Meet Osine and Anesi, the Nigerian Teenagers Who Built a Mobile Web Browser

1-Osine and Anesi Osine and Anesi Ikhianosime

“My name is Osine Ikhianosime and I am 13 years old. I am the co-developer of Crocodile Browser Lite. I write the code. My brother designs it,” Osine told TechCabal in his pitch mail.

Osine Ikhianosime is like any other any other boy his age and at the same time he isn’t. He loves playing soccer and is fascinated with learning new things, but not every 13 year old takes coding as a hobby – Osine does.

Born April 28, 2001, his interest in computers began at age 7. It was also at this age that he, along with his brother, Anesi Ikhianosime, who was 9 at the time (born June 1, 1999), came up with the idea of starting a company. First named Doors, with Microsoft’s “Windows” as inspiration, it had to be changed to BluDoors, when they discovered that the first name was already taken.

When they decided to learn to code at age 12 and 14 respectively, Osine said, “I didn’t let my uncle’s belief that it would be a tough feat to achieve stop me.” “I started with Java,” Osine said excitedly during our ensuing phone conversation.

“I learnt to code by myself. I started in 2013, I used sites like Code Academy, Code Avengers and books like ‘Android for Game Development’ and ‘Games for Dummies’,” said Anesi.

While both brothers write code, Anesi designs the user interface.

Crocodile-Browser User interface of the Crocodile Browser

They both began developing an Android web browser, which they named Crocodile Browser Lite, about a year ago out of boredom. Due to their strong interest  in technology, they decided to create a functional, fast browser for feature and low end phones because, according to them, “We were fed up with Google Chrome.”

Osine and Anesi launched the mobile browser on the Mobango app store before moving to Google Play Store to try and reach a wider audience. Their browser has around 100 to 500 downloads currently and they do not have ads in the app yet.

The brothers are Year 9 and Year 11 students of Greensprings School, Anthony Campus, Lagos.

According to their mum, Mrs Ngozi Ikhianosime, who is a Math teacher, “Oseni could already use a PC before could read, at age 3.” She says it’s all he does since he learnt to code. She also says that his school was also essential in his learning to code at such a young age, as the students have access to computer and internet facilities. At home, they each have their personal laptops.

She says of Anesi, who is in his final year of secondary school, “After Anesi is through with his secondary school education, will attend A levels, after which he will go to MIT in Boston for his first degree, because the university has the facilities he needs to learn well.”

Their father Mr Philip Ikhianosime, who is the Head of Management Services and Human Resource Manager at an Insurance Company says the boys developed interest in PC usage very early. He agrees as well that his children’s school were very instrumental in their continued interest in programming.

Anesi says that he’d like to develop another app that solves real social problems, such as traffic and communication.

The brothers are releasing a new version of Crocodile Browser Lite 3.0 this April.

21 Comments

  • Choox says:

    I wanted to be like them before I grew up. Simply amazing. Here’s wishing you go all the way to the top. Amen!

  • jidelambo says:

    Awesome Awesome Boys!!!

  • Are we talking about an app that simply pipes URLs to the mobile OS’s default web browser control or actual coding and interaction with a specific rendering engine? Because we all did (or already know how to do) the former at some point in our lives. Kudos to the boys and all for learning to code at such a young age, but the presented context is likely being overrated.

    • Osine Ikhianosime says:

      We are talking about actual coding and integration with a specific rendering engine.

      • Tomi Hassan says:

        Kudos guys, but you need to learn how to put colors together. The current design hurts my eyes

        • Anesi Ikhianosime says:

          Thanks for the reply. Please can you suggest ways to improve the current design

      • Oh cool. You mentioned “Clean UI”, “Fast browsing”, and “Fast downloads”. The first is subjective so I won’t touch that. However, how does Crocodile achieve better speed in comparison to other mainstream browsers (or say, the default Android browser)?

        • Iyinoluwa Aboyeji says:

          Ezra stop being an agbaya. 🙂

          • Adeolu Sanyaolu says:

            It is a positive critic that can help them develop better. Let them answer the questions. Great Job to your guys. Am proud that you kids are coding rather than just playing games.

          • What’s funny is that it’s a redress of the open source (and subjectively better looking) Tint Browser – which they referenced in the About section anyway.

          • Anesi Ikhianosime says:

            The beauty of UI components cannot really be judged objectively so I won’t defend the browser’s UI here. However, it is not simply a “redress” of tint browser as only some UI components were borrowed. The real code however is quite different from Tint. The aim of the this new version was simply to offer an improvement from the last version and I think we did just that.

  • DoYouBleed says:

    Who osine don help?

  • Iyinoluwa Aboyeji says:

    More power to them. Another huge reason why we should get kids to code early in their lives.

    I’ll be happy to keep an eye out for their applications should they choose to apply to Africa’s best software developer school. Just one click away at apply.andela.co

    • Anesi Ikhianosime says:

      Good day sir, can I please have your email so I can get more information on andela

  • k'net says:

    overrates yes. Whats the big deal with a browser, am not exactly Linus Torvalds but but any dickhead that know how to write a few lines of java can cook up a browser. Whats the fuss about sef ? Oh i forgot it’s Nigeria little technical stuff gets people excited. How exactly is a browser going to change the world ? Who needs another browser ? does the browser use any special algorithm to cut down data usage. choi

    • Anesi Ikhianosime says:

      Crocodile Browser is a work in progress and is still incomplete as of now. Special algorithms and USPs will be considered in the subsequent versions.

      Thanks for your criticism

  • KISH says:

    Kudos to these guys. This most likely might not be their big break or what they would eventually achieve but this will surely take them to some enviable heights.

  • campol says:

    I am an optimist. A never-say-die researcher but I must say I am embarrased by this news.
    Why? I belive it is impossible for a 13 year old to develop a browser. Full Stop.!!

    Furthermore, saying a 13 year old developed a browser is quite over-the-top exposure of ignorance.

    Why?

    Like someone already noted, developing browser Engine and simple String Parsers is not simple.
    Any mordern Browser is more than a browser. It is a Virtual Machine which must be capable of Rendering Simple HTML tags in hyperthreading and also run javascript as a bottom-line.

    How does a 13 year old Initialise ports and query external internet traffics without depending on inbuilt browser-controls?

    How does a single individual write a RegularExpression parser that would deal with RAW data strings that arrive from internet addresses and render them without chocking-up on arbitrary errors from irregulary multiple tags in some web-pages?

    How does a 13 year old understand how to deal with fuzzy XML tags in order to realise an HTML parsers?

    Does the browser process CSS?

    I can go on and on..

    I think these kids must be encouraged but not deceived. If they start now to dig, they can come up with a browser in the near future.. Its not impossible but whoever is so much overzealous in projecting them to the world must understand that these kids needs credibility much more than fame at the moment.

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