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Chrome is growing more popular with Mac users every day it seems, and Google has taken notice. The company has just announced that the Chrome App Launcher will be coming to Chromium for OSX. The launcher provides a simple way to launch Chrome "packaged apps", which are web apps that behave like conventional PC or Mac apps.
Chrome's Happiness Evangelist (yes, that is his real title) posted the following on his blog:
Chrome Team is currently working on bringing the App Launcher on the Mac platform as you can see in the screenshot below.
You can already give it a try by running the last chromium build available at download-chromium.appspot.com with the -show-app-list switch.
It looks as though Google Now may soon be gracing Mac systems. Code has been ported over to the Chromium project for Mac OS X and seems to indicate that Mac OS X will soon be getting access to Google Now. This same code was introduced into Chromium for Windows and Chrome Canary, but was limited to Windows OS.
The Google Now system is believed to rely heavily on the notification center. According to Google Evangelist Beaufort, the notification center for Mac is still "under heavy development." The Windows version of Google Now still isn't fully implementede; you need to know the secret URL to enable it.
It shouldn't be too much longer before both systems get access to Google Now, though the usefulness of it may be slightly less as you won't be using it on a constantly mobile device.
Google has announced plans to implement malware warnings for downloads in Google Chrome. Google is calling these newly expanded warnings "Safe Browsing malicious download warnings." Software that falls into a specific set of criteria, as defined by Chrome, will be flagged as possibly malicious.
To further safeguard you while browsing the web, we recently added new measures to protect you and your computer. These measures will identify software that violates Chrome's standard mechanisms for deploying extensions, flagging such binaries as malware. Within a week, you will start seeing Safe Browsing malicious download warnings when attempting to download malware identified by this criteria.
These specific forms of malware operate by "misusing Chrome's central management settings" or by manipulating Chrome preferences to re-enable silent installs. Of course, you should never download something from a source you don't trust, especially a binary package. A good anti-virus and malware protection plan will only get you so far.
All week we have been covering Google's decision to drop and fork WebKit to build its own web rendering engine called Blink. Today we are learning when the transition will begin taking place.
Google has confirmed that Blink will make its first official appearance in Chrome 28, which should release in this summer. In a Q&A session with the Chrome Development Community, Chrome developer advocate Paul Irish explained that "Blink is already integrated in Chrome Canary builds, and we can expect to see it in stable versions of the browser in about 10 weeks."
Blink is said to be faster, better coded, and overall a better rendering engine than WebKit. Web developers will not have to worry much about shifting standards in CSS or other code as Blink is a true fork of WebKit. There is a chance that we could see Blink built into upcoming beta releases of Chrome 28 as well, so keep an eye out.
According to NetMarketShare's latest numbers, Apple's web browser, Safari, has actually increased its market share despite the very strong competitors on the market such as Mozilla's Firefox and Google's Chrome browsers.
Safari now enjoys a chunk of that mobile web browsing market share, with 61.7%. Android Browser is second in line with 21.8% and Opera Mini sits in third position with 8.4%. Just last month Safari accounted for 55% of mobile browsing, so that is a considerable surge for the last 30 days. Apple continue to dominate mobile web browsing with nothing to stop them at the moment.
Google Now has shown up in Chrome Canary for Windows. As previously predicted, Google Chrome is making its way towards the desktop, though it currently is still not usable on systems other than mobile or Chrome OS. Now that it has shown up in the desktop version, we can predict that its release is imminent.
Google Now is also present in the latest Chrome's notification center, though it still can't be used. We can say with some certainty that Google Now should come to the official Chrome browser within a few months. I know many of us are waiting for it as it really is quite amazing.
Like a machine, Google has pushed out another stable build of Chrome. This latest stable version of Chrome brings with it numerous improvements for spell checking. Some of the spell checking improvements are quite impressive, such as the ability to sync spell checking settings across all versions of Chrome.
The latest Chrome features a refreshed spell checking dictionary for all languages supported by Chrome. Chrome's spell checker now supports Korean, Tamil, and Albanian. Even more interesting is Chrome's ability to sync your dictionary across all the devices you use Chrome on. This means custom words added to your desktop version will be available on other installations.
Google Chrome will now allow the spell checker to "ask Google for suggestions." This new feature makes use of the same spell checker used by Google search. This means that Chrome now supports grammar checking, proper nouns, homonyms, and context-sensitive spell checking in English.
The new spell checking improvements are available on Windows, Linux, and Chrome OS. Mac support is in the works.
Chromium expert Francis Beaufort was digging around the open source Chromium browser code and found crumbs of evidence that Google Now might be coming to Chrome for Windows and ChromeOS. This code was left behind by Google engineers who were working on the Chromium browser.
Google Now is one of the main features introduced in Android Jelly Bean. It has won numerous awards from websites and publications for being incredibly innovative. It was only a matter of time before Google Now was introduced into the Chrome browser. While it hasn't been introduced quite yet, Google's intentions do appear to show that it is coming.
But there is no sign of Google Now in Google Chrome for Mac. This is a curious move, but not completely unexpected. Google would, of course, like to keep key features away from its rival, but at what cost to the consumer? We'll know more when Google actually confirms the existence of Google Now in Chrome.
Microsoft will be pushing out an update to Internet Explorer 10 tomorrow that will enable Flash support for both Windows 8 and Windows RT. At the moment, the "full web" experience has been a bit held back on the desktop browser.
This was a move made by Microsoft to improve performance, battery life and touch experience. The update will see Internet Explorer 10 for Windows 8 & RT users able to access Flash content on most - but not all - websites. Some websites have been blacklisted by the Redmond-based giant due to their negative impact on the user experience.
Desktop-based IE10 users will be alright, with access to all Flash-enabled content.
According to Mozilla's Vice President Jay Sullivan, Apple's iOS won't be seeing a Firefox web browser app. The reason for this is easily understood: Apple won't allow an app to be set as the default web browser. This means that anytime a person clicks a link in an e-mail, Safari is opened by default.
Mozilla used to have a Firefox for iOS app up until it pulled the app in September of 2012. Sullivan says that Mozilla may change its stance, but only if Apple were to play fair and allow third-party web browsers to be set as the default.
Besides, Firefox doesn't really need Apple. Mozilla is currently working on Firefox OS, which, if it catches on, could easily make up for the small market share forgone by not dealing with Apple. Additionally, any other browsers won't benefit much by having an iOS version as they suffer from the same default browser issue.