I’m a Google Chrome user, and that’s not likely to change anytime soon due. But I’m always eager to see the alternatives that are available out there, and Osaka-based Fenrir Inc. is always an interesting company to watch with its unusual Sleipnir browser.
Recently the company has been toying with a tabbed interface, and the latest iteration of its browser for Mac, Sleipnir 4, continues that experiment. The menu bar is slimmed down, with thumbnail previews of your tabs giving you a visual representation of the pages you’re on. Sleipnir 4 saves space by moving the text preview of the tab to a mouseover pop-out (see below), which allowed the designers to shrink the height of the toolbar to a mere 52 pixels.
This gives a little bit of breathing room to the address bar, which has stepped into the shadows in a subtle grey display in the top right. To input an address, you can simply click it and edit, or press ⌥⌘ L . This is not new to Sleipnir 4.0, as the quasi-hidden address bar feature was present in Sleipnir 3.5 as well. But the company’s marketing materials look to be spotlighting the address bar this time around.
And perhaps most interestingly, the browser supports a swipe gesture to navigate between tabs. For the most part, the gesture works well, although I did trip up on occasion and stumble into the browsers tiled interface, which is an alternative view that I’m not really a fan of . There are other gestures available in the preferences, but they’re a little over-complicated in my opinion.
Just below the address bar is Sleipnir’s search bar, where there are some fun features to be found as well. I was pleased to find that I can add my own favorite search engines in addition to the defaults, just by adding a typical search URL string with ‘%@’ replacing the query. So this means you can use things like DuckDuckGo, YouTube, IMDB, or any search you like. Each one can then be triggered by a keyword shortcut, which is pretty handy. There’s also integration with Fenrir’s Pass service, which is useful too.
If you’d like to try it the new Sleipnir 4 for yourself, you can get it over at SleipnirBrowser.com. Try it out and let us know what you think.