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Tip: Browser Quick Controls Expanded in Android 4.0.4, This is the Perfect Mix

One of our favorite features in all of Ice Cream Sandwich is the set of quick controls that the stock browser offers. We featured these controls during one of our Android 4.0 tutorials and have even turned to 3rd party browsers like Browser Plus because it offered an expanded set of them. They really do make your browsing experience that much more fluid should you get the hang of the idea. Unfortunately, we felt like we were stuck with two extremes when it came to stock or Browser Plus controls. What I mean by that is, the stock browser only offered the ability to switch tabs, load settings or activate the address bar, while Browser Plus seemed to offer too many controls, making the experience a little overwhelming.

In Android 4.0.4, Google has found the perfect balance in activating a couple of extra controls. As you can see from the screenie up top, you now have the ability to add a tab and jump into bookmarks. These probably should have been activated initially, but for whatever reason, we are just now getting them in 4.0.4.

If you have yet to use “Quick Controls,” I highly suggest that you give them a shot. Head into Settings>Labs through the browser to get started.

You can install Android 4.0.4 on you Galaxy Nexus using these instructions.

*Note – As many have pointed out in the comments, these were available in 4.0.3 as well, but only those that were able to flash ROMs could experience them.

Cheers samuel!

  • Why do you still insist on reporting this as something new?  I’ve had access to all these things in the Honeycomb browser since June of last year.  What the hell?  Am I tripping?

  • Am I the only one who immediately gets annoyed to see text in thew browser PUSHED all the way unnaturally to the right? Guys, in the browser, menu>settings>advanced and uncheck “Auto-fit pages” and it will format web pages AS THE WEB DESIGNER INTENDED. Your welcome.

  • Dshudson

    I hate the 4.4 power options.. where are the ones I had in Bugless Beast when I could restart and sh**

  • Anonymous

    Had no clue this existed until now.  Love it!

  • Jake

    Things I hope they fix in stock ICS:
    1) bring back independent ringer & notification volume (right now a 3rd party app or custom ROM is required)
    2) bring back keyboard suggestions while typing in certain fields, like Google search, search, and most blogs’ and forums’ post entries.
    3) bring back option to download link when long-pressing certain image links.
    4) bring back dedicated search button in soft menu (useful for voice actions).

  • Igotadroid

    Wow! This actually makes browsing 10 times easier now. I would have never known about this. Droid Life to the rescue yet again 😉

  • Anonymous

    There’s only one change I would make to the now stock 4.0.4 quick controls and then they’d be perfect. It’s a marriage of the original and Browser +.  Add one more option, Navigation (preferably by replacing the + option or bookmark option). This new option would function identically to the behavior of the tabs option. (When “hovering” over the tabs option you’re presented with a set of thumbnails in which you can scroll through your tabs.) Well similarly, with this new option you’d have the option of Back, Forward, Reload, (Bookmarks, if it’s been replaced).

    Do that and I really think it would be perfect. By replacing one of the current options it doesn’t add any additional clutter and it adheres to and follows the same functional format that’s already been established in the tabs option.  Google, what do ya say!? 🙂

  • Lakerzz

    Wow!! I really have to get a life!! I just spent at least 15 to 20 seconds activating my quick controls on top of the screenshot until they matched up!! (Quite fun though)

  • Anonymous

    Xoom has always had expanded controls running 4.0.3.

  • RadicalPie

    What you should do is update the post. Change the screenshot to a new screenshot of this post using the quick controls. It would make me giggle

  • RadicalPie

    That must have been a fun screen shot to take

  • Haproot

    Been using these exact controls in Bugless Beast. Love em!  

  • I’ve started to expect access to the menu like that in any app. Someone needs to write that app; I don’t have time to do it.

  • I use the X in Browser Plus all the time – I think I’m going to stick with Browser Plus for now. I can do without most of the options but I really use that X all the time – multi-tabbing is just too cumbersome without it.

  • NexusIsBestus

     I have been using ICS Browser + and I find it better than stock and Dolphin.  Basically it takes the stock browser and expands the quick controls. 


  • Anonymous

    Yeah, all of the 4.0.3 ROMs had those extra buttons as well ;-).

  • how do you get this to show up in the browser?

    • James Friedman

      Go to settings/labs

  • James Friedman

    No reload/refresh button?

    • John

      It’s in the pop up menu off the bottom option – (3 vertical dots)

  • Anonymous

    I’m running 4.0.3 on my european Nexus S since 2 weeks and had this from the beginning…

  • Anonymous

    There are also several UI changes. The animations are smoother, the checkboxes are finally an ICS blue, and when holding the power button you have shortcuts to change your ringer preset.

  • Michael Forte

    Actually these same quick controls are also in 4.0.3, with the same options.

  • Matt

    Honeycomb had it first.

    • John

      Just let it go man……. let it go 


  • might want to also point out that you can install my latest Gapps based on 4.0.4 on any 4.0.3 ROM… they also include the new Browser and Camera 🙂 


    BTW they will work on any hdpi or xhdpi phone (Nexus S or Galaxy Nexus)

  • did AOKP bake this in on their milestone 3 build?  Because I’ve had these five since then and it’s 4.0.3

    • John

      Think so. Cause I see no difference either

      • They are 4.0.3 as well. Not sure why they were left out of 4.0.2.

  • John

    I remember when I used to battle what browser to use. Now I’m so flippin content with the stock browser it’s not even funny, especially with these quick controls enabled

  • Anonymous

    The only thing I don’t like about quick controls for the tablet is it auto-hides your tabs.

  • I got burnt out on rooting and ROMing on my last phone.  I am not dealing with it on my Nexus, so when is this freaking update going to be officially released??  Me want!!  🙁

  • Anonymous

    i’m on 4.0.3 and quick controls is already there

    • They are there in 4.0.2 too, just not with this many options.

      • Anonymous

        based on your screenshot…i have those same options. i haven’t had a chance to flash kejar’s new gapps….what else have they added? 🙂

        • Could have been in 4.0.3 as well then. 🙂

        • Anonymous

          I think 4.0.3 added these options, not 4.0.4, but droid-life is just now realizing

      • Anonymous

        I am on HoneyComb and I have the controls 😛

        • Anonymous

          I’m on Donut I have the controls

        • Anonymous

          Been using these controls on Xoom for a long time, first with honeycomb and still works great now that I am on ICS.

      • RadicalPie

        you want options?

        • RadicalPie

          Hehe didn’t know screen shots worked the same on ICS Xoom. Makes sense that it would on all ICS devices.

    • Edgesetter

      As well as the bookmarks and add a tab button

  • ddevito

    These controls honestly make for the best web browsing experience, period.

    • Would have to agree.

      • Javier

        I would love to have the same feature on the new chrome browser. Kellex do you know if it’s possible?