Amos mailed me today and told me about a new Mozilla Labs prototype Ubiquity which he called phenomenal.
I was skeptical at first but after a quick trial I'm convinced that this can be the killer app for Firefox.
Yes, that may be hard to believe but this prototype introduces a whole new level of interaction with the browser.
Natural interaction that is, something that integrates itself perfectly in your work routine.
Ubiquity is a Firefox prototype add-on that is similar to Launchy but runs in the browser exclusively.
Launchy is a Windows launcher that makes things much easier as it provides quick access to programs and other features of interest. All you have to do is press a hotkey, enter what you want to do or run, and that is it.
Ubiquity takes that concept to the web. The interface is opened with the shortcut Ctrl-Space when Firefox is open and Ubiquity installed in the browser. A black transparent block opens just below the header of Firefox when you use the shortcut.
It looks like a command line of sorts on first glance but turns out to be more than just that.
The interesting aspect of this is that all operations happen in that black area.Want to write a message about your recent Twitter discovery? With Ubiquity installed, you use Ctrl-Space to bring the interface up, type Twitter "message" and hit enter to send it to Twitter.
That's it. No more leaving the page or opening a new tab, no widgets in the background that you need to open.
Lots of commands are available by default. I would say about 50 are available. This reaches from searching the web and map related stuff to translations, adding events to a calendar, emailing, calculating or voting for articles. Lots of stuff to explore and it is pretty exciting that users can create their own commands.
This requires some programming skills but I'm confident that we will see many user created commands that can be integrated into versions of Ubiquity easily.
A wonderful feature is the Google Maps integration. If you got a list of addresses Ubiquity can map all of them on Google Map and it is possible to add the map to the current page, for example an email or web form.
There is so much possibility. What can I say. Go get it right now, it is a killer app. Thanks again Amos, your tip was wonderful.
Update: Mozilla has not updated Ubiquity since 2010. The extension is maintained by a community member however and you can still download it from the Ubiquity Wiki and install it in some versions of Firefox. Note that Ubiquity will stop working when Firefox 57 is released in November 2017.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.