July 20, 2012

Epiphany Browser v3.3.4

The standard browser for the Gnome desktop is Epiphany. It normally does not get much attention between the browser wars of IE, Firefox, and Chromium, but there has been some nice development including a nice simple UI for the Epiphany browser. The latest version is 3.3.4. Below is info and how to get it.

Posted: 17 Jan 2012 11:26 AM PST
epiphany 3.3.4

Epiphany 3.3.4 has been released today with many user interface changes which bring it closer to the mockups we've seen about a month ago.

The new version features a much cleaner, unified user interface that's optimized to offer the user as much vertical space as possible. The old-style menu and statusbar have been removed, being replaced with a menu integrated into the top GNOME Shell bar (that will be used by the whole GNOME application stack: Music, Documents, etc.), a new "super menu" and a Nautilus-like floating statusbar.

The application menu, which is displayed on the top GNOME Shell bar uses the new Epiphany brand: "Web" (see screenshot above), and is only used for actions that affect the entire application, and not just the currently focused window.

epiphany 3.3.4 toolbar

Epiphany 3.3.4 also uses a new toolbar which displays the back/forward buttons, the location bar, a Firefox-like reload button and a menu button that opens a "super menu", while the zoom buttons, menu, etc. are gone. Here's the new "super menu":

The super menu, as opposed to the application menu, displays actions related to the current page/window and some parts of it are temporarily, like the bookmarks menu which is going to use the new Epiphany Overview.

More features on the way

Even more new features are on the way! For instance, the Epiphany Overview, a feature that will replace traditional tabs in Epiphany, is not yet available in Epiphany 3.3.4, but should be ready for the GNOME 3.4 release. The same goes for the new SQLite history backend and a "surprise gift in the Web Application cam".

You can download the latest Epiphany source files from HERE. Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin users can install it via the GNOME 3 PPA - but note that for some of the new features, you need GNOME Shell 3.3.4.

Epiphany Web-browser 3.3.4 released with the new UI (Precise PPA available)

According to various GNOME developers, Epiphany web-browser is to be transformed and radically changed into a modern UI, design that is to follow GNOME's new design direction.
The latest version of Epiphany, 3.3.4 version, is definitely a bold step towards the above goals, marking the first iteration that features the new UI.
Simplicity is an attribute applied to the top part, at the moment, the navigation, refresh and accessing the menu are available via four small monochrome icons (they don't follow one's icon theme).
The previously over-the-URL-bar loading a page progress has been moved at its bottom, now, a loading page is signaled by a thin progress line.
Regarding the new menu placement, Epiphany 3.3.4 features a Chromium-like menu, generated by a "cog" at the top right-edge.

The next step that is to be probably implemented is the overview (a space to held thumbnails of open pages, bookmarks, history, etc).
How do we install Epiphany 3.3.4?
Add the following official PPA (Precise)
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:gnome3-team/gnome3

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install epiphany-browser
Worth mentioning
The 3.3.4 is a work-in-progress at the moment, thus missing lots of functionalities (such as extensions).