You might recall that earlier in the month Yahoo! purchased a popular Safari add-on called Inquisitor. With it users could start typing in the browser’s search box, and instantly see search results from a menu that popped down. What I was really hoping for was that a Firefox developer would take that idea and run with it.
They have! A nifty little extension called Peers will let you do almost the same thing as Inquisitor, but it actually works with Firefox. As you can see in the screenshot above it is pulling in the top seven results from Google, and displaying them in a simple list. You can select any of the results to instantly be taken to them. And at the end of each result you’ll find the domain listed, which can optionally be removed in the preferences.
You can have it pull in search results from either Google or Yahoo, show search recommendations, and also list the other search engines that are available in your browser (making it easy for a one-time search on another search engine). The number of items it shows for each section is customizable, and it can display as many as ten different search results as you type.
The downside… it doesn’t look nearly as slick as Inquisitor. Peers is designed to be a lot more compact than Inquisitor since each search result in Peers takes up no more than a single line. I think they would be better suited to utilize the vertical space of the browser, and show the title of a result on one line and the full URL (not just the domain) on another. After all, as you can see in the screenshot above it’s tough to see the URL when the title of the result is long.
I’m keeping my fingers crossed that since they have the general functionality down pat that they will work on the appearance a bit. This is just what I needed though to make the search box a lot more useful, because I never used the keyword recommendations that Firefox shows by default when you type into the box.
Note: Peers does work on Firefox 3 if you have it set the browser to ignore extension compatibility checks.