Friday, September 5, 2008

Auto Dial - Quickly access frequently visited pages in Firefox

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Auto Dial, a new Firefox addon, gives a visual representation of your frequently visited pages for easier access when you open a new tab. Similar to Speed Dial of Opera and the subsequent porting of the feature to Firefox through another addon by the same name. The difference between Auto Dial and Speed Dial is, Auto Dial does not show a thumbnail of the page thereby occupying lesser space and consequently enabling more websites to be displayed at the same time.

The add-on creates a page on a new tab that fills up the screen with links to your frequently visited pages with the most frequently visited ones at the top being the easiest to click. As you go further down in the list, the links become smaller for the pages that you less frequently visit. You can remove pages from Auto Dial (and the location bar) by clicking the red X in the top left corner of each page.

autodial5

But there are some problems with the addon. First, it displays an error message whenever a new tab is opened, though it goes away when you click on OK. I'm not sure whether this is due to some conflict with other addons I have or a problem with the addon itself.

autodial-error

Secondly, it doesn't exactly show the frequently visited pages but a combination of frequently visited and the most recently visited. Unlike Speed Dial, you can't add websites to Auto Dial; it picks up visited sites from your history automatically, though you can remove sites from the list.

In my opinion, not everybody is going be impressed with this addon, given it's limitations and a few bugs, but the concept is good. Further development in the right direction can turn this addon into as useful as the Speed Dial.

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