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Lets ditch browser tabs

asked 2014-12-13 13:39:22 +0300

Andy gravatar image

updated 2014-12-13 14:05:36 +0300


I have a suggestion how to improve the browser usability on the Jolla phone and possibly even the tablet:

A) Remove tab support completely from the browser because with the excelent SailfishOS multitasking, this is not a feature, but a limitation:

  1. Opening a link elsewhere “overwrites” a currently openned tab which probably is a bug
  2. Tabs are not present in the open apps list which decreases the multitasking options
  3. It is not possible to open more tha one browser window/instance at the same time
  4. not possible to peek to other tabs
  5. not too easy to close current tab or any other tab
  6. not very easy to open new tab

I really liked the N9 browser which had no tab support and used the excellent multitasking feature of the OS to handle that need.

So the solution would be:

  1. make the browser app lighter and simplier by removing tab support and implementing windows or new instances every time the browser is launched from anywhere (e.g. link from email or browser launcher in the apps screen)
  2. show live page preview when the browser window is a tile in the process manager
  3. slide left the tile - refresh the page, slide right - open new window and focus it
  4. always launch new window when a link is pressed or browser app is opened
  5. show search, URL entry box and bookmarks and recent web pages as new window (the about:blank)

B) or additionally make a completely new native browser which is not tabbed, but use separate windows instead. Have these two browsers in the Jolla store as options for different user tastes.

I believe this would increase the browser usability and UX 1200% better than it is now.

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@Andy - nice one, you can delete your comment above as well if need be, helping to keep Together Jolla, tidy! :)


Spam Hunter ( 2014-12-13 13:54:45 +0300 )edit

I have "solved" browser issues by using Android's Firefox which is pretty decent :)

Harakiri ( 2014-12-13 14:41:16 +0300 )edit

It is not "solving". I would prefer to use Android only when it is absolutely necessary. If I wanted to use Android I would have got myself an Android phone.

Andy ( 2014-12-13 14:50:06 +0300 )edit

Exactly. That's why I had "solved" in quotes.

Harakiri ( 2014-12-13 14:58:02 +0300 )edit

the ui must be changed to support tabs and the way they represent .... so that its easy to switch tabs.. tabs are needed for multitasking ...

Ghost ( 2014-12-13 15:55:40 +0300 )edit

3 Answers

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answered 2014-12-15 07:29:07 +0300

pichlo gravatar image

Please do NOT remove the tabs. It is the best feature of the native browser. Tabs are extremely useful to reduce the screen clutter. It is easy to switch between them, close the current one or open a new one. The only real issue is andy's first point, reusing the current tab by e.g. following a link from an email, but that is a bug and unrelated to the tab funcionality as such.

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Agree, lets keep them. However, IMO there are several usability issues that should be addressed.

tokaru ( 2014-12-15 13:28:34 +0300 )edit

answered 2014-12-15 10:15:43 +0300

MiLano gravatar image

Make it optional. Simple switch in configuration making new tabs or opening new windows. It's all about the choice.

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answered 2014-12-15 20:46:34 +0300

midnightoil gravatar image

updated 2014-12-15 20:47:00 +0300

I think we can file this in the same category of completely insane but nevertheless somewhat upvoted threads as:

"please give us a resistive touchscreen for J2!"


"please jolla don't even consider replacing the J1 until 2016 at the earliest, because it's all anyone could ever want!".

The common feature that both the N9 and Jolla (Sailfish) have is that both browsers are absolutely awful. Under-developed, badly featured, crashy, incompatible with tons of websites and poor UI. However the one feature that the Sailfish Browser does have over the N9 one is tabs. The implementation of tabs is very poor in the Jolla Browser, but at least it can be improved upon.

Also, you have to be the first person I've ever heard of that either liked or used the default browser on the N9. I thought literally everyone used Opera, specifically because it was so bad (and lacked tabs).

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Pretty much right on the money there. The truth hurts sometimes.

Pistol ( 2014-12-15 21:49:05 +0300 )edit

The main purpose of a browser on my phone is speed. Opera used to be too slow. Firefox even slower. The native one was the fastest and had all I needed. Also tabs are something I need on a desktop browser, but not a phone one.. I never have more than 3-5 pages open at a time and therefore tabs is a feature which slows me down..

Andy ( 2014-12-20 17:08:58 +0300 )edit

That is a bare-faced lie. The native browser was the slowest of the 3 by miles. In more complex pages, they'd frequently take 3-5x as long as Opera, if they loaded at all.

meowmeow ( 2014-12-20 22:28:16 +0300 )edit

I would not go as far as calling it "insane". Some like the vicar, others his maid. The suggestion has its merit, I just happen not to agree with it (as you can see from my reply).

As for the resistive screen, that suggestion definitely has merit. However discussions on that topic belong in another thread.

pichlo ( 2014-12-28 01:12:29 +0300 )edit
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Asked: 2014-12-13 13:39:22 +0300

Seen: 951 times

Last updated: Dec 15 '14