Side by Side Browsing

Just a random thought, but browsers should have side by side browsing.

Maybe it’s just me, but how often do you open 2 separate browser windows so you can look at 2 separate pages simultaneously. With our giant screens these days, it’s often a waste of screen estate just to have the browser take up the whole screen, given that most websites are better viewed in portrait mode. These days, I usually just snap my browser to the left or right side.

I think web searches are the best argument for my feature request.

When I do a web search and don’t see what I’m looking for immediately (e.g. sample code on how to do something), I open a few of the results in new tabs and then go through them. If I don’t find what I want, I go back to the results and open a few more.

Imagine instead of opening all the results in a new tab or always hitting back to get back to the search results, clicking on a search result would snap the search results to the left of the browser, and open a new browser view on the right. Therefore, you can quickly go onto the next search result without having to switch taps or go back to the previous page.

I’m not sure if both the left/right browser views should be of the same size. Having both views have the same size works great for comparing 2 pages, but having one as a side bar (e.g. Firefox’s bookmark/history or the new Windows 8 side by side mode), wouldn’t be bad either. Or maybe let the user decide and be able to change the widths on the spot.

Other features that would be neat if it came along with this:

  • If I clicked on a link and it pointed to a different domain, the side by side feature would automatically kick in.
  • Have a new target (e.g. _side) that people can add to their html, like what they have done for _blank, _top, etc.
  • History should remember the side by side views.
  • We can even designate a mouse/keyboard command to open the link as a side view. (e.g. opening in a new tab can currently be triggered by middle click or CTRL+left click)
  • There should also be a easy way to quickly switch which view is on which side, especially if one view is much wider than the other.

Just another random thought I had that would be cool if it came to existence.

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