We last covered the free app ImageBoard Browser back in January 2012, noting that it was quite a decent chan reader for those of you want your boards on the go. For those who don’t know, chans are popular imageboards akin to forums but with way more chaos and spontaneity. The infamous site 4Chan is probably the most cited but there are hundreds if not thousands out there, many of which are dedicated to humor, gaming or anime.
ImageBoard Browser (and its paid sibling) for Windows Phone received a fairly major version bump with 3.0 in the last week. We have the full changelog, so head past the break to see what’s new.
Main features of ImageBoard Browser
- Browse alternative image boards (7chan, 420chan, ylilauta, mlpchan, ponychan)
- Play animated GIFs, save them locally on your phone, and replay them from the picture hub
- All 4chan at a glance by using the catalog
- Support for back-linking, to easily go through the conversations in a thread
- Quickly go through all the pictures of a thread by using the collapsible preview ribbon
- Use the automatic slideshow to enjoy the pictures without touching your phone
- Pin your favorite boards to your home screen for faster access
Version 3.0 Changelog (September 2013)
- Added support for a new image board: mlpchan.net (read-only).
- Support for catalog feature (so far, on 4chan and mlpchan), with built-in search.
- Added back-linking support on all image boards.
- Changed the back-button behavior when displaying a quote/reply. It will now go back to the previous quote/reply (convenient if following a chain of replies). If there is none, then it will close the popup.
- The fullscreen view now show a preview of all pictures in the application bar, along with the picture count
- Added an orientation lock for the fullscreen view (independent from the global orientation lock).
- Improved the animated GIF rendering engine. Dramatically reduced the memory footprint, and GIF are now played while downloading (like in most web browsers)
- Revamped the reply page.
- Fixed browsing on ylilauta.org.
- Added a protection when loading very large pictures that would otherwise crash the application: on WP8 they are automatically downscaled, on WP7 an error message is displayed.
- Resized the application icon to better fit the Windows Phone guidelines
The free app has an overall simple and easy to manage UI (in fact, it may be too bland). It’s fast, loads up images quickly, renders GIFs and is about as good as you can get for viewing the pandemonium that is often found on Chans.
ImageBoad browser is free but also ad-supported. The ads sit at the top and unfortunately overlap with the titles on occasion. Users can favorite threads for easy bookmarking, create new threads, open in browser and of course save images and GIFs, which is always fun.
By holding down on a specific chan sub-board, users can pin it to their Start screen for easy access. While discoverability of that feature is on the hard side, it certainly makes management a lot simpler for your frequented chan areas.
The app also has a dedicated following. While chans themselves are niche, according to the developer Kevin Gosse users of ImageBoard Browser are aggressive, spending a lot of time browsing through the app. In fact, many in those communities consider this to be the best chan app for Windows Phone.
Sound interesting? Pick up ImageBoard Browser for free here in the Store. Don't want the ads? Then grab the same app (but different name), called 4chan /b/ Browser for $2.49 here (it too received the same 3.0 overhaul).
All Windows Phones supported.
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Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.