Epiphany Browser or known more popularly as GNOME Web, the default browser of the GNOME desktop environment is getting a major overhaul to one of it’s most used section, the tab bar.

It was pretty simple, but now it is shaping up as a modern experience to compete with the likes of other popular browsers available for Linux.

The new tab bar is a complete rewrite and now features two distinct widgets called HdyTabView and HdyTabBar that can be now used to implement the updated tab and will replace the existing widget called GtkNotebook.

Ignore the technical jargon, overall, the old widget had many usability issues and was overall very tacky and outdated. So, the new widgets offer a host of usability improvements and have a very modern feel to it.

What Can We Expect?

Let’s go through some of the major changes that are set to come with Epiphany in GNOME 40.

  • Tabs will now feature website icons (favicons), the title of the website, a tooltip, close button, a context menu that can show options like open in new window, open in incognito, pin tab, etc. and a loading spinner element that will show the loading progress of a website.
  • A new feature of pinning tabs will be introduced, this will ensure that a user can pin important tabs so that they don’t close them accidentally.
  • A new indicator icon that will be shown on every tab that is playing an audio or video with an option to mute a tab from there. Pinned tabs will also feature this, instead of the website icon an indicator will be shown so that a user can easily locate the pinned tab.
  • Tabs can now be dragged and dropped to be reordered and can be moved between windows and tab views.
  • The new tab bar also supports touchscreen gestures such as, dragging a tab bar to scroll through multiple tabs, long pressing and dragging a tab to reorder it and an even longer press on a tab to open the context menu.
  • New animations have been added to tab opening, closing, reordering, drag-drop and showing/hiding from the tab bar.

For more information on the changes, you can read the blog post on GNOME’s official website.

Wrapping Up

These improvements are set to be featured in GNOME 40 and future plans are also there for extending these improvements to the mobile version of Epiphany.

What do you think of these changes? Excited to try it out in GNOME 40?

Sourav Rudra

FOSS Enthusiast, Gaming Rigs/Workstation Enthusiast & Builder.