This Mac-Only Web Browser Turns the Internet Into Slack

This Mac-Only Web Browser Turns the Internet Into Slack

A horizontal list of tabs worked a decade ago, when we weren’t all living in our web browsers. These days, however, the browser has turned into its own mini-OS, with most of our work and play coming through this window to the internet. Companies like Google and Microsoft know this, which is they’ve added tab groups and vertical tabs in recent updates. But those improvements are not enough — at best, they band-aid over the gap between what the internet used to be and how we use it now. It’s time for a complete rethink, which is why you should check out SigmaOS.

SigmaOS a fast, Mac-only browser with a custom, workspace style UI. Think of it like Slack or Microsoft Teams, but for web browsing (and yes, it supports Chrome extensions). It might sound weird, but this new way of accessing the internet works surprisingly well.

Browse in workspaces, not tabs

You start out by creating high-level workspaces — say, one for work, one for chats, one for research, and one for entertainment. Then, you add pages to each, which show up in a vertical list. You can group these pages, and even rename some. Pin the most important pages at the top and you’ll never lose them.

The browser shines when it comes to workflow. You can navigate workspaces and tabs using keyboard shortcuts. For example, use Command + 1 to open the first workspace, then the arrow keys to navigate between the open tabs.

The Search tool also speeds things up: Press the Space bar, and a floating Spotlight-like search bar will show up. Here, you can search and switch between any open tabs, or you can launch a new tab. You can search for and enter commands here too (if you want to browse in split screen, for instance).

SigmaOS also supports Chrome extensions

SigmaOS is a a rather strange beast among browsers. It’s written using Apple’s native WebKit engine, so it works really well on Apple Silicon Macs, yet it also supports Chrome extensions. (Turns out, you can have your cake and eat it too.) You can bring in all those Chrome extensions that won’t work on Safari, but still use all the passwords you’ve saved in your Apple Keychain. Ad-blocking is built-in and turned on by default. If you’re frustrated by Safari’s limitations, but don’t want to use Chrome (or Chromium-based browsers), SigmaOS is worth looking into.

SigmaOS’s free tier is more than enough for most users, offering you access to three workspaces, but if you want more features, like cross-device sync and unlimited workspaces, it will cost you $US8 ($11) (yes, it’s weird to pay for a browser, but here we are).

If you do decide to try SigmaOS, my last piece of advice is to hang in there while working through the start-up wizard. It’s a long-winded setup that will ask you to import bookmarks, and you need to be willing to make it your default browser to even get into it (it’s easy to switch back later on if you need to). But if you get through the initial setup and tutorial, it might just change the way you look at the internet — literally.

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