On November 9 2004, eight years ago today, the Mozilla foundation has launched the first version of Firefox.
This anniversary may be confusing for some, as we’ve recently compiled a timeline of Firefox’s first 10 years. This is because the browser that would eventually become Firefox, called Phoenix, was actually launched as a beta in 2002. When the first full version of the browser was launched in 2004, it was renamed to Firefox.
Mozilla’s open source browser was seen as a breath of fresh air at the time when Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 6 dominated the market share, annoying many users with its numerous security issues.
Over the years, Firefox captured a sizable chunk of the market share from Internet Explorer, but in the last couple of years it has gotten some very serious competition in the form of Google’s Chrome and others. Currently, Firefox is the world’s third most popular browser, behind IE and Chrome.
For the future, Mozilla plans several important features, including a Windows 8-ready version of Firefox, as well as the Social API, which will enable integration of Facebook and other social networks with the browser.
Opera has now released the final version of its Opera 12.10 browser to the world, moving is out of the beta development stage it entered just over a month ago.
The new Opera 12.10 browser is packed with new features includes more powerful extension support, and “Live Tiles” which can be used to display Pinterest trends, Facebook photographs, weather and more.
Opera 12.10 also now supports Flexbox, a way to easily arrange page layouts, together with API for URL filtering, and three new APIs allowing developers to design and create more complex extensions for Opera end users.
“Opera 12.10 comes with support for some new Web standards, including the Fullscreen API and (partial support for) the Page Visibility API. Opera is also updating its WebSockets standard implementation and enabling it by default, in addition to adding support for the International Color Consortium profiles.”
The new Opera 12.10 desktop browser is compatible with both Windows and Mac OS X operating systems and comes with basic touch support when used with Microsoft’s new Windows 8.
Mozilla’s love of web apps is more than obvious; we just haven’t had a real chance to try the Firefox Marketplace that represents a large part of the company’s app strategy. The doors are at last open for a peek, although Mozilla has chosen the unusual path of giving mobile users the first crack: Android users willing to live on the bleeding edge of an Aurora build of Firefox can browse and run those web apps in Mozilla’s store. Everyone else willing to venture into the Marketplace will have to wait until their own Firefox builds receive a matching update, including that rare group with access to Firefox OS. We’re not quite in a rush to try a first wave of apps in an alpha-grade browser. Should you be the sort who thinks that even beta releases are too sluggish, however, your gateway to the Marketplace awaits at the source links.
For all of Microsoft’s talk of Internet Explorer 10 on Windows 8, we’ve heard precious little about the Windows 7 version beyond the certainty that it was coming. Eventually. Someday. The company is partly putting that anxiety to bed with word that IE 10 should be available for the Metrophobic in mid-November, but only in a preview version — a possible sign that Microsoft’s Windows 8 RTM deadline prevented the concurrent platform releases we’ve grown accustomed to in recent years. The team in Redmond is hinging its launch of a finished Windows 7 build on the feedback it gets, so we’d suggest that those willing to experiment with a new browser (but not a new OS) still give IE 10 a shot next month.
Google’s fast-track approach to updating Chrome gives a different theme to each update: last time, it was all about visual acuity. For the just launched Chrome 22 stable version, the focus swings to gaming. Web apps can now lock in the mouse control for first-person shooters, simulations and other 3D content that needs the full attention of the pointer during play. Not keen on action games through the browser? There’s still some fine-tuning in place for those who live on the cutting edge, including Windows 8 users and Retina MacBook Pro owners. The update may already be sitting on your computer if you’re running Chrome; if not, you can get your gaming-friendly fix (and the security notes) through the source links.
Over the next few weeks, we can surely expect iOS developers from all over the globe to start pushing out updates to make their applications better interact with Apple’s iOS 6 and that all-new screen found on the iPhone 5. And, because we know some of you choose Chrome over Cupertino’s built-in Safari browser, we thought we’d single out the fact that Google has outed a new version of the app which makes it friendly with the new iPhone’s larger display as well as the most recent variant of iOS. Aside from the iPhone 5 / iOS 6 compatibility, though, Mountain View also bundled in some undisclosed stability and security improvements in version 21.0.1180.82 (!) of the web browsing application. As is usually the case, you’ll find the updated Chrome goods in the App Store — link for that is just down below.
Firefox 15 is barely fresh off the vine, and we’re already looking at a beta version 16 for both desktop platforms and Android. Mozilla’s test release builds in the first support for web apps that play nicely with the Mozilla Marketplace; as long as titles have a slight amount of extra formatting, they can slot into Firefox without hiccups. More treats exist if you’re running certain platforms: the Android crowd receives a Safari-style Reader Mode that strips out the fluff from pages, while Mac users see the once test-only VoiceOver support flipped on by default to improve accessibility. Even developers get a little something special through a quick-access toolbar and more readily accessible CSS4 scripting. If any of this sounds tempting, there’s a pair of source links waiting for your attention.
Firefox 15 to arrive in finished form on August 29th, promises truly stealthy updates for all (update 2: stand-alone, Android too)
Update 2: It’s now easier to get a stand-alone copy if you’re not updating, since Mozilla just updated the Firefox front page to reflect the new version. Android users are also getting an update through Google Play that brings earlier speed updates to tablets, a personalized start page and a whole host of extra fixes, some of which come directly from the desktop Firefox 15.
If your new MacBook is having kernel panics, or you’re forced to run a 32-bit browser in Linux because you need Flash, Google’s brought relief with version 20 of Chrome. While acting sheepish about “yet another release,” the Chrome Blog said “hundreds of bugs” were fixed, including a MacBook resource leak issue which was temporarily patched by disabling some GPU features. Also, Linux users will finally get full 64-bit support for Flash with Adobe’s PPAPI “Pepper” version, but since it was made exclusively for Chrome, Penguin users will be stuck with that browser if they want the feature. To get it, check the source after the br… oh, right, background update. Nevermind.
Today’s Google I/O keynote was, as expected, all about the Chrome. Easily one of the biggest among the company’s laundry list of announcements surrounding the browser-turned-operating-system has to be its arrival on iOS, bringing the functionality that an ever-growing number of users have come to know and love to the iPhone and iPad. The list includes, perhaps most notably, its cross-device syncing, ensuring that you can pick up where you left off on the desktop version of the program, taking your pages and tabs with you on the go. So, is Google’s fancy mobile browser enough to get us off mobile Safari altogether? Check out some impressions of the iPhone version of the app after the break.
After a brief stretch in beta followed by some vague teasing, Firefox’s native Android app update is finally set to hit Google Play. While there are a raft of bells and whistles — a new welcome page, curvy Australis tabs, Flash and HTML5 support, for starters — it’s the browser’s newfound speed that is getting the MVP treatment. That rapidity is as good a place as any to start a quick hands-on, especially since the native browser lag on one of our older handsets, a Galaxy S, often makes us want to hurl it through a pane of glass. Mozilla claims it built Firefox to a new benchmark it developed called Eideticker, resulting in an overall browser experience twice as fast as the stock Android one. As advertised, initial loading is quasi-instant, and navigation, zooming and tab switching seemed smooth as well, even on the two-gen-old phone.
Feature-wise, preferences and other desktop settings imported easily with Firefox Sync’s shared password system, and the unfortunately named “Awesome Screen” is the new home page shown above, from which it’s fairly simple to launch your preferred sites. Flash and HTML5 generally displayed correctly despite a few minor rendering bugs, and the curved tabs and other design touches make it one of the more elegant Android browsers we’ve played with. Unfortunately, many sites display in full because they don’t yet detect Firefox as a mobile app, but the installation of the Phony 3.2 add-in lets it impersonate other smartphone browsers, and it seemed to work well. We also didn’t like that tabbed browsing now requires two taps to get to another page, unlike the previous version, but we imagine that was needed for the increased speed. Overall, Firefox is a welcome addition to the Android ecosystem — we bet you’re just as eager to start browsing as we are, so stay tuned for the app to hit Google Play later today, or jump past the break for a quick speed demo from the kind folks at Mozilla.
Dolphin have been busy developing their new Dolphin Engine, which they have revealed this week and is used to power their excellent Dolphin Beta mobile browser app. Which Dolphin now says is the fastest HTML5 mobile browser currently available, and to prove their point Dolphin have completed and records a few tests.
The latest Dolphin Engine allows HTML5 rendering up to 5-10 times faster than the default browser on Android, and at times, 100 percent faster than Google’s Chrome mobile browser. The sped has been improved thanks to significant GPU technology ehancements around GPU accelerated canvas rendering and optimised CPU/GPU parallel computing. Watch the video below to see the new Dolphin Engine in action.
“Dolphin Browser, the most popular third-party browser on Android and iOS and the only Gesture and Voice enabled browser, today announced the launch of Dolphin Engine, behind-the-scenes technology that makes Dolphin Browser Beta the highest performing HTML5 browser available today. “
** Dolphin Engine was tested on Github’s HTML5test.com. HTML5test.com is an industry standard tool for testing a browser’s support of HTML5 functionality, respectively.
Version 12 of Opera’s desktop browser has been in beta for some time, but today it’s making the step up to a full release for Macs and PCs. Along with hardware acceleration, speed improvements and an overhauled security badge, the update includes new browser skins (some 100 themes are available). One of the biggest tweaks, however, is the addition of camera support — Opera 12 lets your webcam work with web applications, including an Asteroids-style game called FaceKat and Photo Booth. Head to the source link for more info.
It’s been barely over a month since the Firefox 13 beta began, but the wait for a completed version has felt especially drawn out. Thankfully, Mozilla has just wrapped up its work and set loose the polished code. The new release makes its changes felt right away, as you’ll see a new default home page with bookmarks and history. Opening a new tab page presents a list of most visited pages — a feature that we can swear we’ve seen in a few browsers before. A slightly fresher addition switches on Google’s SPDY protocol by default, which as its convenient acronym suggests should squeeze and streamline web traffic to load it faster. Mozilla won’t completely open the floodgates until tomorrow, but you can download Mac and Windows editions today from the source links below.
Chrome’s share of internet use just inched past Microsoft’s Internet Explorer last month, laying claim to king of the web browsers. Statcounter’s analytics measured that 32.43 percent of its 15 billion page-views were done on Google’s browser, while Internet Explore took 32.12 percent and Firefox 25.55 percent. According to StatCounter, an upswing of over 0.6 percent to Firefox (from Internet Explorer) helped Chrome claim the top spot. The month rounds off some impressive growth for Chrome in 2012, which claimed second place in Statcounter’s results at the start of the year. Now, if Google could just get that mobile version out to more handsets, we could see how it fares against small-screen competition.
Opera has today rolled out a new release of its Opera Mini 7 Browser, which brings with it a number of great new features to users, including a new “Smart Page” feature. As well as Opera data compression technology that allows users with lower data tariffs to enjoy longer surfing.
The new “Smart Page” feature within the Opera Mini 7 Browser allows sets to see aggregates updates from their favourite social networks and news sources all in one place. Opera CEO Lars Boilesen explained:
“With Smart Page, you just open the browser, and the content is right beside your Speed Dial shortcuts in the start screen for you to skim through — super practical, super time-saving and super smart.”
As well as being compatible with smartphones, the Opera Mini 7 Browser is also compatible with Java-compatible (J2ME), S60 and BlackBerry feature phones. More information about Opera Mini 7 can be found over on the Opera website.
Google has this week released its Chrome 19 browser as a stable version, which brings with it a number of great new features, including the ability to now share your live browser tabs across your computer, tablet and smartphone.
Within the video below you can see how easy Google have made the live tab synchronisation feature to use. Enabling you to continue browsing the pages whilst on the move via your smart phone or tablet running Google’s latest Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) operating system.
The live synchronisation of the tabs within Google Chrome, have been available in earlier releases. But if you haven’t yet had a chance to put the new feature through its paces. The latest Google Chrome 19 stable version is automatically being pushed out by Google over the next few days. However the tab synchronisation feature will take a number of weeks to roll out to everyone.
Source: Tech Crunch