UC Browser for Windows Phone gets new features in version 3.2, and here’s what's coming next

When it comes to third-party web browsers on Windows Phone, it’s hard to get excited about anything besides UC Browser. The app has not only been on Windows Phone since early 2012, but the team behind it is busy pumping out updates left and right.

Case in point, version 3.2 is now live in the Store and they just keep making it better and better. What’s new in version 3.2 and what’s coming in version 3.3? Read on to find out.

UC Browser version 3.2 - Now Available

  • Background downloads - Keep downloading files even after you exit UC Browser
  • Enhanced Download Management - Organize your downloads by different categories and get quick access to your downloaded videos
  • Voice Commands -  “UC Browser…Bookmarks”, etc.

Those are some substantial features, considering some of the limits imposed by the OS platform. What’s more, now that version 3.2 is available on the Store, you can look forward to getting version 3.3 in just a few weeks. Here’s what is coming next.

UC Browser version 3.3 - Forthcoming, late December

  • Small tiles now supported on Speed dial and you can even pin features besides normal sites.
  • Wi-Fi Sharing - Manage your mobile files via web pages on PC (same Wi-Fi required).
  • Optimized Site Navigation
  • Geo-location Sharing Supported
  • Live Tiles and Splash Screens - You will see our warmest greetings during the holiday season on the splash screen and tiles.

So why use UC Browser? Well, in case you didn’t notice, it supports:

  • Downloads
  • Themes
  • Night mode
  • Full screen viewing
  • Text-only loading
  • Incognito browsing
  • “Visit as a PC”

On top of that, it preloads webpages for faster loading and the UI is really solid. We know many of you are fans of Internet Explorer, but UC Web is a really good alternative and it’s great to see the constant development behind it. Indeed, from the sheer volume of tips we received about this update, many of you are already fans.

Plus did you notice that WPCentral is preloaded as a bookmark? Boom.

If you want to give UC Browser a go, there’s nothing to lose as it’s completely free. Head here to the Store to grab version 3.2. All Windows Phones supported. We’ll keep you posted on when 3.3 is live in a few weeks.

Thanks, everyone, for the tips!

Daniel Rubino

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.

  • You post the best articles here Daniel.. Good going.
  • Really an excellent browser.  Been using it in conjunction with IE since WP7.  It's really only hamstrung by the fact that you can't make it the default brower so links always open in IE.
  • YES. we need the ability to change default browsers.
  • File a complain with the European Commission. They forced Microsoft to have a browser selection screen when you install a new Windows machine, why should Windows Phone be any different ^^.
  • Ha, never thought about that!  I'll get on it first thing monday morning!
  • Exactly! I only wish this browser had Swedish as a language choice. When I write in a couple of web forums in Swedish some of our letters become strange (I'll try to write them now to see if it works here: å ä ö). But in the article, why not mention that it has rotation lock?! That is the main reason I love this browser! At last I can surf the web laying on the side! =)
  • Fantastic browser. I don't use IE. This one is miles better.
    Strongly recommend it.
  • It must support directly saving videos to hub without changing the file format from .mp3 to .mp4
  • I'm surprised that you guys have never done an article on Safe Browser. It has some awesome kid's corner features http://www.windowsphone.com/s?appid=5f87cacf-564b-484a-8ab6-646fc1d18c7a
  • Is that like porn-mode? :P
  • Sadly enough, this is the only browser that allows uploading images on Google +/
  • what is Google +.  :)  People still use that?  Minus the fact that every new google account is automatically signed up for it without asking if you want to be.
  • Yep agree with you. It is kind of mess. For example, to comment video in Youtube it will automatically create Google+ account which I do not want to.
  • That explains why the number of Youtube comments have drastically gone down. I was wondering.
  • UC Browser is my preferred browser for Windows Phone. The only time I use IE is when clicking a link which of course launches IE as the default browser. I look forward to the day that MS allows us to set our own default applications for certain tasks.
  • Like with the camera? :)
  • Can you edit the user agent or just the "visit as a pc"?
  • I'm probably gonna get called out for being overly paranoid about this but I checked out UC Browser in the past and one thing that bugged me was that when you went to bookmarks and used folders, there were Chinese characters that displayed alongside whatever you called the folder. Had those not been there I really never would have thought anything of it, but it got me to thinking - how do we know that this isn't just some app that's also used to spy on data?   Sure, that could probably be said about any app on our phones (or even built-in IE and whatever the hell the NSA is up to these days), but, i dunno why - something about this in particular struck me as fishy. Having said all that, I really wanted to use it because it's so much better than IE that comes with the phone.   Sorry, tin-foil hat <off>.
  • I was actually wondering how UC Browser monetizes, it seems to be a good browser and it exists on other platforms so this isn't some hobby app put out for the fun of it. Are there paid features I don't know about.
  • I wonder about it as well. It is a great browser, though.
  • I sort of have the same concerns. UCbrowser sends all your traffic through a remote server for compression, even the secured content, and considering that it's a chinese brwoser, it doesn't sit right with me. Sure, opera mini does the same but I trust norway more than the comunist government of china. Now where is opera mini for WP, damn it.
  • That's what I was afraid of. So they have to pay for a development team and A LOT of servers to proxy all those requests through. So given those costs and the fact that there are no ads, the app is free and there are no IAPs for enhanced functionality... call me paranoid but I just uninstalled UC Browser.
  • 'Cause when the US government backdoors encryption standards, actively tracks billions of cellphones around the globe, does man in the middle attack with fake certificates, forces Google to hand over your data and what not, that's fine. But the poor Chinese that get your browsing history? By the way, they can't just look in your encrypted / https traffic even if they send it through their proxies. Sure it's possible if you really want to but I doubt that company has the means to do so.
  • China's government is worse. You just don't hear about it that much. They actively censor the internet and put everyone who criticizes the great communist party in jail. I used to live in an authoritarian country, so I know a thing or two about how it's like. I'm not saying it affects me, it doesn't. It's just a matter of principle. http://www.opera.com/help/mini/faq#security UC Browser works the same way. "Is there any end-to-end security between my handset and — for example — paypal.com or my bank?" "Opera Mini server needs to have access to the unencrypted version of the webpage."
  • I don't care that they are Chinese, I would do the same thing if it was a US company. I had the same reaction after giving Opera mini a whirl when I was still on Android. You should try not to be so defensive.
  • While I love IE and use it as my preferred browser of choice, I cannot wait until the day that Microsoft allows for third party browser engines on Windows Phone and RT. Sometimes you just need a third party alternative, and I can't wait until UC Browser gets that ability; otherwise it's just a glorified IE skin.
  • Uc browser is fast but the displayed web is not appealing to me with funny font
  • U can't set it as ur default browser, so what's the use??!
  • Well, I mean, do you always launch the browser from an embedded URL link? I don't. Sometimes I just browse the web, in which case being 'default' has zero impact on the situation.  So I ask back: if just browsing, why does 'default' matter?
  • For me, 90% of the time, the browser gets launched from SMS, news reader, or other app, or the hardware search button. On top of that, no 3rd party browser can save images, and very few (if any) can longpress on links for options like open in new tab, or copy URL. So basically any time I would want to use a third party browser, I'd have to copy the URL from IE and paste it in my browser of choice... And it wouldn't take very long for me to run into one of the above limitations and have to copy/paste back to IE anyway. On top of all that- no third party browser has quite the FPS IE does nor do they seem to perform as well as IE in general, which I'm sure is the fault of WP's app limitations that IE is exempt from and not any dev's fault, but it's still annoying. To each his own, but it amazes me that anyone even tries to use any other browser on WP. Just doesn't seem worth it imo. That said, I always am looking for an app to change my mind and I always play with updates. In my travels I found a relatively obscure browser that I think deserves more attention- it installs on English devices "cute browser". Not as full of features as UC but worth a look. Check out "蜂鸟浏览器" for Windows Phone http://www.windowsphone.com/s?appid=1ca4292a-36a1-4e1b-98ff-d1899003fee0
  • Seriously Microsoft should do something about there API please we need more features on most apps
  • YES!! such as this http://windowsphone.uservoice.com/forums/101801-feature-suggestions/suggestions/2343183-upload-files-via-browser . Every messaging app let you upload files from media gallery. Why can't IE ?!?!
  • This browser makes IE on WP look like a joke, unfortunately. Microsoft really needs to step it up.
  • What's internet explorer?
  • A web browser which made the other web browers what they are now! It was developed before W3C standardized CSS for the first time. And admittedly it gave Microsoft a great deal of negative rep in last 20 years. Although it is catching up real fast (and even performing better in some aspects), they still have a bit slower bug fixing and update process.
  • I am not able to export music to hub.
  • Nokia Xpress Browser is a good alternative as well. It supports packet compression and you can use it without being paranoid about the Red Army. Surfcube 3D is a good one as well especially the 3D is really good once you get used to it.
  • UC browser has improved over the years, before 5 years if I logged in to fb it used to redirect via other county servers and hence making fb inaccessible until you answer security questions!
  • So the files downloaded from the app stay in the app or go to the hub?
  • Liki music mp3, it will be saved in phone memory or microSD, but like .zip, video file, theywill be saved in other storage, the system of Windows Phone itself itself that restricted so, it prevents this.
  • Then I guess there is no point in downloading this.. :/
  • The videos downloaded don't save to the hub in a viewable format like they're supposed to, and the Chinese connection makes UC a little suspect. I have it, but don't use it much... IE works fine.
  • Dgaf until WP allows changing of default browsers
  • UC Browser has been unstable, and crashing since a few versions ago on WP 7.5   Maybe this one will fix some of the issues. If not, maybe 3.3 will.
  • Why no addons in the wp version, it's what makes the Android version great. Same with Maxthon, unbellievably lame wp version.
  • I was searching for IE alternative an foun this one with highest ratings. But my issue on L920 is extreme battery drain even if not using it This is really strange. I used it maybe 2-3 times and had it for about a week or 2. And during this period I had really high battery drain. Now I deleted it 3 days ago and everything became normal since than. I charged my phone once and the next charge gonna be tomorrow.
  • I really wish UC browser would add test wrapping
  • THE BEST! but for some reason since last update (before this one) it doesnt open my college website which i use often and IE opens w/o problem. and I wish it would load websites when minimized (not opened)
  • i would just like to ask something, is it possible to remove the swipe to left or right as back and forward page in UC Browser... it really bugs me when i try to read an article and needs to zoom in to read text but the text reflow does not work so i need to swipe to left or right to keep reading but if i swipe to much it leads me to the previous page..   TIA
  • I have same problem as well, can't find any solution :(
  • yessssssssssss.
  • Why not mention that it has rotation lock?! That is the main reason I love this browser! At last I can surf the web laying on the side! =)
  • I really Mozilla to release their browser on Windows Phone with add-on support(even only smaller ones).
    O.T. I have UC browser installed on my WP 7.8, but it works really slow(phone is at fault), so I am using Internet Explorer and I actually like it on my phone! It's fast and has some basic features like multi tabs and bookmarks and I don't anything else for now.
    But it's really nice that UC browser is always updated and improved. We need more devs like these guys here.
  • Is there anyone has problem with all browsers on windows phone except IE? The problem is when you trying to open a web page and before it completely loads tap windows button to open start screen, then switch back to browser, you see page stops loading, actually the browser does not work in background, so when your internet connection is slow and want to do some multi task when page is loading, it is not possible. IE has no problem but all other browsers like UC Browser and others have this problem.  Someone answer please
  • I have been using my old galaxy nexus for the past week (seeing how 4.4 performs <-- not too far impressed so far), and I was surprised by how much better WP8 Uc Browser is than Androids. I really like IE on Wp8, but UC browser is a constant competition.  
  • Does uc browser saves data ? Internet Explorer is data hungry. It completely exhaust data plan !!! So i want to ask everyone here, does uc browser saves data or not ?
  • good