One of the top features I liked about the IE9 Beta, and wrote about here, was the ability to Pin a website to the Windows 7 Taskbar or Start Menu. This feature has been much touted by many reviewers and bloggers as one of the more innovative and interesting of the new IE9.
Not to say that it is not innovative (or interesting) but Google Chrome has offered this capability for some time. I am not sure exactly when it gained this capability (maybe from the outset, I cannot verify it in some rudimentary searches this evening) but you can do exactly the same thing in Chrome, albeit with more steps required.
The process in IE9 is mentioned in my post, and described quite succinctly by the very popular and useful Tweaking with Vishal blog, is very simple. Simply drag and drop an IE9 Tab or the Favicon to the Taskbar or Start Menu, and you’ve done it. Pinning a website in Google Chrome takes a couple more steps.
Pinning a Website in Google Chrome
- First, click the Chrome Tools (wrench) menu, then Tools, and Click “Create Application Shortcuts…”
- On the dialog box as shown above, check the ones you want or don’t want, and click Create.
- You will now have a Pinned website on the locations chosen.
Running the “application” opens a special Google Chrome window, shown below, with no browser tools, no tabs, just simple Window borders. You cannot open a new Tab in this window; hitting CTRL-T will bring up a new “regular” Google Chrome window.
Applications, or Websites?
As has been discussed quite often in recent months, on many mobile devices it is more common to “run” an application to access certain content, that just a few months ago would have meant opening a browser on that device, and visiting the website for that content. On Android phones for example, I can “run” Mashable’s application, or I can visit “www.mashable.com” in the Android browser. The application experience is similar, but actually far superior in execution – and usability.
Does this new way of accessing content make sense on the Windows desktop? I have to say in certain instances it does. When I want to access a certain Facebook page, or profile, I can create an “application” for it, that is always available on my Taskbar. I can access it without having to start the browser, find a shortcut, and click it. With application shortcuts, I simply click once – and I’m there. This could be a tremendous time saver for web or other professionals who sometimes revisit the same website dozens of times per day.
For the novice user, let’s just say this feature should probably remain hidden, I just can’t see the novice or regular computer user getting much use from it. Getting confused and possibly calling for Support – yes. More productive and saving time – probably not.
Still, whether in IE9 Beta or Google Chrome, the feature is pretty cool, and faster and easier in IE9 (for now).
I played around a bit in Mozilla Firefox 4 Beta 6, but couldn’t find similar functionality, and I have to admit I don’t recall any discussion of a feature like it concerning Firefox. Sounds like a project for tomorrow.
- IE9 beta is baked and hot (blogs.msdn.com)
- Internet Explorer 9 Beta Drops. It’s Lean, Fast and Modern (wired.com)