Raven is a new browser for our OS X platform with a lot of new features and it’s focused on having a quick and easy access to the sites we visit most frequently, especially, the social networks.
With this letter of introduction I’m sure I’ve aroused the interest of more than one, because hopefully there is even more: the browser is free , uses Webkit (the engine of Safari or Chrome), has a very careful interface and I think it is an important point, it already has a number of applications extensions very similar to those already has Google Chrome in its Web Store.
If you want to take a look at its features don’t miss the extended entry.
Raven, in general
As a browser, Raven does its job , it is not lighter than other browsers, it is not faster than others, it does not have more options than others, it is simply a browser like any other, it does not stand out in any particular point, or so to speak it does not stand out in any point that we are used to measuring in a browser.
However, it does highlight an important point that we sometimes forget to evaluate: the user experience , the usability. Raven is completely focused on that. It has a nice and friendly interface, a panel of options arranged in a very similar way to Safari, a sidebar in which the applications are arranged very similar to the one Opera has, a tabbed navigation that reminds me of the first versions of Firefox… in short, they have been observing what features the rest of the known browsers have and have integrated them into a set with a very good result. All this makes that when using Raven you are not lost.
The bad thing is that it is a first time browser and it still has a long way to go to be really usable . For me it has two basic flaws that if overcome would make it a real option for browsing. The first flaw is that it doesn’t remember sessions nor is it able to reopen the tabs it had open when it was closed. And the second mistake is that it doesn’t have a password manager like the rest of the browsers do, although the web apps we are going to talk about right now do have the option to save the access information.
The Raven web apps
One of the strong points of the browser is undoubtedly the web apps, very much like Google Chrome , on the official website Start.Raven.io you will find them.
They have applications for Twitter, for Google Plus, for Facebook, Linked In, Dropbox, YouTube, Vimeo, delicious, Quora, Flickr… as you can see everything is very social.
These web apps can be accessed from the left panel of the browser , they are always very handy and each of them displays a series of options in that side menu, for example access to mentions and direct messages on twitter or file uploading on flickr. The functionality is very coordinated with the presentation. Perhaps the only problem I would highlight is that one gets a little lost in these applications and loses sight of the main task of the application: navigation.
Bookmarks and Favorites
Both options are always present in the interface, we can add a bookmark or a favorite while browsing.
It also allows you to import bookmarks from Safari and have separate management of the bookmarks list from the favorites list.
Another option is integration with Instapaper , in this case instead of web app it’s more an extension that we’ll access through the Raven preferences panel.
Raven is a good browser with a great projection , I think that for an initial version what it offers is more than enough and as it advances they will be adding options, functionalities, improving its performance and creating new and better web apps. I value all this positively, however I hope that it will continue to be a free browser like the rest and that it will gradually increase its popularity. I think that to do so for payment would be counterproductive and would play against a product with great possibilities for the future.
It is true that you have to correct some options and keep improving, it is not a finished product that we will use in our daily navigation today. Although to judge this point, you’d better download it and play with it a bit.