Browser plugin Cooliris (formerly known as PicLens) has been mentioned several times on MakeUseOf but never covered in detail. So for those who are hearing this name for the first time, Cooliris is a plugin which is compatible with Safari, Firefox and Internet Explorer. It prides itself by enhancing your browsing experience when it comes to viewing photos on certain Cooliris-enabled sites (elaborated below) and when watching video clips on YouTube.
Cooliris’ party piece which is really very impressive, is the endless 3D photo wall. Trust me, after using the 3D wall, regular browsing will never suffice again. Suppose you were searching for something on Google Images, only 20 results will be displayed on a page at any time. By using the 3D wall, you can view all of the results at once.
Have a look at the screenshots below: Search results are displayed as a “wall” and by dragging the slider at the bottom of the screen, you can swiftly browse through all of the photos easily.
Clicking on any one will bring up a larger version and a caption (if any). Also, its source will be displayed at the bottom of the photo, along with a link to that page. Next to that, there is an option to send messages to friends if you manage to find anything you’d like to share.
If you want to sit back and enjoy all the photos, click on the full-screen slideshow icon at the bottom left-hand side then hit ‘Play’. The slideshow icon will change to one which resembles a 3D wall and clicking on it will bring you back to the wall.
Unfortunately, Cooliris will not work on every site with photos, only certain Cooliris-enabled sites like Flickr, Picasa, Google, DeviantART, Yahoo!, SmugMug, Photobucket, Facebook and MySpace. The next time when you’re browsing through your friend’s photo album on Facebook, hit the Cooliris button and you’ll be instantly rewarded with the photos on the 3D wall – no more clicking on ‘Next’.
Cooliris will also work with videos from YouTube. It arranges the videos as it does with photos. Be warned, browsing YouTube with Cooliris is very addictive since it shows you all the search results next to each other. It’s very tempting to just sit there and watch all of them! Granted, YouTube isn’t the same if you can’t read the comments of others or go through the ‘Related Videos’ – two essential features which is missing from Cooliris.
“3D shopping” was implemented in the latest version of Cooliris. A few of the top online shopping destinations like Amazon, Macy’s and Walmart have hopped onto the Cooliris bandwagon and provided their patrons with an easier way to browse through their products. Clicking on a product’s photo will reveal its price, a short description and a link to the product’s page.
In my book, Cooliris is a definite keeper. Assuming that your computer has sufficient processing power and memory to allow Cooliris to operate properly, using should be a pleasure.
Do let us know how well it works on the iPhone. We’re eager to hear how much Cooliris can improve browsing on a such a small device.