Preview of the new Startpage.com
Startpage.com plans to release an updated version of its search engine in November 2018 that promises faster searches and better functionality. The company revealed a preview of the upcoming interface and functionality today that is publicly available.
Interested users can point their browsers to https://new.startpage.com/ to open the preview, play around with it and provide Startpage.com with feedback on design and functionality.
You will notice immediately that the interface has been streamlined and that the design has changed. Interface-wise, you find fewer links on the homepage. It is unclear at this point whether that is just for the preview or if direct links to Video searches or Advanced search options, are indeed not linked anymore on the startpage.
The current version displays just five elements that users can interact with: the search field, search button, the how we protect you informational link, Image search, and Menu. The old interface had twelve elements that users could interact with.
The default theme is still white but you you can change in the Settings to Air or Black instead.
You may notice that search is more responsive and faster when compared to the previous version of the search engine, and that certain useful features are displayed more prominent by default in the new version.
Maps, weather, and wiki information is more visible and the search results pages lists a new option to filter results by country right away.
Filter options have been moved to the "filter icon" on search results pages. A click on it displays all available filters and the link to the Advanced search parameters to refine searches further.
The search engine's proxy feature, one of its most useful features in my opinion, received a name change to "anonymous view" and some improvements.
Startpage.com fetches the website when a user activates the "Anonymous View" link next to a result and displays it to you in anonymity. The requested site interacts only with Startpage.com but not the user computer directly.
Anonymous View mode paints a border around the requested webpage so that you know that you are in that mode. Any link or element that you activate or interact with is requested through the proxy as well.
Links are provided at the bottom to visit the original website and to open a support page that provides a detailed description of the Anonymous View mode used by the search engine.
A quick look at the new Settings page and a comparison to the classic one shows that changes have been made to it as well.
Features like "Fast Search Box Access" and "Exact Phrase" are removed from "Search Features", and "Results Appearance" feature are reduced from five options to just two.
Here is a list of options that are not listed on the Settings page currently:
- Fast Search Box Access -- Displayed the header bar automatically when you scrolled up on Startpage. Reason: the new search box sticks to the top of the page.
- Exact Phrase -- Made Startpage.com display results without "" when quotes were used but only few results were found.
- Show number of web results -- Startpage.com displays the number automatically now.
- Underline titles of all Web results -- Seems to have been removed.
- Automatic highlighting -- Seems to have been removed.
- When playing videos -- Appears to have been removed as well.
The changes that Startpage.com revealed today don't change the search engine completely. They improve search as it is now faster and more responsive, and the anonymous view mode which is one of the key features of Startpage.com.
Things may change before November, as it is easy enough to add the Videos link back or some of the options that are missing right now. Whether that will be the case remains to be seen though.
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