Switchboard’s shared cloud browsers unlock collaboration for any web-based app or website.
Instead of screen-sharing a browser from your computer or watching a browser on someone else's computer, cloud browsers live in your rooms and are interactive for everyone. All room participants are able to open browsers and co-browse with other room participants.
How can I use the browsers?
Browsers work differently depending on the type of site or web app you load. We like to break down sites into two categories: Single player, and Multiplayer.
- Single player (i.e., a news website): Websites designed for solo interaction have the same functionality as a standard web browser except—and this is a big except— everyone gets a cursor and can navigate within the browser.
- Multiplayer (i.e., Google docs, Notion, Figma): These sites and web apps open like any other. The person who logs in first can interact with the browser while everyone else follows along. However, when someone else clicks within the browser, they are prompted to log in to get their own view. Once they log in to their own account, they will see and interact with their own view of the app in the same browser. As a rule of thumb, sites where each user has their own login but interact with shared documents or files are Multiplayer. You can use the Follow and Present features to view how other people see their version of the browser.
How does security work?
We use a series of clever features to keep your private information private.
First, the cloud browser automatically enters a private mode when entering sensitive information like passwords. After you login, the browser is shared with the room again automatically.
Second, when you leave a room you are automatically logged out of any browsers and their contents are blurred. This prevent other participants from viewing sensitive information when you are not in the room.
In multiplayer sites, each participant in the room is prompted to login to the site if they want to interact with it. This maintains whatever permissions you already have in place for that site.
Example: If you open a Google Doc in the browser where you have edit access, you can edit the doc like normal. When another participant in the room tries to click in the browser to edit, they will be prompted to log in. That participant might only have comment access on the Google Doc. In that case, they will be able to add their comments after signing in, while you can still edit in the same browser.
Lastly, we do not store any of the credentials you inter in the rooms on our servers. Instead, we direct the browser to check your local browser to confirm your permissions. You can find more privacy and security information in this article.
How do I add a browser to the room?
Browsers can be added from the left side of the bottom toolbar in the room.
If you have a URL copied in your clipboard, you can also use cmd+V (or ctrl+V) open that URL in a new browser in the room.
How do I resize the browser?
There are several ways to change the size of a shared browser window or any content in your room.
- Drag at corners: Drag the sides or corners of a window to increase or decrease the size of a browser window just like on your personal desktop.
- Zoom: Use multitouch gestures, a trackpad, a mouse, and a keyboard to zoom in or out, modifying the viewable size of a browser window. You are able to zoom using the zoom settings menu located in the bottom right corner of the room toolbar.
- Double click header: This shortcut enlarges and positions the window in the center of your personal view.