Chrome started it.
Firefox is following along in version 4. The browser in Android does this too.
There is only one bar to enter text. You can enter a URL, and it will work as you’d expect. Or you can enter some terms, and it will send you to your default search engine.
Google has done the same with the default browser in Android. Apparently, it can be confusing in the iPhone’s Safari.
To think that most users of a browser are going to know the difference between a URL and search term would be wrong thinking. To make users care about the difference, for those that do know it, is not caring about your users. All the users should care about is:
How can I find what I’m looking for? Ah yes, the browser bar. I’ll just type what I’m looking for here. It will tell me.
When will all browsers finally combine the location bar with the search bar?