Try this:

Intent browserIntent = new Intent(Intent.ACTION_VIEW, Uri.parse("http://www.google.com"));
startActivity(browserIntent);

That works fine for me.

As for the missing "http://" I'd just do something like this:

if (!url.startsWith("http://") && !url.startsWith("https://"))
   url = "http://" + url;

I would also probably pre-populate your EditText that the user is typing a URL in with "http://".