New Web browsers seem to popping up left and right lately. Internet Explorer 7 is on the home stretch which means all of the IE-based Web browsers need to beef things up to make sure they don’t get outdone by the Microsoft team. A few weeks ago we took a glimpse at the upcoming Avant Browser 11 and now Maxthon seems to be quietly working on version 2.
Before I go over some of the features and show you a few screenshots I will let you know that you can download this preview version yourself. However, you will need to get a Maxthon Passport in order to even open the browser. Alright, now onto the features…
My first impression of starting up the browser was how similar this looks to IE7. Upon further examination I noticed that it is different but the tab bar has a lot of icons that look amazingly similar, including a thumbnail view of your open tabs:
The feed reader, pictured above, is nothing extraordinary. One nice thing about it is that you can choose your update interval instead of the normal 1-hour refresh cycle that many feed readers have.
Just like the new Avant Browser, Maxthon 2 will let users store their bookmarks online so that they will follow you to any computer. You can always disable this feature, like I did, because I prefer to use an online bookmarking system such as del.icio.us or Google Bookmarks.
My favorite feature with Maxthon 2 would have to be the wonderful organization of the options. Instead of having the typical pop-up window it utilizes the tabs to let you customize the browser. At first I wondered how they handled a window that was too small to display all of the options, but then after shrinking the size of the browser I noticed they just use scrollbars. Here is what the options looks like:
I can’t wait to see Maxthon release this browser after they fix some of the bugs, like the missing Stop button.
No, they didn’t combine it with the Refresh button like I originally thought they would have. The Stop button has been combined with the Refresh button but it doesn’t appear to work for me. However, it is far from being complete since it is considered to be a pre-alpha build so they still have plenty of time.