Most SO users, I'd imagine, keep a number of tabs open, jumping between all of them. Tabs in the app are likely a bad idea. I've got a proposal I think addresses the problem without forcing inappropriate paradigms.
Currently, you scroll to the top of the page to reveal the search bar. I propose hiding the search bar behind a search button to make room for three other buttons:
- Favorites store and recall favorite search/filter/sorts, organized by site. This is really the crux of the tabs-alternative
- Filter gives filtering options, such as featured, choice of questions-only or answers-only, unanswered, my tags, etc. Checkbox or radio for each.
- Sort after removing the options moved to Filter, is currently left with: Activity, Votes, Creation, Hot. The names should naturally match the desktop site: Active, Votes, Newest, and... wait what's Hot supposed to be?
- Search shows the text field we know and love.
First, a truly ugly mock-up of the bar formerly known as search.
Second, a not so ugly mock-up of the new favorites page:
I would rather use the app than the website, but the lack of quick access to the questions I want to see means I still leave a couple tabs open in the browser too, and spend more time there. I humbly feel favorites is the ideal solution.