Avant Force has released Avant Browser Lite 2013 Build 12 and Avant Browser Ultimate 2013 Build 12, brand new versions of its alternative freeware web browser for Windows. The new release sports a brand new user interface, improved downloader tool and a multitude of minor tweaks and bug fixes.
The browser, which boasts multi-processing for greater reliability, low memory usage, video sniffer, split view and download accelerator, comes in two flavours. The Lite version exclusively uses Internet Explorer’s Trident web browsing engine, while the Ultimate build uses a “tri-core” engine comprising Trident, WebKit (Google Chrome) and Gecko (Mozilla Firefox) respectively. Windows 8 users also get to choose between the older Trident engine for compatibility purposes and the new IE10 engine.
Avant Browser Ultimate’s tri-core rendering engine allows users to choose a default from the three available, with options to switch browser engine for specific web pages that don’t render correctly in that engine. Users can also specify a specific browser engine for sites added to their bookmarks.
Version 2013 Build 12’s most notable change is its brand new user interface. The menu bar has disappeared with all of its options now accessible via a flyout menu that’s accessed by clicking the blue ‘A’ button to the left of the browser tabs.
The Tab bar has also been moved to the top of the Avant Browser window to sit next to the Tab options bar. This means the redesigned Address bar and navigation buttons, which have been divided into two sections to the left and right of the Address and Search bars, now sit immediately below the Tab bar, which reflects the layout of other browsers.
There’s also a new browser:home page where users can quickly create their own speed dial links, along with a large number of other additions and improvements. Selected highlights include improvements to the switching of rendering engines when required – Version 2013 now allows sites to automatically switch if required, while users will be asked if they want to reload a web page after switching engines. There’s also a new option to allow users to reload all open web pages using the current engine after switching.
Bookmark handling has also been improved – users can now import bookmarks from a HTML file and will be prompted if they attempt to add duplicate bookmarks. Bookmarks can now also be used normally while the Organise Bookmarks dialog is open.
The Downloader now offers an option to open files once downloading has finished, and allows users to set a maximum number of simultaneous jobs. Other new options including closing the browser or shutting down the computer after completing the download queue, and clearing the All Download History on closing the browser.
Other improvements include a tweaked Search bar (users can opt to view search results in a new tab or the browser sidebar, for example) and unspecified enhancements to the Private session browsing feature.
There are also a large number of bug fixes, mostly for minor problems such as focus issues and translation flitches. Highlights include improved compatibility with Windows 8 machines, a fix for problems inputting in certain Java applications and a resolution for closing tabs when using the Firefox engine. We did, however, continue to experience some glitches when using the program on our Windows 8 PC, so stability may still be an ongoing concern.