Tales from Kagi

New features in the Orion Browser

Orion beta 0.99.124 has just landed and is bringing over 160 new features, improvements, and bug fixes, making this our most significant release ever.

The full release notes will detail all improvements, and we will mention only a few of the most important ones.

If you are new to Orion - Orion is a fast, WebKit based, zero-telemetry browser with support for both Chrome and Firefox extensions. Orion is also 100% user-funded, through Orion+ subscriptions. Learn more about the Orion browser.

Speed record

Orion scored 499 in Speedometer 3

Harnessing the raw power of the high-performance WebKit engine and layering extra optimizations on our end, we’ve shattered records by scoring a mind-blowing 499 [1] on the Speedometer 3 test – the highest score known to humankind for any browser!

Speedometer 3, the next-gen browser benchmark, emerged from a collaborative effort between Apple, Google, and Mozilla, striving for a superior standard in performance testing. It’s not to be mistaken with Speedometer 2.1. We’ve embraced this next-gen benchmark for internal testing to stay ahead in the browser performance race. Get ready to experience blazing-fast browsing with Orion!

[1] Performance measured using M2 Max, reported by Orion users. Since Speedometer3 is under active development, the scores will likely change in the future, but let it be known that on May 4th 2023, Orion was indeed the fastest browser on the planet!

Programmable buttons

Orion is bringing the concept of a fully programmable toolbar button to the browser market.

Programmable buttons allow users to achieve new functionality in the browser, all through the simple to use and accessible interface of a toolbar button.

Programmable button setup

Currently Programmable button can be ‘programmed’ to:

AppleScript allows you to manipulate external apps on your Mac with Orion.

JavaScript allows you to run code in the current web page context and even print output in a new, native sidebar.

We included example code as predefined templates that you can load and try:

Implementing the Dark Mode button is a piece of cake

We also added a few examples of calling OpenAI’s ChatGPT model in the context of the current page. This will require entering the OpenAI API key at the top of the code.

Unleashing the power of generative AI in Orion

The code for these programmable buttons is also available in Orion Programmable Buttons repository on GitHub. Contributions welcome! (some ideas: a button that auto-fills forms, or a button that adds AI-generated illustrations to books at Project Gutenberg).

Native Web Apps

Have you ever wished for a sleek and snappy way to access your most-visited websites? Look no further! Orion Browser lets you transform web pages into native web apps, providing lightning-fast access from your desktop or Dock. Say goodbye to cluttered bookmarks and hello to a streamlined app experience.

Behold! Native web apps on your desktop via Orion

This slick solution is perfect for those favorite sites without dedicated apps, and it’s a breeze to set up. These lightweight web apps won’t hog your device’s resources because they will use Orion’s minimal app core with the WebKit engine.

New PDF Reader

We heard your frustration about WebKit’s lackluster built-in PDF reader, with its scarce features and snail-paced performance on hefty documents.

Luckily, salvation came from Mozilla’s open-source powerhouse, PDF.js (the driving force behind Firefox’s PDF reader). We’ve natively integrated this gem into Orion, making it a slick swap for WebKit’s underwhelming PDF reader. And we didn’t stop there – we’ve given it a visual upgrade with Apple-friendly icons from SFSymbols, transforming the new PDF reader into a delight for the eyes and a pleasure to use. Say hello to a redefined, cooler PDF experience!

New PDF reader in Orion

The best is yet to come!

And the best is yet to come for Orion. Although two years old, it feels like we are just getting started.

And we mean business! Check out the 160 other improvements that made it into just this release.

We invite you to become a member of our community on Orion Discord and OrionFeedback.org, the most active browser feedback site on the web. Also, consider supporting Orion development, the only browser on the web you can pay for with your wallet.