You might have heard by now, Epic browser, the (self claiming) first-ever web browser for India, is opened for public use. It is built on Mozilla’s code and hence the top menu and Address bar tools are almost the same as seen in Firefox.
The User Interface
It is 10.7 MB in size and installed fairly quickly, though not in a minute as the developers say. The first impression that I got when it opened automatically after installation is that ‘it is clustered’. But don’t reach any conclusion just as yet as that was only my first impression. It surely took a while to check what’s what but eventually I got used to it. The main change that you would see in Epic compared to Firefox is the presence of Sidebar with tens of applications, Facebook, Twitter, Gmail et al. Click on any icon and the App opens next to the sidebar taking some space off the actual web page. This sidebar uses the iPhone user agent and hence the Apps open as if you are browsing them from an iPhone (see the image below, Yahoo is asking me to visit from a computer though I’m accessing it from a computer). Users ‘could’ find this useful as it may help them multi task things, but for me, I like things to be bigger. Chrome has become my default browser ever since it was available just because it was cluster free and had a bigger area for the web page.
Since it is built on Mozilla’s code, just like Firefox, you can search using the address bar too. If there is any exact match to your search, it opens the web page directly or else, opens the Google search results page (or your choice of search engine).
So what’s nice?
The sidebar seems to look like a real News Hub. Just click on the Indian flag (the first icon) and you’ll see news from different major online Portals. You also have travel Apps to quickly plan your travel. Sure, preference was given to certain news portals and companies but they aren’t hiding that either. They say their partner’s are Web 18, Yatra, NDTV and so on..
There’s a word processor ‘Write’ in the sidebar using which you can quickly type and save it as a word document (certain additional components may be required) or as a html file that opens using Epic browser.
The best App among all for me is the timer. I use the scirocco timer currently that alerts me every 2 hours but now it is built in the browser. Much needed for somebody like me who works 8 to 9 hours on a laptop on a daily basis.
You remember my first impression of Epic? Yeah, Clustered. Although I stick to it even now, the clustered thing is just limited to the looks of the browser, as I can easily feel the increase in speed with which the web pages are loading. With firefox, when you load it with tens of add-on’s you start to feel that the browser it over loaded. But even with these tens of pre installed apps (I should say mobile apps), Epic is doing great in terms of Speed.
What’s not so nice?
Really, didn’t play with it much to find the holes. Just one thing I felt lacking was the quick search feature to search for the sidebar Apps. With those many Apps I certainly felt the need of such a tool (or is it already there?).
So will my default browser change to Epic?
Just not yet. I have plenty of browsers already installed. Chrome (the most used), Firefox (for development work), IE (to check the how it renders the CSS, sigh), Safari (to develop and visit web pages using various touch user agents). This is sure looking like a promising browser so I would say good start for the developers.
I would give this a rating of not less than 3.5/5.