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Google and Firefox signed a three-year agreement just a few days ago to continue Google's default search engine goodness in Firefox, and Mozilla has got yet another gift for the world.
The first public beta build of Firefox version 10.0 has been released, and according to the developers, it comes with Full Screen APIs (so web apps can run in full screen mode), with support for CSS3 3D-Transforms and WebGL Anti-Aliasing, and an added HTML5 nugget: the < bdi > element for bi-directional text isolation.
Firefox 10.0 Beta also includes a forward button which stays hidden until you navigate back, an Inspect tool with content highlighting, IndexedDB APIs and a few fixes. Firefox 10.0 Beta is available for Windows, Mac OS and Linux. Download links are available here.
Earlier this week, Mozilla renewed their agreement with Google to be their default search engine in Firefox for another three years. Google Chrome engineer, Peter Kasting, has said: "Google is funding a partner," not a competitor. And its a great way of putting it, more revenue streams and people coming to your search engine, are better than none.
People never seem to understand why Google builds Chrome no matter how many times I try to pound it into their heads. It's very simple: the primary goal of Chrome is to make the web advance as much and as quickly as possible. It's completely irrelevant to this goal whether Chrome actually gains tons of users or whether instead the web advances because the other browser vendors step up their game and produce far better browsers. Either way the web gets better. Job done.
Mozilla have reportedly renewed their search partnership with Google for another three years. Mozilla haven't disclosed the financial details, but have said that it will be significant and mutually benefit both parties. For example, in 2010, Google contributed 84-percent of Mozilla's $123 million total revenue.
The previous agreement, which lasted for three years, expired last month. Mozilla said at the time it was in "active negotiations" with Google, but with Chrome ramping up its market share, most believed that Google would use that as leverage to cut down on a competitor or just let them go.
There were doubts that Mozilla wouldn't tap Google for its search engine, with the end of October seeing Firefox offering a "Firefox with Bing". This of course started rumors that Firefox might use Microsoft as their default search engine, but this in the end, was not the case.
Google have pushed through a new 'stable' build of their awesome Chrome browser, which offers a stand-out feature; multiple profiles.
This new feature baked into Chrome allows a single instance of Chrome to handle multiple user profiles and allows easy switching between them. For those of you who use a shared PC, it enables all people on the system to use the single web browser, with multiple accounts you're able to access your personal bookmarks, apps, extensions, history and more settings.
Other than the multiple sign-in support, Chrome v16.0.912.63 includes Sync enhancements and the usual bug fixes. It's available for Windows, Mac OS and Linux.
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.