We’ve often commented that Mac users have entered the golden age of web browsers. They’re all fast. They all render pages well. Most of the features we want and need are available in the big three Mac browsers; Safari, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox.
Browsing has been around on the Mac for about 22 years and despite all the advances and features and add-ons, they still do pretty much the same thing. Display websites. Sometimes browsers display search results first, but after that it’s the same old same old; click to a website.
Is there anything new on the internet?
Internet Is New And Old
Last night I devoted an hour or so to using a new Mac internet browser called, well, Internet. The claim to fame here is multi-fold. It’s devoid of most typical browser features, so it could be called minimalist (which is a euphemism for ‘has a price tag, but few features’). It could also be called focused because Internet focuses on the search experience.
The very first Search-Oriented Web Browser
After using the Internet browser for an hour I can tell you this. It’s a browser. It lets you search online. It opens and displays websites. There are few features to worry about configuring and no setup. Oh, and it’s full screen, which is a bit disconcerting to those of us who love multiple tabs, use split-screen mode, and keep multiple browsers open at the same time.
In the end, what you get with Internet is an unadorned, mostly mundane web browser that still uses Google (or whatever search engine suits your fancy these days; I’m happy with DuckDuckGo, but your mileage may vary).
Here’s how Internet is described by the developer.
Open up a New Search any time. It’s simple like an Appliance!
Hmmm. I’m curious how this varies from typing in a few keyword search terms into the browser search bar in Safari (or Chrome or Firefox or whatever)? Maybe I missed something in the instructions. You still enter keyword search terms into the search bar and it still displays search engine results.
This new interface makes your computer into a “web browsing appliance“, rather than like a “now old school” computer program (like Internet Explorer or Safari).
Except they do exactly the same thing and mostly the same way. What did I miss? Sure, the search results are displayed differently. For example, in Internet, the search results display in the lefthand sidebar. Click on a search result page and it opens in the ‘Tabs.’
Yes, different like snowflakes and grains of sand are different. Otherwise, it’s the same steps and same process. Enter a few keyword search terms, view the results, click on a few to view in browser windows.
Internet the browser reminds me of an occasional argument I get from my Android-toting friends (really, they’re more like office acquaintances) who point out all the customization you can perform on Android OS. They also point out how aged the row and column of app icons appear on the iPhone, to which I point out that the look and layout are designed that way for good reasons; familiarity and efficiency. I can open any app or utility or game or tool just as quickly on my iPhone as anyone can on an Android or Windows phone. So, moving things around the screen a bit isn’t as much innovation as it is mere variation on the same theme.
So it is with the Internet browser. It’s a browser, folks. It searches the web (using Google or whatever) based upon keyword search terms entered into a search box, and displays the results on the browser’s screen. If I’m not mistaken, the original Mosaic browser circa mid-1994, did much the same when you visited Yahoo. Amirite?
From what I can tell, the most prominent user interface changes to occur in recent years belong to DuckDuckGo (which displays search results without advertising), and, browser ad blockers (which block ads and tracking scripts which causes website pages to load faster because they’re smaller; and it saves on bandwidth, too).
I would really like to see something new under the sun because too much of what is new is really old because Everything is a Remix.