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February 18, 2008 / Marco

What’s Missing in the S60 Web Browser for Cell Phones?

There’s nothing more addictive and more liberating than using the internet on cell phones. When you are in a taxi or waiting to see your dentist, you can easily surf the web and get the latest news without ever using a computer, all thanks to the S60 web browser. While I make heavy use of the web and appreciate each and every feature I utilize, there are other things which could have found their way into the web browser. Here’s my wish list, with the hope of seeing their implementation in the future.

Tabbed document interface

For the sake of being a bit technical, according to Wikipedia, in the area of graphical user interfaces a tabbed document interface (TDI) is one that allows multiple documents to be contained within a single window, using tabs to navigate between them. It is an interface style most commonly associated with web browsers, web applications, text editors and preference panes.

As a Mozilla Firefox user the first issue I face while using the S60 web browser is its lack of support for tabbed document interface, or tabbed browsing. In my opinion, tab browsing is so important that I call it the revolution of the web. Moving back and forth among a number of previously opened pages without having to re-open each one is a huge benefit, and I hope Nokia decides to add full tabbed browsing to the S60 web browser. The following should be taken into account for this feature to be beneficial to everyone:

  • Opening a link as a new tab in the background,
  • Opening a link as a new tab in the foreground,
  • Typing the address of a new page and opening it as a new tab,
  • Creating a single “bookmark” for a number of pages which have been opened in different tabs,
  • Displaying a list of open tabs.

Removing individual items from RSS feeds

The S60 web browser does a great job of subscribing to RSS feeds. If a page loads with one or more RSS subscription URLs, the web browser allows you to subscribe to them. Even modifying a previously created RSS subscription is as simple as a few key presses. However, as I refresh an RSS feed, I cannot remove the items I want from the refreshed list. In other words, as I refresh the list and open one of the news items, I cannot delete it later on. If this were allowed, I could remove the items which I don’t want to read or the items which have been opened so as to handle the clutter. Please, Nokia, add this little capability to an already amazing feature.

Visited links

This might sound pretty basic, but I’ve never been able to distinguish between visited and unvisited links in the S60 web browser. I can’t understand why this feature hasn’t been implemented in the browser if there doesn’t exist an impediment or a technical limitation. At any rate, I’d sincerely thank Nokia engineers if they allow me to see visited links one day.

What else do you think should be added to the S60 web browser? Are you happy with the current state of affairs when it comes to web browsing on your Symbian cell phone?

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