Sidekick is a Chromium-based browser for work with interesting features

Martin Brinkmann
Dec 6, 2020
Updated • Dec 7, 2020

Sidekick is a web browser that is based on Chromium that is designed specifically for Internet workers. While it can be used by anyone, its feature-set has been designed with users in mind that spend most of the workday on the Internet and in Internet applications.

There are numerous Chromium-based web browsers available currently. Some of them major, e.g. Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Vivaldi, Brave, or Opera, and a lot of them minor. New browsers need to bring something to the table that distinguishes them from the established browsers; no one would switch just because a browser is new, but if it would offer something of interest, it would become more likely.

Sidekick is a free for personal use browser that is somewhat limited. The maker, PushPlayLabs Inc, based in San Francisco, promises that it will never sell user data, respect user privacy, keep user searches private, and do its best to block data-grabbing ads and trackers.

All versions of the web browser include an ad-blocker, support for Chrome extensions, a tab suspender, and work related features that distinguish the browser from others.

The free version is limited to running five apps in the browser's sidebar, and it lacks support for teams and roles, shared apps and shared passwords.

The user interface looks like that the standard Chromium interface on first glance.

When you open a new tab page for the first time you get an option to sign in using a work account; this is not required but it unlocks one of the browser's major features.

You get options to import data from other browsers (including logins), and you may select applications that you work with. Available for selection are core Internet apps and services such as Gmail, Google Calendar, Twitter, WhatsApp, Instagram, or Facebook Messenger.

Sidekick displays apps in the sidebar once you are done setting things up.  The selected apps are listed as icons in the sidebar similarly to how the sidebar in Opera or Vivaldi provide access to web apps.

Direct access is not the only feature that the development team build around the supported apps. Apps supported badges, shortcuts, and also in-app searches that limits the search to the application's history. Searches may also be global to search across all open apps, tabs, and workspaces.

Users who need to access multiple accounts can do so using the browser as the functionality to sign-in to multiple accounts simultaneously is supported by all apps the service supports.

Another unique feature of Sidekick is its support for sessions out of the box. These work differently in Sidekick than in other browsers. Basically, what it does is allow users to save open tabs to sessions and to restore these sessions at a later point in time. Extensions like Tabby for Firefox or Tab Session Manager for Chromium-based browsers offer similar functionality.

Sidekick includes a tab suspender that is designed to reduce memory usage of the browser by automatically suspending tabs that have not been used for a while. The suspension reduces the memory usage of the browser significantly; extensions are available for Firefox and Chromium-based browsers that offer similar functionality, but these are third-party and not built-in.

Sidekick is based on Chromium which ensures that it offers good web compatibility.

Sidekick Pro, Team and Enterprise editions support additional features such as better team management and work options that include sharing passwords or apps. The Enterprise edition adds features such as a built-in VPN, two-factor authentication, built-in video calls, advanced reporting, activity tracking, and advanced browser configurations to the feature set.

Closing Words

Sidekick is designed for users who spend most of the work day on the Internet, e.g. as a social media manager, webmaster, marketing professional, or support agent.

Individual users may benefit from the browser as well, provided that they work with supported applications regularly. Many of the supported features can be added to other browsers by installing extensions. One of the appeals of Sidekick browser is that it provides these features out-of-the box.

The browser is available for Windows, Mac and Linux operating systems only at the time of writing.

Now You: Have you tried Sidekick? What is your take?

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  1. Peter said on September 20, 2021 at 12:53 pm

    Unfortunately it doesn’t work. It’s unable to recognise various keyboard characters on my MacBook that need the alt key, like @ [ ] { } # etc.
    It probably works fine on a standard English keyboard, but that’s no good for me.

  2. Peter said on August 22, 2021 at 10:26 am

    I tried it, but it wouldn’t accept characters from my keyboard like the @ symbol, or any character which depends on the alt key, which makes it completely useless to me.

  3. Ashley said on December 17, 2020 at 2:38 am

    I’ve been enjoying it so far, with my free account I have 11 apps in the sidebar and the CEO emailed me and asked me how I liked it. I thought the different sessions stuff was great because I tend to use the same computer for work and school so I switch sessions and tabs when I want to. It saves passwords but I prefer to use Last Pass anyway. I think it’s good so say just had a glitch with the sound though I think I did something so the browser no longer plays sound. :(

  4. Syannah said on December 11, 2020 at 8:01 am

    It’s amazing! I’ve been using Wavebox before this but man, this works even more smooth.I also use many chrome extensions which they work without any issue. So far so good!

  5. Paddleless said on December 7, 2020 at 5:17 pm

    Installed it to check it out. It required an email address, and then wanted me to enter a login code emailed to me. No sign of an email from them, though emails from elsewhere are showing up as normal. This makes it completely useless, so I uninstalled it (which took two tries).
    Since I was in a “test new browsers” mood, I decided to gladden Ironheart’s iron heart by installing Brave. I like it so far. I think it may become my #2 browser, if not my #1.

    1. James Kirk said on December 7, 2020 at 5:21 pm

      What is your current favourite browser?

      1. Paddleless said on December 8, 2020 at 6:17 am

        Vivaldi is my daily driver, while Opera has been my #2 for several years. I’m not entirely comfortable with the new ownership of Opera, though not concerned enough to drop it so far, but Opera has been a bit buggy for me lately, and right now I’m receptive to alternatives. Sidekick didn’t work out, but Brave looks very promising.

  6. Martin2108 said on December 7, 2020 at 3:13 pm

    “The free version lacks support for passwords…” really? already dropped.

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on December 7, 2020 at 3:23 pm

      It is shared passwords that it lacks support for.

  7. Wonka said on December 7, 2020 at 9:47 am

    If it was specifically designed for browsing porn, then perhaps we would have something here.

  8. PD said on December 7, 2020 at 5:09 am

    Uhhhm, an entire ‘browser’ based on merely having shortcuts (and possibly account integration in the background) to web services in a sidebar that could arguably easily be added in an extension?

    Really, unless I;m missing something, these people are trying to charge businesses for some degree of web services integration despite those services already being often free and in many cases relatively well integrated already?

    Hmmm. Hey, I know, let’s offer a ‘free’ browser that restricts users to just five otherwise free open web ‘apps’. Then we can charge businesses for access to more than five!

    Sadly, as many medium sized businesses seem to believe ‘you get what you pay for’ (whether it’s free but not necessarily with on-demand, easily accessible support) they may even succeed.

  9. Paul(us) said on December 6, 2020 at 11:26 pm

    When I am reading at the sidekick website “The fastest work environment ever made!” without supporting such a bold statement with a a comprehensive independent comparison I scratch my ears because, all the sympathy I have for every new product has disappeared like the first snow of the year in the sun.

  10. Ray said on December 6, 2020 at 9:51 pm

    Didn’t try this browser, but it looks a lot like Vivaldi, especially with the quick search.

    Not sure why this is needed. I guess there are enterprises willing to throw money at a preconfigured browser…

  11. cdr said on December 6, 2020 at 9:01 pm

    This thing is really sleazy.

    I can’t use it without signing into something. No other browser requires that.

    Also, it completely bypassed the windows security screen – do you want to install this program.

    I removed it with a 3rd party uninstaller. Now I’m going to scan my PC.

    1. James Kirk said on December 7, 2020 at 5:19 pm

      User account control didn’t pop up when installing this?

      1. cdr said on December 8, 2020 at 2:42 pm

        No, tried 2x just to be sure. Not sure it used an installer. Really tricky.

  12. Anonymous said on December 6, 2020 at 8:42 pm

    Well, this is interesting. Shows you can still innovate in the area, even if it’s only for a niche. In this case, it’s a niche that has a lot of money.

  13. Chris Laarman said on December 6, 2020 at 8:33 pm

    To me, “Sidekick” is the Terminate-and-Stay-Resident utility from the early days of DOS. See “Borland Sidekick in English Wikipedia.

  14. ali said on December 6, 2020 at 5:15 pm

    instead of adding features, solve a problem!
    thanks in advance

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