Yes. I had been a product manager at Sony and Rakuten for 10 years. During those years, I started planning my future career to be an entrepreneur. I thought coding skills will be necessary as a tech start-up founder in order to bootstrap my product at the early stage of my company and also to be able to communicate efficiently with engineers. So I started to learn to code while working as a product manager. I woke up at 6 in the morning, coded 2 hours, went to the office, coded 1 hour while having lunch, coded 3 hours after dinner, and coded almost all day during the weekend.
I had so many product ideas that I wanted to create, so I never got tired of coding. Rather I was getting into it more and more as time went by. Eventually, after 3 years of learning, I became confident in my skills and started my own business.
Users have such high expectations for a browser app that they use every day. Their minimum requirement for a browser would be, all websites need to be rendered without problems even with websites that are not coded correctly, save ID and PW, private browsing, bookmark, history, file download manager, and so on. On top of it, there needs to be a unique value.
At the beginning, our app lacked many of the essential features, but we kept building one feature another, and finally became a realistic option for to be a regular browser that uses launch every day.
Yuichi Kato is the CEO and Founder of Astool, Inc. With over 10 years of experience in product management and self-taught coding knowledge, he came up with the idea of designing a browser, that is feature-filled yet easy to use for the users.
SmartNews: It is a popular news app in Japan and the US. Its horizontal scroll to switch news category is impressive, and obviously, our app, Smooz, was inspired a lot by it. In addition, its machine learning ability to predict my preference is awesome.
Google Maps: It turns navigation into entertainment. Without it, I would not know so many of my favorite restaurants and I would not have visited so many places I liked. There are so many features in Google Maps, but they have successfully kept the user experience simple and clean.
“How come mobile browsing is so inefficient compared with desktop browsing. Isn’t there any good tool out there?”
We think default browsers such as Chrome or Safari are good browsers, but they are like Toyota for cars; for the mass audience. But I myself wanted something better and I could even pay for it. Since I use the browser every day, if I can make it 1% more efficient per day, the return I will get over the years will be huge. I started with my own need and I thought there would be many more people like me.
One handed gesture control is our top value proposition. On the other mobile browsers, tab navigation is a huge pain; launch tab manager, scrolling on the tab manager, and select the tab I want. On Smooz, I can easily switch tabs just by swiping left and right.
High customizability is also liked by many users. On the other mobile browsers, features on the toolbar are predefined and cannot be changed. Even for the users who never “share” contents, the share button sits on the toolbar all time. On Smooz, I can customize what should be on the toolbar and the feature order on the menu according to the personal preference. Also, there are many more customizable items like themes, wallpaper, app icon, scroll behaviors, tab switch behaviors, and so on.
We cannot talk about tangible plans for the future, but we will keep focusing on creating the best mobile browsing experience by delivering unique value.
Find your favorite features of Smooz and share them with your friends!
Smooz offers a fresh and unique web browsing experience with its gesture-based navigation, tab manager, customizable gesture controls that trigger a multitude of functions.
Smooz was featured in more than 30 media articles in Japan including TechCrunch, Gizmodo, Engadget, etc.
Smooth Tab Operation
Hold the link to open it in a new tab. Swipe left and right to change tabs. Swipe up the Search Icon to close a tab.
Gestures can be customized to activate numerous functions such as open bookmarks, activate the private mode, close tab, translate page, and many more.
Browse without leaving browsing/search history and cookies
· Hold link to open in a new tab on the background
· Swipe left and right to switch tabs
· Check other users' comments on the website you are visiting
· Private mode
· Quick access to visit favorite websites faster
· Pin tabs for quick and easy access
· Tab manager
· Close all the current tabs and organize tabs
· Customize gestures to open bookmarks, activate private mode, close tab, translate page, and many more.
· Display keyboard and search page on launch
· Share websites from share button
· Open last browsed tabs when restarting Smooz
· Open webpages from other applications in Smooz
· Open URL copied from other application in Smooz
· Search engine options
· Search keywords on websites
· Translate page
· Save ID/Passwords
· Delete Browsing/Search histories
· Show, edit, copy and share URLs
· Chat based customer support
Nikkei MJ newspaper
Inquiries or Reports
Please contact us from the in-app customer support. (Settings > Send questions or requests). If you have not downloaded the app yet, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Date: October 13, 2020
Developer: Yuichi Kato
About developer: Yuichi Kato is the CEO and Founder of Astool, Inc. With over 10 years of ex ... Read more
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