Epic 1.0 beta, new browser for Windows gives feel of browser-based OS
Bangalore, India-based software startup Hidden Reflex has launched the beta of a new Web browser for Windows called Epic. The new browser is heavily focused on three areas: In-browser user multitasking, customization through plug-ins, and mashing up mobile Web content with full Web content.
Epic has a relatively predictable design across the top, with tabbed browsing, a standard address bar and neighboring search bar; but the real difference with Epic is the long list of standard tools shown as icons in a sidebar on the left hand side of the browser window. Here, some truly unique features have been incorporated as gadgets that give the distinct feeling of a browser-based OS.
For example, just beneath the gadgets for browser skins, and indic language conversion, there is a built-in antivirus and antispyware engine powered by ESET. Users can perform a system scan or folder scan in the sidebar without leaving the browser. After that, there is a gadget called "write" which opens a word processor as a browser tab. There is also a button for "My Computer" which, as one would expect, lets a user browse his computer filesystem from within a browser window.
One of the neat features of Epic is its integration with Facebook, Twitter, Gmail, Google Maps, Yahoo and Orkut. Clicking on one of these gadgets will open the service's respective mobile site in a side window located next to the main browser window. This novel approach lets you have a sort of "picture in picture" browsing experience.
The same experience can be had with Web videos in Epic as well. If you want to watch YouTube videos while doing something else (i.e. working,) you can drag the video over to the sidebar and watch it there alongside the main window. Videos here can also be downloaded or used in playlists.
Epic also includes a to-do list with alerts, a timer and stopwatch feature, a "snippets" tool for saving text, images or full websites, as well as an Indic language phonetic transcription tool, and Indocentric news feeds. Hidden Reflex says it has over a thousand plug-ins for Epic that are available right now.