Today’s Apple Feedback: Missing Bookmark Functionality

The current version of Safari has a number of ways to bookmark pages, but one thing that annoys me is that if you drag a URL to a folder in your bookmarks bar (they changed the name awhile back to “favorites bar”, but I haven’t been able to get my brain to make the switch), you get a drop-down sheet to name the bookmark:

drag_to_bm_bar

That’s all well & good, but I have sub-folders in my bookmarks bar folders and most times, I want the bookmark to go into one of those sub-folders.  What would be nicer is what happens when you select “Add Bookmark” from the share button in the toolbar or the Bookmarks menu:

add_bookmark_share_button         add_bookmark_menu

Only, when you drag a URL to a specific folder in the bookmarks bar, you could just pre-select that folder.  Then to select the sub-folder, it would not be far away in that menu:

add_bookmark_sheet2

I’ve submitted feedback to Apple before about bookmark functionality, so while I’m on the topic, here are a few things that would make bookmarks in Safari so much more usable:

1. Allow each iCloud-synced device to designate a different folder as the bookmarks bar folder.

I have 3 computers, an iPad, and an iPhone.  Each serves a different purpose: on my work computer I’d like a work-related bookmarks bar, on my entertainment-center computer (hooked up to my TV) I’d like a bookmarks bar with shows & stuff, on my home laptop I’d like links to shopping & blogs, on my iPad I’d want social sites & games, and on my iPhone (though it doesn’t have a bar) I’d like easy access to navigation & weather & restaurant-related links.

2. Allow the bookmarks bar to have icons to save space

You can use emojis and symbols to save space in your bookmarks bar:

bm_bar

But sometimes, the symbol you want is just not there, like a shopping cart/bag or the common social media icon ( share_icon ) for which I just substituted a facebook-like “f” character: ( f ).

3. Allow the bookmarks bar or its font size to be resized

If you are using emoji to save space in your bookmarks bar, they are very small, so it would be nice if you could make the bar just a tad thicker.  And no matter what you do, you cannot change the font size of anything on the bookmarks bar to match the size of the top-sites or sidebar icons (see my bookmarks bar image above).

4. Allow the user to change the behavior of the “+” button next to the URL.

“Add URL to the bookmarks bar” is never what I want to do.  I personally always want to name the bookmark myself, so I’d rather it caused the “Add Bookmark” sheet to come down so I could name it and put it exactly where I want it.  So give the user the option to define how it works or at least switch it with another button, such as the share button.

5. Allow the user to trash the sidebar icon

The bookmarks and reader links in the sidebar look slick, but editing & rearranging your bookmarks in the sidebar is so clunky and awkward.  It’s much easier to do using Bookmarks->Edit Bookmarks menu item.  You can create a bookmarks bar link to that interface by dragging the “bookmarks://” URL to the bookmarks bar, but that sidebar icon is still taking up prime real estate there on the left of the bookmarks bar.  At least allow us to change its behavior to bring up the “edit bookmarks” interface.

6. iCloud-Sync top-sites & history

I use top-sites a lot and sometimes, I add a top site that I have not also bookmarked and when I’m on another device, I realize that I don’t have a way to get to the site I was on before.  Likewise, it would be nice if the history was synced too so that I can get back to a site I was reading on a different device.  The history could be divided up by device – not necessarily merged into a single history.  The devices could be listed in the History menu and under the “Show History” button in the toolbar.

7. If you don’t use tabs, get rid of the new tab “+” to the right of the bookmarks bar

I am one of those old-school browser guys who never uses tabs.  In my preferences, I have “Open pages in tabs instead of windows” set to “Never”.  I would say that if you have this setting, you should get rid of that new-tab icon in the bookmarks bar.

8. When you type in a search, separate the suggested bookmark & history results in the dropdown of suggestions & add the enclosing folder

When you type a search term into the URL field in the toolbar, you get a convenient list of suggested google searches, URL completions from your history, bookmarks, etc..  However, history and bookmark hits are mixed together and there’s no way to distinguish them.  It would be more usable if they were listed in separate sections and if the bookmark showed the enclosing bookmark folder in gray next to it before the gray URL:

url_suggestions

There are lots of plugins and other utilities out there that might already do some of these things, but these all seem like common sense functions that would make bookmarks easier to use and manage.

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