Review: QuickBrowser for OS X

Rating: 3/5

Posted in Apps, iOS, Reviews on 25/08/2012 by Jim Gresham

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Sometimes, launching Safari for a quick view or look-up is cumbersome. It would be nice if just a quick look window could easily and concisely show what is needed. Enter QuickBrowser, which is an OS X app that just gives you the basics, while still offering full functionality.

Design and Function

QuickBrowser is essentially a mini web browser, but it loads the mobile versions of visited sites. Based on the default small window size, I prefer for the mobile versions to load, as scrolling through a larger, desktop site in such a small window is not ideal. Thankfully, QuickBrowser does allow the user to adjust the window size, if necessary.

QuickBrowser’s goal is to give users a fast way to switch between frequented sites in a mobile version, while on a desktop computer. To ensure ease-of-use the favorite tab on the left shows an icon for the sites you have “starred.” Clicking the icon points to the site, just like the Safari bookmark bar, but with a graphical instead of typographic interface. Unlike Lion’s Safari, QuickBrowser easily allows sharing via Facebook and Twitter.

Contrasting the screenshot on the Mac App Store, the browser window cannot be moved about the screen, nor can multiple windows be viewed at a single time. This prevents the user from being able to keep a window open in the corner while working. For example, I’d love to be able to pull up the mobile version of ESPN, find the football score I’m interested in and pop it off the menu bar to place it on the side of my screen. Additionally, the favorite icons cannot be deleted in the current version, which I’m assuming will be fixed in a .x update. Watch the video below for an in-action walkthrough.

Conclusion [rating: 3/5]

As another way to  view the web, QuickBroswer ($1.99, Mac App Store) is trying to forge a new path for desktop browsers. I do enjoy pulling up the mobile versions of popular sites because it often cuts a lot of garbage off the page.  m.ESPN.go.com is a great example of getting the same information, but without the fuss. However, without the ability to dismount the window from the menu bar, I find the uses limited. As this is a early version of the app and with a dev team that is open to feedback, I look for the user experience to increase over time.

Pros

  • View mobile sites on your desktop
  • Share to Twitter and Facebook
  • Scalable window

Cons

  • Cannot pop the window off the menu bar
  • No multiple window option
  • Window does not stay open, if not active window


Author

Jim Gresham

An avid Macintosh convert, Jim appreciates the fine, detailed, and progressive products Apple designs. He spent his younger years tinkering with computers, reading about technology, and watching Star Wars. Since 2008, he has worked on improving his Apple arsenal and spends his free time researching the latest gadget trends. A native of the Commonwealth of Virginia, he enjoys the stiff crease on a well-ironed dress shirt and dons a bow tie on a regular basis.