Posts Tagged ‘browser-with-tabs’

Tabbed browsing : Smart Bro vs FireFox

Saturday, November 4th, 2006

 

Hi Guys,

 

  Today I’m going to talk about the tabbed interface for both Smart Bro (our browser) and FireFox. I wanted to take a closer look at it in order to come up with the best of both (if any). The comparison is being made between Smart Bro v2.5.0011 and FireFox v1.5.0.7.

 

  Well, at the first glance, you’ll notice that Smart Bro has a blue icon (mark) on every tab and the text to the right of it. In FF, you’ll see an icon of an empty document instead. When you try to load a website on a specific tab, Smart Bro will show an empty blue icon and start filling that icon until it’s complete which denotes that loading the website is completed. In FF, this is replaced with a progress icon that doesn’t show the progress. The icon itself is very cool, but it doesn’t provide much info.

 

  I noticed that Smart Bro is missing a feature that is available in FF. When a website has a special icon, FF will show that icon, while Smart Bro will not do that. I’m not sure if this is useful, but I think it may come handy sometimes.

 

  When a website, in an inactive tab, is loaded in Smart Bro and completed, it will flash to drag your attention that the website (which you’re not currently looking at) is loaded completely. I found this feature is missing in FireFox. I think this is a nice feature that helps users with a slow connection who are trying to work on multiple sites at the same time.

 

Now for the interaction…

  Smart Bro allows the user to customize what actions should be done for specific events. Left-Click tab, Right-Click tab, Double-Click tab, Shift+Left-Click tab and Shift+Right-Click tab. By default, Smart Bro:

 

Left-Click: Activates the tab.

Right-Click: Closes the tab.

Shift+Left-Click: Reloads the tab.

Shift+Right-Click: Shows the tab menu.

Double Click: Toggles shrinking on/off.

 

  What I think is the best in Smart Bro tabbed interface is the closing event (right-clicking the tab) which is very fast and easy. FireFox on the other hand Activates a tab by left-clicking the tab and shows the tab menu by right-clicking the tab. This doesn’t offer much flexibility in my opinion. I recall seeing a close button on every tab in FireFox, but I’m not 100% sure what was that, but in my version it’s not there.

 

  Both browsers has a close button at the right-most of the tabs area by which you can close the selected tab.

 

  When loading many websites, both Smart Bro and FireFox keep all the tabs in one line, which is a little bit hard when you’re working on more than 15 websites. I think this is not an important issue, but it should be mentioned.

 

  Smart Bro offers options to minimize, restore, close, tile horizontally, cascade and close all the currently open tabs using the top-right control box. FireFox doesn’t offer any of these options unfortunately.

 

  This concludes the tabbed interface comparison. I hope it will be useful to you guys and if you think, I missed a point or two, please leave a comment and I will be more than happy to add them.

 

Mean while…

Browse the web smarter … use Smart Bro.

 

Best regards,

Tony Sticks,

Mind Vision Software (MVS).