Efficient Browsing with Home Dash

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I just installed Firefox 4 on a new machine. Normally I would use Sync to get all my history, but for this demo, I want to show off how Home Dash helps me get to where I want — as efficiently as possible.

I type in “nytimes” to look for the New York Times. Because Firefox doesn’t know about this website yet, it uses the default search to show some web results. I click the first link and browse around to the business section. This behavior isn’t too uncommon with people typing domains into the search box to click the first result and then click some more. Not very efficient.

Now later, I want to check up on the news, so I click the Firefox icon and type “n”. Three things just happened to help me get to where I want to go. First, the rest of “nytimes” has been filled in, so I don’t need to type the rest of the letters. Second, a large history result has been highlighted for the New York Times’ home page because Firefox now knows that I’ve visited this site before. And third, the highlighted result instantly shows a preview of the page on the right side reaffirming that this is the page I was looking for.

From here, I can just press <enter> to select the page and immediately continue browsing as Firefox has already loaded the page. Or, if I notice that the page hasn’t changed, I can just hit <escape> to return to where I left off. This is all without opening any new tabs or closing them.

But what I actually want is the business section because that’s the link I always click from the home page. Firefox already knows this and places the business result higher up in the list, so I can just press down to highlight it, and as usual the instant preview appears.

Now even later, I want to get back to the news yet again, so I type “n”. The first result is now the business section and I’m done. Just one letter then and I’m where I want to be. That’s pretty efficient.

For the quick-fingered users, you can type as fast as you want and still end up at the sites that you intended. So for example, you can hit <ctrl-t>, “n”, <enter>, <ctrl-t>, “m”, <enter> as quickly as possible, and you’ll have 2 tabs with sites ready for you to use.

Second option for the home page

Additionally, if you ever want to get to the home page of a site instead of always going to the page that you usually visit, the home page will show up as the second option just under the top match. Just press <down> then <enter> and you’re good to go. Firefox can do all this without needing to ask any search engines as it can leverage all the data from your past browsing patterns.

If you haven’t already downloaded Firefox 4, get it now! Then install Home Dash for a more efficient browsing experience — no restart required. You can also check out the full list of changes since Home Dash 7, leave feedback, and contribute!

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