June 15, 2011 | by Andrew Kameka
Tabbed browsing is one of my favorite things about Android Honeycomb, and that’s because switching between tabs is so much easier than switching between windows on the phone. But what if you don’t want to switch between windows? What if you want to be able to browse two “windows” simultaneously?
In that case, you want DualWeb Browser, a Honeycomb app that divides your tablet screen into two windows. DualWeb enables users to multitask on the same screen. Someone could search a travel website on one half of the screen and look at an event itinerary in the other, so that person could choose travel dates and flight times accordingly. That person could also read an article on a website and see something that requires additional research, so they could keep Wikipedia or JSTOR open in the other.
DualWeb provides a variety of use cases that could speak directly to the needs of Honeycomb tablet owners. The very reason that we have tabbed browsing is to be able to perform multiple tasks, but having a split-screen is the only way to do that without having to sacrifice viewing. How much would you like to be able to watch Justin.tv while working on a Google Doc?
There are some shortcomings that I’ve noticed when using DualWeb, including poor navigation controls and a lack of connectivity between the two screen halves. DualWeb has no option for opening links from the left side of the screen in the right, there’s only one address bar to control both windows, and there’s no User Agent control to decide if desktop or mobile versions of websites appear.
The Chrome-like default Honeycomb browser is still superior to DualWeb. However, DualWeb is an intriguing app that provides a niche use. The concept is something many users have thought about, and improvements could make this experience even tighter. (The developer is working to address bugs and promises in a reddit thread that users will eventually be able to switch positioning of windows.) If you’re sick of jumping between tabs and would like to multitask on one screen, split up your browsing duties with DualWeb Browser.