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Old 12. Feb 2012, 01:52 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Epic Browser 1.9

Epic Browser 1.9 is out. Don't know the exact release date, but Exshail posted about it in the other Epic Browser thread, and I decided to give it a try(again).

Although a thread on Epic Browser already exists on the forum, still, a separate thread is required, because of some major changes that Epic Browser has in this release. There are some good things, and some bad things in this latest release, which I will try to cover.

Will start with the installation first. You should choose custom installation because now Epic shows option to install "Epic Assistant", and "Epic New Tab" during installation. These are checked by default, so you would want to uncheck them. A "what's this" link describes them. According to the description, Epic Assistant automatically helps you save when you shop and search multiple travel sites with one click. And.. Epic New Tab gives you a useful new tab page with top sites, bookmarks & your choice of 2000 wallpapers from sports to nature & more.

Epic Assistant does not appeal to me, and although Epic New Tab sounds good, but you cannot choose it alone, as both are included together, and so I had to opt out.

On next screen of installation, Epic Search is offered, and its a good thing that its
unchecked by default. If you check it, you would end up replacing your default current browser search engines with Epic Search.

I found these two inclusions a bother, and these might put people off. Its a good thing though, that these can be opted out easily.

On startup of the browser after installation, it first shows a screen where you can import bookmarks and passwords from IE, Firefox, or Opera. As in Firefox, there is option of "Don't import anything". Importing both bookmarks and passwords is a good option to have.

On next screen, it will show the sidebar apps, and the ones you do not want can be unchecked. A good option IMO. The next screen shows some more recommended apps which can be added to Epic, all unchecked by default. The last screen shows a list of skins to choose from, mostly India oriented. There is no option provided, to not choose a skin, which I find a disadvantage.

I was quite surprised and impressed by the interface of the browser that showed up. They have tried to combine the look of Firefox and Chrome, which works well IMO. The tabs are shaped like Chrome, and the blue Epic button, similar to orange Firefox button is there, but as compared to Firefox, its on the RHS, which IMO does not look good. That was the thing that disappointed me, in an otherwise impressive interface. Maybe they have tried to give it a Chrome look, by putting that button RHS, like the spanner button, but really does not look good to me... maybe others may find it good.

The app sidebar is now hidden by default, and can be accessed via a small button provided on the top left. Maybe that's why the blue Epic button is on right? Can be. Still not a good idea though.

The hiding of the app sidebar gives the browser a clean and great look now, and it won't intrude while browsing. A good move. I think they had made the sidebar hidden a long time ago, with their release after version 1.0, but then, I haven't been following the browser after version 1.0.

One thing I found quite strange is that, on startup, on one of the tabs, it shows a message to update Flash Player, with a link to get it. Epic Browser, like Firefox, automatically picks up the Flash Player plugin present in the system, and shows in the list too. I have the latest Flash Player, and so I found this message quite strange. Anyways, I chose to ignore it, and flash works without a problem.

Except for the Chrome like tabs, Epic essentially remains a Firefox based browser. The options are the same as that of Firefox. The add-ons for Firefox work without a problem on Epic.

The problem of slow startup time is no longer there, and the speed of opening web pages is quite good too. In fact, I feel that the pages might be opening a bit faster than Firefox . Someone else might have to confirm that, but to me, it looks like it. That might be one thing which can lure me to Epic.

I think they have done away with the integrated AV, could not find it anywhere.

There are no other search engines integrated into the browser other than Epic Search itself. So, that might be a disappointment for some. It is, for me.

I could not find any "About" for Epic Browser. Its not there in the Help menu. Instead, there is "Updates", which works like "About". I figured it about after quite some searching. Strange thing that when you click "Updates" in Help menu... it shows "About Mozilla" as the title, but shows the version of Epic, and a similar button to check for updates as Firefox. However, as compared to version 1.0, it does not show on which version of Firefox, this release is based. I found that disappointing. It would have been good, if they have kept it the same as their previous releases.

On their site too, one cannot find any release dates, any release notes, any information regarding the versions, which is quite a disappointment. It would be really good to know what's the current Mozilla version beneath it, the release notes about the latest versions, etc.

One other thing worth mentioning, and quite disappointing is that, Epic now puts itself into the auto-start list. I found it quite strange, as I have never seen a browser putting itself into auto-start list. There is no option in Epic to opt out of it... so only way you can get rid of it is by using other programs like WinPatrol.

Overall, I am quite impressed with the look, feel and the speed of the browser. However, I was disappointed by other things, like the new inclusions during install, auto-start of Epic, the blue Epic button on RHS, and lack of information about the browser.

People who look for different browsers, or like Firefox based browsers, might like this one.. the interface and speed is quite good and impressive.

However, I will stay with Firefox as my main browser, because the lack of information about the browser versions.. no release notes, nothing, is disappointing... and from security point of view, is not good. Who knows, it might be running on an old unsecure version of Firefox.
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Old 12. Feb 2012, 02:12 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Thanks for the detailed insight into this new release

I've mailed Alok, the CEO of Hidden Reflex who develop Epic to see if he will address your concerns.
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Old 12. Feb 2012, 04:55 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks MC, that would be nice .
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Old 13. Feb 2012, 06:34 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Epic 1.9 Review -- Thanks!

Hi Anupam,

Thanks for the review & feedback!

1. Auto-Load on Start-up. Epic is for most of our users the first, second or third software they open, so we made this a default option for our users' convenience. It's pretty easy to disable as well which some users do via Windows settings.

2. Wallpaper Options. Setting a wallpaper is also one of the favorite features of most users, so we didn't in the set-up include a "no wallpaper" option. Some users do though do a "custom wallpaper" and choose some tiny non-image file which effectively removes any wallpaper.

3. A-V. Correct, not there.

4. Safety. Epic is one of the safest browsers if not the safest to use. There are two big reasons. One is that we're a niche browser so viruses and such don't target us (we of course hope that changes...but we're not as big as IE, Chrome, etc. just yet!). Many users who use Epic were amazingly thankful when every other browser on their system stopped working except Epic through which they were able to save files & more. Secondly, Epic includes BrowseSafe which gives users warnings as they visit over 3.3 million malicious websites -- and it's the best database around. Chrome and IE have such security warnings but their services are very poor (in terms of false positives and missed positives) -- my IE for example doesn't recommend I visit Facebook or Twitter!?!

5. Mozilla Version. You're right, we should make it easier to figure out what version of Mozilla we're on -- we'll get this back in the next update. We will almost always be behind Firefox simply because you were right -- we're generally faster than Firefox because many Firefox updates have degradation in performance (though improvements in other areas!). Right now we're still on 5.x, with a 9.x version being released imminently.

Hope that helps clear up a few things -- thanks again for your feedback, please keep sharing it with us!

Best Regards,
Alok, Hidden Reflex / Epic Browser Team
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Old 13. Feb 2012, 07:07 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Our appreciation to Alok for coming back so quickly with this comprehensive response.
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Old 13. Feb 2012, 08:01 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Hi Alok,

Welcome back to the forum , and thanks for your response.. its much appreciated .

Its also appreciated that some of the suggestions from the earlier thread, like hiding of app sidebar was incorporated into the future versions .

Quote:
Originally Posted by hiddenreflex View Post
Auto-Load on Start-up. Epic is for most of our users the first, second or third software they open, so we made this a default option for our users' convenience. It's pretty easy to disable as well which some users do via Windows settings.
Its my opinion that by loading Epic on startup, you are forcing the browser on the user. Some users might not want Epic as their default, and also might be even put off by its loading itself into the startup, without any notice. Its a sneaky behavior, and from what we have observed, most of our site users are put off by such behavior.

Also, there is no option to remove Epic from startup. For general users, it might be quite difficult to remove it from the startup.

Maybe, give an option while installation to let Epic auto-run? Or, maybe given an easy option in the Epic options to prevent it from auto-startup. Its a suggestion, because I feel the current behavior might attract negative response.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hiddenreflex View Post
Setting a wallpaper is also one of the favorite features of most users, so we didn't in the set-up include a "no wallpaper" option. Some users do though do a "custom wallpaper" and choose some tiny non-image file which effectively removes any wallpaper.
Its not a major problem, because the browser looks good with the wallpaper. However, users who might like to keep things simple, might require an option of not having a wallpaper. Still, no biggie.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hiddenreflex View Post
Secondly, Epic includes BrowseSafe which gives users warnings as they visit over 3.3 million malicious websites -- and it's the best database around. Chrome and IE have such security warnings but their services are very poor (in terms of false positives and missed positives)
Can you tell more about BrowseSafe... how it works, developed by whom, etc. Is it like the Google list of malware sites, which is incorporated into Mozilla Firefox? Or, something similar to that? Would like some more info.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hiddenreflex View Post
Mozilla Version. You're right, we should make it easier to figure out what version of Mozilla we're on -- we'll get this back in the next update. We will almost always be behind Firefox simply because you were right -- we're generally faster than Firefox because many Firefox updates have degradation in performance (though improvements in other areas!). Right now we're still on 5.x, with a 9.x version being released imminently.
Thanks for the positive response on that . It would be a welcome move certainly.

Also, it will also be great, if information about current, and old releases, and release notes for each release, are made available on the Epic website. Currently, there is no such information. Even the Epic blog does not tell about current or upcoming releases. I found this info lacking on the blog, or the site.

If there is really an increase in Epic Browser, more than Firefox, which I felt, then its really great, and if Epic can keep that up in future releases too, then I think, it can be a major point to lure users into using Epic. Thumbs up for that!

Overall, a pretty good release I must say, and congratulate your team for that.
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Old 13. Feb 2012, 08:09 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Have few more queries, and suggestions.

1. My query about Flash Player still remains. Even when I have latest version of Flash Player, and Epic too automatically picks up the Flash plugin from the system, why does it still show the page to update Flash Player?

2. Will the blue Epic button remain on the RHS ? It looks a little odd there, and out of place. Well, its just my opinion though.. lets see what others think of it.

3. Can Epic Assistant and Epic New Tab be offered separately. Like me, many users might not want Epic Assistant, but they would want Epic New Tab... so making them separately available might be a good idea, if at all you plan to keep offering them in future versions too.

4. One thing I noticed, might be a bug, or just a feature. When I choose to show Menu Bar, I cannot see any Bookmarks menu. Is this a bug, or a feature? If its a feature, then I think Bookmarks menu should be shown, like in Firefox.

You may have decided to put away with the Bookmarks menu, because you included in the sidebar, but I still that for easy access, it should be put in Menu too.

The bookmarks are available via the blue Epic button, when the Menu bar is turned off, but should be available in Menu mode too.

5. Also, in app sidebar, the browser features, like bookmarks, history, downloads etc, should appear on top, rather than other apps first. I think these hold more priority for users, than the other apps, and so should be shown at top.
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Old 14. Feb 2012, 05:57 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Can't get other search engine addons to install so unless I'm doing something wrong Epic search is permanent. If this is the case it's no good to me at all.
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Old 14. Feb 2012, 06:13 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MidnightCowboy View Post
Can't get other search engine addons to install so unless I'm doing something wrong Epic search is permanent. If this is the case it's no good to me at all.
That's quite a disappointment then. I was suspecting this. If Epic really want to have a global reach, they should improve on these points.
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Old 14. Feb 2012, 06:51 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anupam View Post
That's quite a disappointment then. I was suspecting this. If Epic really want to have a global reach, they should improve on these points.
On trying to install either "always" for Google (English) or DuckDuckGo, I get a message saying it couldn't be installed by Epic because the search engine already exists. Well, wherever it might be hiding must be a well kept secret. Certainly a search page without WOT ratings is no good to me at all so unless I'm missing something in the configs, Epic is for the bin
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