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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 (126.96.36.199) 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.
A beta build for developers of Firefox for Honeycomb is available for you to try. With developer Lucas Rocha saying on a blog post:
It has now reached a functional state that is good enough for getting some early feedback. Keep in mind that this is very early stage work. There are lots of rough edges and design is continuously evolving.
The design continues the keep the elements of the smaller-screen smartphone version, with tab switching that is accessed bu pulling out from the left side and other options that can be accessed by pulling from the right side. The bigger screen adds forward and backward navigation buttons, an address bar, and buttons for reloading and bookmarking. Firefox on smartphones is well underway, so Mozilla are now beginning to focus on Android-based tablets, in particular, Honeycomb.
Mozilla is banking on Android as a way to keep its browser relevant in the fast-growing mobile world. With MeeGo and Windows Mobile 6.5 riding into the sunset, Windows Phone 7 not having the necessary low-level access to permit Firefox to run, and the dominant mobile OS, Apple's iOS, only permits browsers that put a new interface on Apple's WebKit browser engine.
Today brings reason to celebrate for Google, marking Chrome's third anniversary since the open source web browser was first launched. This is a browser that needs no introduction with it being a widely favoured choice across the globe, in businesses, at home and on the go.
Things have certainly come a long way even in the three years since Chrome graced the web, making significant strides in speed, simplicity and security.
At this special time, to give insight to the evolution of major web technologies and browsers, Google has also put together a fantastic interactive infographic built using HTML5 that looks at all things web/browser wise as far back as the early 1990s when Netscape was king.
Firefox 5 only came out a short while ago and Mozilla are not slowing down. Firefox 6 final is now available for download on Mac, Windows and Linux via Mozilla FTP servers. It's not available "officially", but will be available anytime next week. Firefox 6 does not introduce any UI changes, but the new version of Mozilla's ever-so-popular web browser does include some speed improvements while using the browser, almost 20% faster in some cases verses Firefox 5.
As always, because this isn't the "official" release, the final build may be updated before it gets released to the public next week. The welcome page does still say "Firefox 6 Beta" but don't let this stop you, Mozilla just hasn't updated the page yet. Go forth and grab Firefox 6! If you'd like to get your download on, I've linked to the 3 flavours of Firefox 6 below.
It was only a few weeks ago that Google announced that their Instant Pages feature would make its way to the Chrome beta channel users. But today they're releasing Instant Pages is on by default in the latest stable version of Google Chrome. This means that sometimes when you click a Google search result in Chrome, the page will appear to load much faster than before. How much faster you ask? Well, take a look below at a side-by-side comparison with Instant Pages on/off by default.
Google haven't stopped there, they've also announced that print preview is available for Windows and Linux users in the latest stable version of Chrome, with the Mac release coming soon. There's now a "print to PDF" option which should please people. Finally, there's the omnibox, Chrome's combination search box and address bar, which has gotten a bit smarter in the latest release which makes it easier to get back to pages you visited before.
Just type part of the page's address or title and look in the dropdown for matching pages from your history.
Mozilla has been blowing air into the hot air balloon that is 64-bit browsers. Finally, there are people working on Firefox for Windows x64 and this means that from Firefox 8, there'll be two builds; 32-bit and 64-bit. The 64-bit version will obviously take advantage of operating in native 64-bit and use its memory space. The x64 build of Firefox 8 is roughly 10-percent faster than the 32-bit version, but its not just speed.
Encryption and filtering functions are superior on Firefox 8 x64, the handling of DOM Operations benchmark shows a 25-percent increase, this results in every dynamic website loading faster and feeling more responsive. The 64-bit build of Firefox 8 does however use more memory. In a benchmark by ExtremeTech, the 64-bit build had a memory footprint of 320MB with the 32-bit build using just 230MB.
Ready for some truly different news today? Look no further than the following HTML 5 music experience based on the Arcade Fire song "We Used to Wait." "3 Dreams of Black" is Google's latest music experience for the browser, written and directed by Chris Milk and developed by a few of the talented lot at Google. The song, "Black," comes off the album ROME, presented by Danger Mouse and Daniele Luppi, the track features Jack White and Norah Jones vocals and is soon to be released on the record label Parlophone/EMI.
ROME has inspirations from Italian soundtracks from the 1960s and the classic Indian Western genre. As for an explanation of what you're about to experience, here is the sum up of it:
"3 Dreams of Black" is a visual voyage through three dream worlds, told through rich 2D drawings and animations that are interspersed with interactive 3D sequences. At various points in this web experience, you can take control with your computer's mouse and guide your journey through the unfolding narrative. You can even contribute to the dream by creating your own relics using a 3D model creator. Some of the best user creations will be integrated into the experience and become a part of others' "3 Dreams" exploration.
Mozilla's latest web browsing super software, Firefox, has reached 100 million downloads since it launched a month ago. This means it has been downloaded twice as many times as Microsoft's Internet Explorer 9.
As it stands now we have Firefox 4 in one corner with 7.94-percent of the worldwide browser market according to StatCounter, Internet Explorer 8.0 with 29.99-percent, Firefox 3.6 with 24.43-percent and finally, Google Chrome 10 with 15.35-percent.