Today I’d like to discuss an app that we’re using probably every day on our smartphones but each time it feels underrated — the built-in web browser.
The problem is that the Maemo browser has been facing functional devolution year after year. But the web has been changing constantly as well as our lifestyle so now we need a proper tool to view the Internet in the right way more than ever.
So here are my thoughts on what should be changed in the default web browser in Harmattan. Many of those features you maybe have already seen in different apps so basically I’m just making up the concept out of existing pieces.
1. The Grid
So first of all I’d add the grid view to the home screen of the browser that has been introduced by Opera under the “Speed Dial” name and then used by many other modern desktop browsers. A quick and easy way to jump right to your favorite bookmarks. As I nice bonus I’ve added user-adjustable color tags for labels so your eyes will catch the bookmark you need even faster. Along with the Grid itself you can also find a shortcuts to all necessary browsing stuff like bookmarks, history and settings. Also you can just type the address or search query on the bottom.
To manage the Grid you can simply tap’n'hold on any of the squares, just like you do in the apps menu.It will allow you to add new bookmarks or delete or relocate existing.
Let’s move on to the other important feature of any web browser – bookmarks management. It’s nice to have the Grid view or even a shortcut right in the apps menu, but what if you have just too many bookmarks for such simple interfaces? That’s why we need something more sophisticated.
As you can see, now we have good old detailed view of all bookmarks you have no matter where they are located. Just tap edit to create new folders or delete existing items. Also notice that now we’re using favicons instead of almost useless tiny snapshots of pages for even easier navigation.And of course there is a “pull down to search” feature just like in any other place in the system (Harmattan) if you know what you’re looking for.
“Add bookmark” dialog has been modified too.
Now you have a bunch of options for this action. Along with label you can change the target folder to any you want. Also you can chose whether you want to add the bookmark to the apps menu and/or Grid view. And the third option that needs some extra explanation.
3. Web Application Mode.
Basically it’s the mode where your web page loads without any “browsing” attributes like address bar, back/forward buttons or anything else, just simply fullscreen. It will finally open the door to proper mobile web applications with their own navigation, advanced caching and many other things. Just imagine one single multi-platform application that looks the same on any device (of the same category of course).
Since we’ve revamped bookmarks I don’t have any reason not to improve history list.
Favicons for easier navigation, quick scrolling between time intervals, handy way to quickly clear the list without drilling down the menus.
Now I want to ask you, what other features do you need in your mobile browser? Desktop sync? Fit to screen mode? Unicorns? Please feel free to share your thoughts here and who knows maybe one day developers will read this stuff and use these advices.
Thanks for reading.