Why I Feel Tabbed Browsing is Inferior

Discussion in 'iOS 5 and earlier' started by BC2009, Oct 14, 2011.

  1. BC2009, Oct 14, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2011

    BC2009 macrumors 68000


    Jul 1, 2009
    Have you picked up your iPad lately and wanted to find a open browser tab/window that you were looking at earlier? It used to be simple. Tap that button at the top and suddenly you have a visual reference that you could spot at two feet away to identify which was the correct browser tab/window. Apple's solution was extremely elegant and in my opinion was superior to the "tabbed browsing" offered by others.

    However, it seems to me that Apple wanted to check "tabbed browsing" off their list since the Android crowd was harping on the lack of tabbed browsing in iOS. The new solution requires me to hold the iPad closer to look at the partial web page title in the tab and then hope that those titles are descriptive and distinct enough to distinguish them from the other tabs.

    Under Apple's new tabbed browsing I find I am poking around a whole lot more between tabs to find the right web page. I get that some people like tabbed browsing, but at least give us the option to do it the old way too. The old way was one of the ways I felt iOS was superior to other mobile operating systems.

    What's more.... the old "multi-page/tabbed/window" browsing implementation from iOS4 took less screen real estate and let me see more of the webpage, especially in landscape orientation. This is one place where Apple has followed the competition when the competition was heading in the wrong direction. I cringed when I first saw this feature demoed and cross my fingers for settings to allow me to use the other means, and now that I am using it I hate it even more.

    I know that Scott Forstall said this was his "favorite" iOS 5 feature, but how do you folks feel about it?

    Summary of Drawbacks to Tabbed Browsing:
    • Non-distinct or partial tab titles make it hard to find the right tab
    • Screen Real Estate wasted (especially in landscape mode)
    • No quick visual thumbnail of the page to identify it -- need to read/know title instead (and hold iPad closer)
    • Poking around to find the right tab triggers page reloads of tabs you don't want and corresponding cache purging of the tab you do want.
  2. cube macrumors G5

    May 10, 2004
    The lack of tabs in Safari is why I use iCab, even if it crashes.
  3. adztaylor macrumors 68000

    Aug 20, 2009
    Preston, UK
    I much prefer tabbed browsing, but I've seen a few people say they prefer the other way. I agree with you that they should make it a choice for people who want to revert back. Perhaps they might in a future software update like they did with the orientation/mute switch.
  4. Night Spring macrumors G5

    Night Spring

    Jul 17, 2008
    Totally agree. I like the new open tabs in background feature, but wish they'd given us an option to switch to the multi-page view if we want.
  5. BC2009 thread starter macrumors 68000


    Jul 1, 2009
    Another bad side effect is that the "poking around" to find the right tab triggers older pages to reload and then clears the cache of the page I really want. With two taps, I could previously find the tab I wanted on the very first try.
  6. TheSuperSteve macrumors 6502

    Jul 4, 2011
    Puerto Rico
    I prefer the old way of doing it and i wish i could turn off tabbed browsing on my iPad.
  7. testcard macrumors 68040


    Apr 13, 2009
    Northumbria, UK
    What I don't like is that I have to select a tab before closing it with X. With iCab I can close unwanted tabs with a single tap.
  8. PCClone macrumors 6502a

    Feb 26, 2010
    Poor choice for the title. I upgraded partly to get the tabbed browser. I love it! They only way was clunky and a pain to use. Tabs Rock!!!

    Of course, I don't have a need to see a browser window from two feet away...
  9. BC2009, Oct 14, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2011

    BC2009 thread starter macrumors 68000


    Jul 1, 2009
    The title of the thread is me stating my case why its inferior. That is my position, though I know some folks love tabbed browsing (so much so that Apple implemented it). I created the poll to see if a significant number of folks agreed with me. But I could have made the title more neutral, but it would not be indicative of the position I am taking.

    There are a couple of "two-feet-away" use cases I can think of:
    - When you want to flip back to some video you are showing somebody on the iPad, you can reach over their shoulder, tap the button, and tap the tab without asking for the iPad back (often the case when sharing something with my parents).

    - When you are using the browser yourself to primarily watch some online videos and you want to flip between them you don't have to bother taking the time to read any text -- the picture on the screen is enough to identify it and the iPad text never has to be focused (especially by tired eyes)

    - When holding the iPad during a presentation down at my side and sharing on the big screen via the Digital AV Adapter and mirroring (and now AirPlay mirroring), it is nice to be able to glance down at the iPad, switch to the tab you want to present without putting the iPad in front of your face and in between you and your audience.

    UPDATE: I added the words "I feel" to the title. Since there are certainly drawbacks to "Tabbed Browsing", it does not mean it is inferior. For me, the advantages do not overcome the drawbacks.

Share This Page