Of all the utilities in a lawyer’s digital toolkit, the one we perhaps take for granted the most is the humble web browser. In some ways a web browser is a lot like a car, the vehicle that gets us onto the roadways of the internet. But, unlike real automobiles, most of us don’t really care what kind of browser we use; as long as it gets the job done and lets us work online, we don’t need anything fancy with bells or whistles. But, in doing so, are you missing out on browsers with more power or functionality? In this edition of The Digital Toolkit, I’ll discuss the current state of the web browser, declare my favorite and tell you about some browsers you probably don’t know about.
I won’t wait around to announce my favorite; if you read this column enough, you know my preference for Google products. The Chrome browser is generally considered to be the most powerful browser available, for two reasons. First, if you make use of Google services like Gmail, Google Docs or even Google Maps, working with them in Chrome is a seamless experience—they all work together so well. Second, Chrome is infinitely expandable. There are thousands of add-ins available in the Chrome web store that allow you to do so much more in the browser. For example, I can instantly:
- Fill in passwords with LastPass.
- Save an article to Pocket to read later.
- Save a web page to Evernote or OneNote.
- Save all of my open tabs to a single web page for browsing later using OneTab.
Clicking a button on my browser toolbar for each of these actions can do all this. The convenience and efficiency are extraordinary.