Home Technology Browser: the promising Orion enters public beta

Browser: the promising Orion enters public beta

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The development of Orion reaches an important milestone. This browser based on WebKit, the engine of Safari, is now available in public beta on Mac. While you had to receive an invitation before, you can now download it freely from the site of Kagi, its publisher.

Orion is interesting in many ways. It’s a fast browser, which integrates very well with macOS and comes with original features, without being overloaded like Vivaldi. Productivity level, Orion allows for example to create groups of tabs, to place its tabs vertically and to force copy and paste on recalcitrant sites.

Browsing the web is made comfortable thanks to an integrated ad blocker (remember to support the sites you like…), a Focus mode that makes the application frame disappear and various small common features (Reader mode, block autoplay of videos, Picture in Picture, etc.). Good idea: an energy-saving mode reduces browser consumption by hibernating all tabs, except for the open one.

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Getting started with Orion, the browser that takes the best of Safari and Chrome extensions

Getting started with Orion, the browser that takes the best of Safari and Chrome extensions

Besides, Orion has a very special capability: it supports Chrome and Firefox extensions. So the new browser is not yet compatible with all Chrome and Firefox extensions, but that’s Kagi’s very ambitious goal for the final version. Until then, a few extensions have been specifically supported, including the well-known ad blocker uBlock Origin which is not on Safari.

Focus mode and preferences

Orion is free. Those who want to support its development can subscribe to the Orion+ offer ($5/month or $50/year). This subscription essentially allows you to communicate directly with the development team and to have the experimental features in advance. An iOS version is also available in beta and a Linux version is in the works.

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At the same time, Kagi launches its search engine in public beta. Kagi Search, which promises to respect privacy and is in the process of building its own index, has a free limited-use version (50 searches per month) and an unlimited paid version. This costs $10/month. The publisher does not hide that this price is an experiment and that it could evolve according to the returns.

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