saving and loading files). Stick it on a phone, if only because that's the way I was imagining it when this thought came to me. "Installing apps" suddenly just becomes saving a website to your bookmarks and, optionally, adding it to your start screen.

For the sake of this post, I'll be naming this OS/browser "Impractical".

The OS would need fairly robust local storage so you could make use of text editing sites. I'm imagining it would have a text editor, calculator, and other common phone apps built in, as internal sites like impractical://calculator, but ideally you could set different defaults in your settings. (I want to use Written? Kitten! instead of impractical://notepad, because who wouldn't?)

The killer feature would be syncing between your Impractical Phone and a desktop version of Impractical Browser; not only of passwords and bookmarks like many modern browsers can do, but also of saved files and local storage such as text editor entries. You couldn't install Syncthing on your Impractical Phone, but you also wouldn't really need to.

My brain probably conjured this by cribbing inspiration from Vivaldi and SeaMonkey. Both have build-in email support. Vivaldi also has a notepad (which I never use, because it saves everything as a json blob that's impractical to edit with external tools) and a built-in browser game that the devs made a big deal out of when it launched but which no one ever talks about anymore. SeaMonkey has a built-in IRC client and HTML editor. So why not make a whole OS out of a browser?

This is a bad idea, for sure, but sharing is caring, and I care about all of you out there in the smol internet. <3

Tagged:

Technology

Back to gemlog
Subscribe to feed