CyberNotes
Web Browser Wednesday




Web browsers are becoming more and more important to our everyday lives because they help keep us connected, informed, and productive. So it’s no wonder that there are several different people competing to be successful in this area including Microsoft, Mozilla, Apple, Opera, and now even Google.

Today we wanted to take a look at an awesome new WebKit-based browser called Cruz. I wouldn’t have found out about it if it wasn’t for one of our readers, Yansky, who pointed it out. And I must say that it has some unique features that might be able to pull Mac users away from their current browser of choice.

cruz browser mac-1.jpg
(Click to Enlarge)

–The Awesome Features–

Here are some of the best features I’ve found in Cruz:

  • Site-specific Cover Flow. As you can see in the screenshot above there is a Cover Flow system that is able to integrate with certain sites (Google Search, Flickr, Wikipedia, Digg, and Facebook, are a few examples). What it does is scan the page for links based upon certain CSS attributes that you specify. Digg is a great example of how it works because it shows thumbnails of each site listed on the page your currently viewing.
  • Sidebar Sites. You can have a sidebar open on either (or both) side of the screen, and each one can serve up a website. You can also adjust the user agent for each sidebar independently from the primary viewing area, which is handy for viewing iPhone-only sites within your browser.
  • Userstyles and Userscripts Built-in. If you’re a fan of Greasemonkey or Stylish in Firefox you’ll be happy to know that the functionality of both add-ons are already incorporated into the browser.
  • Create TinyURL’s. You can right-click on any link inside the browser to have a TinyURL created for it. The shortened link will then be automatically copied to your clipboard.
  • Google Search Thumbnails. If you’re more of a visual person you can choose to show thumbnails of websites next to each Google Search result.

–The Other Features–

Here are some of the other things that is included with Cruz:

  • Open Plug-in Architecture
  • Global Keyboard Shortcut
  • Single-Window Browsing Mode
  • Session Restore
  • Full-Screen Mode
  • Customizable Shortcuts
  • Integrated Gears-loading (InputManager)
  • Hidden “Closed” Windows
  • Automatic Software Updates
  • Custom User-Agent Strings
  • Full WebInspector
  • Custom Window Opacity/Level/Style

–More Screenshots–

And finally here are some more screenshots showcasing some of the browser’s features and preferences:

(Click to Enlarge)
cruz google search.jpg cruz browser sidebars.jpg cruz preferences overview.jpg cruz thumbnail preferences.jpg

–Overview–

Since the browser uses the same rendering engine as Safari most sites I tested worked just as you would expect them to. While some of the features are cool I don’t see Cruz pulling me away from using Firefox as my primary browser. But in their defense this is a very early release, and they might still have some other aces up their sleeve.

Cruz Homepage
Thanks Yansky!