Netscape has released version 6.1 of their Web browser. It’s available for both the traditional Mac operating system and Mac OS X, albeit in a “preview version” for the latter.
Version 6.1 includes Netscape Navigator, Netscape Mail, Netscape Instant Messenger, Netscape Composer and Netscape Address Book.
Version 6.1 promises one click access to integrated search results. There are multiple access points to initiate a search, including the URL bar and Search button in Navigator, the Search tab in My Sidebar, and the Search Menu in every component of Netscape 6.1.
The Quick Launch feature in Netscape 6.1 purportedly speeds up the browser startup time. The Bookmark Management window is also designed to be a time saver by helping you quickly find the Web page you want based on the Web page name, its URL, date last visited or other attributes. Plus, a one click “File Bookmark” interface makes it easier to save bookmarks directly into folders, according to Netscape.
With the new version, there’s a streamlined Navigator interface with fewer main buttons and toolbars. You can switch between themes to change the look of all of the components and windows within Netscape 6.1. The updated “Modern” theme is the default for Netscape 6.1. Other themes, such as Toy Factory, are available at the
Netscape Theme Park.
There’s also a New Mail interface that includes a startup view that helps you get started in a particular e-mail account more quickly by providing one click access to your inbox, account settings, e-mail filters and more. And the new download interface lets you see where a file has been downloaded on your computer with one click.
Taking a clue from Internet Explorer, Netscape 6.1 lets you automatically fill an entire Web form with information like your name, address and more. This can be accomplished in a single action, and not one field at a time.
When you run into a web page in a foreign language, you can use the AutoTranslate feature to automatically translate the text into your native language. New translation additions are French to German and back, French to Russian and back. Language packs let you switch your browser software to support the content and language of your choice without restarting or downloading new software. Netscape 6.1 now also supports Hebrew.
Netscape 6.1’s e-mail feature supports multiple e-mail accounts and an auto-complete feature. When writing an e-mail message, start typing a name, and Netscape automatically offers you a list of possible matches. With the Email Address Collection feature, that list includes addresses from e-mails you’ve received, even if you haven’t saved that person’s address in your personal address book. You can also spice up your e-mails with “Emoticons,” smiley-face images that can be added to e-mail messages and instant messages.
Speaking of instant messages, Instant Messenger is integrated in all the components of Netscape 6.1 through the Buddy List tab in My Sidebar, so you always have access to your online buddies. You can click a special Instant Messaging icon on a Web page to launch an instant messaging session. Within e-mail messages, Netscape will indicate if the sender of the message is online and available for an instant message. You can use one click to send your instant message.
Netscape 6.1 for the traditional Mac OS requires: a PowerPC 604e 266 MHz, G3, or G4; 64MB RAM; and 36MB of hard drive space. Netscape 6.1 for Mac OS X is currently preview release software and not in its final form.
“We are interested in getting feedback and suggestions from advanced end-users or testers to help solidify the final product,” Netscape says in an online message to Mac OS X users. “Your support of this program is greatly appreciated but no technical support is offered. If you are using Netscape 6 as your current browser, install this version of Netscape 6.1 to a different directory. Installing Netscape 6.1 should not interfere with Netscape software prior to Netscape 6 or other browsers. As with any preview release, back up your system prior to installation.”
You can learn more about Netscape 6.1 or download it at the
product Web site.