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Second Look: Pogo 3D web browser beta

updated 11:15 am EDT, Tue June 24, 2008

Firstl Look: Pogo browser

No matter what type of browser you use, the features among all browsers tend to be the same. Every browser can save a homepage, bookmark frequently-visited sites, and display a list of previously viewed pages. Most browsers also display the same flat, 2D interface. What makes the Pogo browser unique, of course, is that it offers a more visually appealing 3D interface.

Instead of saving a single website as a homepage, Pogo lets you save multiple sites through a feature called the Springboard. Using this you can save two or more of your favorite sites, which appear as thumbnail images on-screen. After opening the Springboard, you can browse through thumbnails and double-click on the page you want to see.


The Springboard lets you store multiple homepages


Multiple homepages let you quickly scan the web for important updates. You can assign one to news for instance, and another to your political organization. Since your life can't be condensed into a single focus, Springboard gives you the flexibility to take in multiple information streams.

To store favorite sites, most browsers use bookmarks, organized into folders of related collections. Gather enough bookmarks and pretty soon you'll wind up browsing through layers of menus and sub-menus until you find what you want.

Pogo takes a different approach. Instead of displaying folders as sub-menus, it stores them as windows that appear in a three-dimensional circle. This lets you rapidly scan categories, like glancing at playing cards spread out in a fan.


Bookmark folders appear as windows


Double-clicking on a window displays a thumbnail list of all your stored bookmarks, in rows and columns. Double-click on a thumbnail, and the corresponding page pops up on your screen.

Rather than rely on bookmarks, some people prefer browsing through a history list that tracks their most recently viewed pages. Unfortunately, most browsers display this list as a list of headings in a pull-down menu. If you don't recognize the heading of a particular page, you might not know what it contains.

To avoid possible trial-and-error browsing, Pogo once again displays each page as a thumbnail, here stacked one after another like a row of dominoes. By glancing at this visual history list, you can quite easily identify the content of each link.


Pogo's history list appears as a series of thumbnail images


With most browsers, you can open two or more pages at time, which appear organized in a tabbed interface. Each tab contains a page's heading, but reading the text on a tab won't always describe what's in it. To avoid this problem, Pogo dumps tabs and replaces them with cells, which appear as thumbnails at the bottom of the screen. By browsing cells, you can easily recognize which pages you have open and choose the one you want.


Instead of a tabbed interface, multiple open pages appear as cells in a dock


One handy feature of the program is its JavaScript debugger, which lets you examine JavaScript source in case a page doesn't appear correctly.


Pogo includes a built-in JavaScript debugger


The program is still being offered as an invitation-only free beta. AT&T has however provided a special code for MacNN, good for up to 500 invites: v2QDtR5w. To use this code, visit the
Pogo site and look for a section entitled "I've Been Invited."

Compared with an earlier version of the program, AT&T has optimized code to cut system requirements nearly in half. It still requires a 1.0GHz processor though, along with 1GB of RAM and a separate graphics card with at least 128MB of RAM. As Pogo is so graphically-oriented, it tends to run far slower than competing browsers. More limiting is that the browser currently only runs on Windows XP or Vista.

Despite its hefty requirements and Windows-only orientation, Pogo's 3D interface does make web browsing more intuitive. You may not want to replace your current browser, but after using Pogo, you'll see where the future of browsers may be headed.



By Electronista Staff
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Comments

  1. torifile

    Mac Elite

    Joined: Jan 2001

    +5

    Windows only?

    Why is this on MacNN? And why is AT&T putting out a browser? And why does it read like a press release? Why am I asking so many questions?

  1. Zaren

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2001

    +1

    To answer...

    It's cool looking tech (even though it's Window-only) (and I'll bet MacNN gets some sort of kickback for pimping it), this browser could be part of their UVerse or whatever high-speed fiber service they offer, and it probably is a press release. The visual history feature looks cool and - more importantly - usable. It'll be interesting to see if this gets developed outside of the Windows world.

  1. calverson

    Mac Elite

    Joined: Jul 2007

    -4

    Thanks

    Excellent! Thanks for the code! Downloading at the moment, can't wait to check it out!

    (Thank God for bootcamp!)

  1. Guest

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 1999

    +2

    Windows on MacNN...

    WTF? Hey, here is this new browser that has some neat features. Come try it out - on us - here is the code....

    OBTW, it is Windows only... PSYCH!!

  1. Macola

    Mac Elite

    Joined: Mar 2001

    +1

    Windows-only

    And MacNN sinks to yet another low...

  1. Zaren

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2001

    0

    Page moved

    Nice to see this article moved over to Electronista from MacNN. Much better placement, and it's where I figured it was supposed to be in the first place.

  1. milhouse

    Senior User

    Joined: Jan 2001

    0

    WIndows only!???

    WTF is a windows only brower being promoted here? It should have a giant "WINDOWS ONLY" tag at the top of the article.

  1. bsaxton

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2000

    -2

    So lost.

    Sometimes I get confused. What does the "Mac" in "MacNN" stand for?

  1. MCroft

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Mar 2002

    +1

    ATT presents FF 2...

    This may or may not be the future, but it points to the real future, which is rendering engines that are separate from browser applications. In terms of what this renders, it seems to be FF 2.0.0.13.

    This isn't really that different from Flock, Shiira, Sunshine, iCab, or OmniWeb.

    In an ideal world, they'd be rendering engine independent and it could frame whatever engine a user (or a site) wanted.

  1. chas_m

    Moderator

    Joined: Aug 2001

    0

    FAIL.

    Windows-only

    Old browser code

    Loaded with ads

    AT&T only search engine (no way to change it)

    F
    A
    I
    L

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