Since I just got done complaining about how much I hate having to download additional applications and plug-ins in order to use the online content I want to use, I should now point out that the web-browser needs a major overhaul in order to be compatible with the internet of the future. Having to use various additional programs like iTunes, the Odeo Syncr, Veoh, DTV etc, in order to manage online content is not acceptable. One program that manages the online experience is the way it needs to be and that one program is the web-browser. Here I will announce some of my demands for a more user-friendly browser and in turn, a better internet experience in general.
Bookmarks. I want multiple views of my bookmarks. I want to be able to view my bookmarks in order of how recently I added the bookmark, alphabetically by the “title” I give a bookmark as well as alphabetically by the actual URL, and I want subgroups for my bookmarks or folders that I can organize how I see fit. Apple’s Safari does this in a way, but the user must go to a new view to manage it all. I really think it needs to be more “live” than it is, more like an active toolbar. One click re-ordering of bookmarks would be nice.
Also, I want bookmarks to be dynamic. It would be great if my bookmarks could change color when a site has been updated. And how about this: If a site happens to be an RSS feed with embedded media, like Rocketboom’s feed or the Four Eyed Monsters Video Podcast, the bookmark could have a third color to indicate that there is new media to download. Then, with a right-click on the bookmark, I could select “Download New Media” from the little menu. See? Then I wouldn’t have to GO TO a site in order to get its audio/video content. And I wouldn’t waste any time going to a site that hasn’t changed since I was there last.
Another thing that would improve the online experience for me is to be able to view the heading of the most recent article of numerous RSS feeds in one page-view. This would effectively be kind of like having a “My Yahoo” built into the browser.
In addition, assuming that we’re going to continue to have a player/jukebox type application in addition to a browser, I think it’s time to resolve all this download-path drama. When I download a video, I want it to be waiting for me in iTunes when I’m ready to watch videos, complete with an “Unseen” indicater dot next to it like an unviewed podcast. That goes for audio content too. ID3 tags, or other embedded data could effect where the browser downloads to, so if the tag says podcast, the file gets saved to the appropriate directory, not the desktop [unless you want it there].
I did a rough hack-n-slash in Photoshop to provide a visual example of some of these things as if they were implemented into Apple’s Safari browser. Green bookmark could mean a site has changed since I last visited it. Blue could mean there’s something new to download. In this picture, the most recent entry from six different feeds is shown.
I will be writing more about what I would like to see happen to the web-browser as I continue to realize how much is missing from my daily internet experience.
By the way, why can’t the OS have an “UN-OPENED” indication on ALL files on all drives? So when you download something, perhaps the file name could be red instead of black until you actually open the file for the first time. That would be great. I’m sure I’m not the first person to have thought of that. It can be hard to find files sometimes and it seems like I’m looking for files I’ll be opening for the first time about half the time i’m digging at all.
Hey Apple: Get right on these things! OK? Oh, and by the way, don’t charge me for the upgrade either!