Home Cruz: A Smart, Multi-Pane Browser

Cruz: A Smart, Multi-Pane Browser

Think you’ve found the best browser to surf the web with? You may be selling yourself short. Mac users with Leopard should check out the latest entrant into the browser world, Cruz.

Cruz lets you easily set up multiple panes in your browser, with sophisticated controls. That’s just one of the many things it does, but it’s the feature we like best.

Cruz was built by Todd Ditchendorf, the guy behind the popular single app browser Fluid. Todd is one of the most innovative people in the browser world right now, but there are many people pushing the envelope on features or entirely new browsers altogether.

In addition to the multiple panes, Cruz also offers a full-screen mode and a long list of other features.

We really like the idea of being able to set up any web app we like as a sidebar. We tested it with FriendFeed, setting Cruz to act as an iPhone in that panel. It worked pretty well, though the status bar’s ability to preview URLs was lost.

We also like the idea of of side-by-side browsing, as we often like to compare two web pages at a time or drag text from one to another, and using two browser windows is less handy. Unfortunately, there’s no ability to bulk-import bookmarks from another browser, something we’d want to do before using Cruz too extensively.

Finally, we wish we could run separate Google Accounts in this browser and in Firefox, simultaneously. Unfortunately, that’s not possible with Cruz any more than it is with Fluid.

Despite its early shortcomings, Cruz is fun to use. We expect to fire it up in some circumstances and we wouldn’t be surprised if it suits some people well all the time. Three cheers for innovation in the world of browsers!

Thanks to Chris Messina for discovering this, as he does so many things.

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