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.
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.
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.
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.
Similar to that other, foxy browser, Opera reached numerical version 12 (although in beta form), promising to be as fast and smooth as it’s ever been. Included in the new revision are a slew of under-the-hood enhancements, along with a few cosmetic alterations. For starters, Opera 12 now offers complete 64-bit compatibility for both Mac and Windows, while “experimental” hardware acceleration and WebGL support are also in tow. Furthermore, the browser added a “smarter” tab-loading sequence, speed improvements for faster page uploads and a way to customize the look with a bundle of new themes — of course, you can create your own as well. As for the backend tweaks, Opera announced it’s abandoning its Unite and Widgets features in favor of an extension-driven model. Those of you eager to take it for a spin can hit the Opera link below to get started.
It doesn’t yet include the opt-in system for plug-ins that Mozilla is working on, but Firefox users can now download an update that adds a few other new features and new tools for developers. If you’ve lost track, that means were now at version 12.0, and the biggest addition this time around is reserved for Windows users — they’ll now get silent updates that bypass the User Account Control prompt. Apart from that, you’ll now get line numbers when you view a page’s source code, along with a number of other more minor fixes and performance improvements. You can find the full release notes at the source link below.
It’s still only available for Ice Cream Sandwich, but those not bound by an older OS can now download a fairly significant update to Google’s Chrome for Android web browser. In addition to some added language support and broader availability, it brings with it the ability to select desktop versions of websites, save bookmarks to your home screen as a shortcut, and download files to your device, plus options to choose which apps handle certain links. As before, it remains a beta, and it’s tailored to suit both Android smartphones and tablets.
(Image Source: foice)
There was a time when Internet Explorer defeated Netscape and became the most famous (or most used) Internet browser in the world. Well, you know what happened next, basically IE screwed up, letting righteous Mozilla Firefox take over (easily) as reigning champ. Then, Google Chrome joined the war, became a tough contender and swiftly dethroned Firefox.
The war amongst the browsers is so famous that, users, who evidently have their own favorite browser in mind, have translated their thoughts about this epic war of the browsers into artforms. Here, we are showcasing 20 creative (and some amusing) artworks that depict the never-ending battle between the mighty browsers. Note: All of the artworks below do not express or represent any viewpoint or favouritism of any particular Internet browser.
We all know that Windows 8 will have a split personality, with a Windows 7 style “Classic” desktop environment working hand-in-hand with a finger-friendly Metro UI. Given that Firefox has a significant market share in the PC web browsing market, it’s only natural for Mozilla to accommodate both parts of Microsoft’s new OS. According to its 2012 Strategy & Roadmap, the company has plans for a proof-of-concept Win8 Firefox release in Q2 of this year. In that document, Mozilla reveals that a “simple evolution” of its existing browser will work with the “Classic” environment, but brand new new front-end and integration code is needed for Firefox to play nice with Metro. The plan is to build a Gecko-basedbrowser that brings full Firefox capabilities and can handle Windows 8′s unique requirements like being suspended by the OS when it’s not being viewed and supporting multiple “snap” states to ensure a good browsing experience when multiple apps are open. Looks like Mozilla’s crew of coders has their work cut out for them, and you can peep the full to-do list at the source link below.
So, Google is finally making the move we’ve been expecting for some time now and bringing Chrome to Android. Now, you’ll need a device running Ice Cream Sandwich to get the new mobile browser up and running but, thankfully, we happened to have a Galaxy Nexus on hand. As you might expect, mobile Chrome (much like its desktop sibling) is fast — a little buggy perhaps, but fast. It isn’t, however, the fastest browser for the platform. Chrome Beta holds its own, but the standard Android browser, the stable version of Firefox and Dolphin HD all edged it out in SunSpider. Numbers don’t tell the whole story though, so head on past the break for more.
If you’ve tasked Sammy with stalking your progeny and your house, what’s another camera ontop of your TV? Samsung’s inTouch is just that, running a skinned version of Android 2.3, stuffed with WiFi, HDMI and a 3 megapixel camera. The combination of which enables apps like Skype, YouTube, and a web browser to be fed to your boob tube. Controlled by a QWERTY remote, it’ll be yours for $199 come March. For those interested, we’ve embedded PR after the break.
Have a tendency to get stuck in games? Keep your laptop handy, the PlayStation Vita isn’t going to make getting tips any easier — an interview from AV Watch has revealed that Sony’s next generation handheld is a little stingy when multitasking. The console’s friends list, music and Twitter clients are in, but web browsing is out, blocked to ensure the Vita has more resources available for running games. This limitation could be off-putting to gamers who are used to mid-game internet FAQ checks to guide them through difficult bits of gameplay, a trick Nintendo’s 3DS handles smoothly. Family members hoping to share a console might run into a roadblock as well, as the Vita appears to be fairly conservative about its relationships — allowing only one PSN account per console. Sony’s Brad Douglas recently mentioned on Twitter that swapping accounts was possible, but that switching required a factory reset. Potential deal breaker? For some, maybe. For others? Just another item to the growinglist of things we hope to see in a future update.
It’s been a long and winding road for Internet Explorer, Microsoft’s venerable web browser, and for over a decade it’s been the browser of choice for most netizens. According to Net Marketshare’s latest numbers, however, IE now enables just under half of the world’s total — meaning mobile and desktop combined — web traffic after owning 95 percent of the browsing market seven years ago. The decline is at least partially due to a rise in mobile web browsing and an increasing Chrome user base. Of course, Microsoft’s finest still has a healthy 52.63 percent desktop market share, which gives it a sizable lead over the competition from Firefox (23 percent), Chrome (18 percent), and Safari (five percent). There’s plenty more graphs and charts to show you exactly how the browser war is going, so hit the links below for the full pie-chart treatment.