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Google's popular Chrome browser is having some new functionality baked in early next year, with plug-and-play support gamepads and more on the way. Google developer advocate, Paul Kinlan, revealed the news earlier today at Develop Liverpool.
The new features are due in Q1 2012, with gamepad support, camera and microphones, all without the need for plug-ins, Kinlan even hinted at the possibility for augmented reality games and player tracking. Another feature planned is WebRTC, an open-source video chat application that will run in the browser, with no plug-in required.
This is technology that could support an OnLive-style cloud-based gaming service, so we could see some very interesting things in the near future.
Firefox 8 is officially debuting on November 8th, but this is the Internet and we are cool, right? This means we can get things earlier because of our insane technical knowledge and sexy mojo, right? Well, partly. If you want to get on some Firefox 8 action, head on over to Mozilla's FTP server and grab it. That's right, it's available now.
The biggest change to Firefox 8 is it's a little more careful with add-ons, which now sets them to disabled by default and presenting upgraders a one-time dialog box to manage previously installed add-ons.
Also included is support for Twitter in the search bar, a preference to load tabs on-demand after a relaunch (something I love with Chrome) and the usual performance and stability fixes. If you're not one to live on the bleeding edge of browser versions, you can wait and let Firefox auto-update in a few days time.
Opera Software have just rolled out a small update to their mobile browsers which includes some new features as well as the usual optimizations such as improved network performance and lower memory usage. Opera Mini 6.5 and Opera Mobile 11.5 now sport enhanced bookmarking functionality with a small star in the address field that lets you quickly save those links you want to keep and add them to your Speed Dial.
Opera have also added in a built-in data counter, found in the "Help" menu, the counter lets you monitor your data consumption, which could be very useful for data conscious users. Tracking your data consumption on your mobile plan is usually hard, requiring that you sign into your providers website or use an app to monitor it, but having it built into Opera (which is where a majority of your browsing will be done) is very handy indeed.
On top of this, it will gel well with Opera Turbo. Opera Turbo compresses web data by up to 90-percent before sending it to your phone. This is great for those on low data plans, mixed in with the data counter, you could keep a tab on your consumption very easily.
If you're like me, and use the pre-release version of Chrome, you would already have this feature. But it's great to announce that the latest stable version of Google's super-popular web browser, Chrome, includes the redesigned New Tab homepage.
Google announced that "it's more streamlined, so it's easier to access and organize your apps in different sections on the page". The new homepage shows thumbnails of the websites you visit most (hopefully TweakTown is first! *wink*) and you can also see your 'recently closed' pages at the bottom right of the page, this allows you to restore a closed tab or window.
You can add more apps to your New Tab page by clicking on the Chrome Web Store icon, and the Web Store also rocks a makeover as of today. Apps and extensions are now being presented in a wall of images that's updated every time you visit the store. If you'd like to check out the official video from Google demonstrating its New Tab homepage layout, check it out below:
Chrome is very popular, and this popularity is winning them some serious users, with Firefox set to lose its title as the second most popular browser globally to Google, as soon as the end of this year. Microsoft's Internet Explorer is still way, way ahead of everything else right now with stats from September 2011 showing that Internet Explorer holds 41.7 percent market share, Firefox holding onto 26.8 percent and Chrome slightly behind at 23.6 percent.
If we view the data over the last year, we see just how quick Chrome is jumping on Firefox's heels and also how many users are leaving Internet Explorer. In October 2010, Chrome had just 12.4 market share, Firefox sitting on 31.2 percent and Internet Explorer had almost half, at 49.2 percent. IE has lost 7.5 percent in a single year, where Chrome added 11.2 percent. If this trend continues, Chrome should be on top of Firefox before the end of the year.
The development of Android and Google, to most peoples amazement is kept totally separate. They have different teams working on both and theres almost no interaction between the teams. There was even a time when they were both competing with each other for the future of personal computing. But, this is all set to change, according to a post on the Chromium Code website, Google Chrome for Android is right around the corner.
The Chromium revision log indicates that Chrome for Android will bring most of its desktop features across, which will make a lot of people (myself included) very, very happy. The app will also support the Skia 2D graphics library that Google has been working on. This is all the information available at the current time. Remember that Google has something big planned for October 11, and maybe this is it. Google for Android to debut on October 11? Let's hope so!
The other changes are not as noticeable, such as the address br now eliminates the URL from the current page and highlights the primary domain to simplify spotting fake sites. Bookmark and password syncing now occurs more frequently and the renderer now supports CSS3's Text Overflow and web load time analytics for developers. Windows-based users now get hardware acceleration of HTML5 Canvas pages.
Firefox 8 is expected within six weeks, with Mozilla saying they might return to a slower, major milestone-type release schedule, but that change won't happen before Firefox 8 is upon us.
Google have released Chrome 15 and 16 to beta and dev channels respectively. Just a week after the first stable build of Chrome 14 hits the sticky webs of the Internet, Google throw more versions into the mix. Available for Windows, Mac OS and Linux, Chrome 15 beta brings a redesigned New Tab page that makes it easier to manage your apps, bookmarks and most visited sites. Chrome 15 includes the ability to drag and drop apps to rearrange them, create new sections with custom names and delete apps by dragging them into a trash can on the bottom right of a page.
Chrome 16 on the other hand (only available on Windows and Mac OS) enabled the long-awaited multi-user feature by default. This allows you to switch between various in-browser user profiles. The pre-release beta also consists of an updated V8 engine (188.8.131.52) and various bug fixes.
An announcement from Adobe today lets us know that significant new versions of its Flash Player and AIR platform are on the verge of release, Flash Player 11 and AIR 3; these both scheduled to become available to the masses early next month.
The new browser plug-in of Adobe Flash promises massive performance improvements over the 10 release using full hardware acceleration. Adobe also rolls in full, native 64-bit web browser support which should make the switch over to 64-bit web browsing less of a problem with there already being HTML5 and Java 64-bit plugins available.
Here's a detailed rundown on all the new goodies coming with the new versions :-
- Accelerated 2D/3D Graphics: Full hardware-accelerated rendering for 2D and 3D graphics enable 1,000 times faster rendering performance over Flash Player 10 and AIR 2.
- 64bit support on Windows, Mac OS and Linux.
Google have today shipped the latest release of Chrome to the Stable channel, after last month's Beta channel release. The new release contains two significant technologies which allow developers to create even more powerful web apps and games. These include the Web Audio API which enables developers to add fancy audio effects such as room simulation and spatialization. Native Client is second tech included, which is an open-source technology that allows C and C++ code to be seamlessly and securely executed inside the browser. Current, Native Client only supports applications listed in the Chrome Web Store, but Google are working on removing this limitation as soon as possible.
Chrome 14 also includes some Mac OS X Lion changes. For all web pages, Chrome uses Lion's overlay scrollbars, which only appear when scrolling. They've also added initial support for Lion's full screen move, triggered by a full-screen button or Ctrl+Shift+F. Google have also fixed many crash bugs and added some all-around visual polish.
Grab the new version here.