Jeff Sharkey

OilCan: Greasemonkey on steroids for Android

So I’ve been rushing to wrap up some Android side projects, and I’d like to get them out there before I start my new job tomorrow. OilCan is Greasemonkey on steroids for Android. It lets you customize any website by inserting JavaScript to change the website and help it reach into the Android world using intents.

Vimeo is being a bit odd with videos that don’t have sound. Start playing the video, then drag the seek bar slightly to bring it back to normal speed. Or let it play through the video fast and press play again to watch at normal speed.

Using intents to call other Android apps really powerful, and opens the door to all sorts of web-based apps. For example, you can make a JavaScript call to scan a barcode, pick a contact, or launch into Maps or other Android apps. You really have to peek at this video to get an idea of what it does:

There is an OilCan site with more details about the Userscript format and security model. Check out the source dump for OilCan, or grab a ready-to-run OilCan APK.

Greasemonkey scripts are known for customizing websites to your personal tastes, and this can really help when working on a small screen. One of the scripts in the video above trims away extra columns and margins on Wikipedia pages, giving it more screen real estate.

There are thousands of GreaseMonkey scripts, like one that puts favicons into Google Reader, or one that wraps Google search results into two columns.

OilCan is different than the efforts of PhoneGap, which is focusing on providing GPS, vibration, and accelerometer access to webapps.