This is my concept for alternative browser for Windows Phone. Currently The Windows Phone Software Development Kit (SDK) does not allow sufficient access to the lower level code required to create their own browsers, while in the next version it may well be possible. This will allow third party developers to port and develop apps (such as browsers) to Windows Phone much easier.
The possible existence of third party browsers will be welcome news for people that want more choices or just don’t like IE. This motivates me to provide a competitive product for the audience of Windows Phone – Chrome – one of my personal favorite desktop browsers. It’s not as clean, beautiful and fast as Internet Explorer 10, but (in my personal experience) it’s better in other situations. The most important and useful feature for me is the sync option between all devices with Chrome – this bring my open tabs, bookmarks and Omnibox data from my computer to my phone or tablet. You will notice that concept is made of several ideas, not only for Chrome, but for Windows Phone 8 too. I combine real features with my ideas – all in the name of good experience.
Windows Phone 8 will offer the much improved browser – Internet Explorer 10. I really hope so to see similar sync between desktop and mobile IE. Now I’ll try to combine Chrome’s features with beautiful and fluid interface for Windows Phone. Recently Google released an early version of Chrome for Windows 8 – this enables Chrome to run in a Metro container, but not in the typical way you’d expect a Metro style app to function – it’s absolutely the same as the normal desktop version – the Windows 8 UI (Metro) design guidelines are not used by Google. I’ll try to fix that – but for phone version.
Before to begin I want to do a little clarification about used ideas. You’ll find familiar features and conceptual ones. Those of you who own Android device know about the tabs – they appear if you use tablet or modified dpi screen in phone. There is no standard option to choose how to see the tabs. I personally like to see tabs for quick switch. If the tabs are two and more you can slide them to choose the correct. Definitely will have different opinions on this, so one of my ideas is to have an option to turn on/off showing of the tabs. For the purposes of this concept my tabs are shown. Windows Phone 8 will come with more new resolutions in widescreen formats: 1280 by 768 and 1280 by 720 as well as the current 800 by 480, which should give more app flexibility. For example if my phone is with resolution 1280 by 720 – tabs are on by default, if I use still 800 by 480 – tabs are off.
I hope so to enjoy the Chrome concept and to tell me your comments and critics.
Chrome definitely need a new modern UI icon
Welcome screen will allow you to Sign in with your Google account – to bring your open tabs, bookmarks and Omnibox data from your computer to your phone or tablet:
And this is the main screen that you see when enter the app. On the top you have access to your Most visited sites, you sync desktop and mobile favorites and your sync opened tabs between your devices. Tabs are in the bottom of the screen, and there is no separate address bar. To enter/change the URL just hold the tab.
One of the basic metro (Modern UI) ideas is about the interface and the content. When you open the site you see only the content. Tabs are hidden when scrolling down. To show them back, just slide the screen up. There is option to stay always on too.
Hold the tab to see the menu:
And this is my idea for “Open with…” dialog, familiar from our PC – option to choose what program to use to open file/link if there is two or more programs that opened same file type. Read more about this idea here. For example this is my twitter app and I click on link with YouTube video. Popup appear with several apps to choose. You can make your choose default if you want, or click More button to search in Windows Store for more apps.
Next week I’ll make Concept for Opera by request. Opera is one of the oldest and useful browsers and Windows Phone definitely need Opera to be in the Store. Familiar from Windows Mobile, Opera Mini and now for Windows Phone 8 – transformed.