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Previously only released as a developer preview, Google's Chrome App Launcher for Windows has today been released to the public. The app launcher allows users to directly launch Google services and install Chrome apps from the Windows 7 and Windows 8 menu bar. Additionally, Windows 8 users are also able to launch these apps through the start page on Windows 8.
Users of Chrome OS have had this functionality for quite some time now as well as versions of Chromium for Windows, Mac and Linux. Unfortunately for OS X users, a fully functional version has not yet been released for public download. The same story applies for those who love Linux and wish to run Chrome instead of Chromium.
Google recently unveiled its new experimental protocol called Quick UDP Internet Connections (QUIC). The search giant also added the new network protocol into the latest build of Chrome Canary so that testing could be conducted in the real-world. The protocol has already undergone internal testing, but the outside world is vastly different.
Google says that the new protocol is secure, with the security being similar to TLS. It is also designed to be faster than the currently used TCP protocol.
This new protocol should eventually make it into the public release of Chrome, though servers will also have to implement the protocol for it to be effective. We're sure Google will be one of the first adopters of the protocol since they are the developers of the protocol.
If you've been wondering if or when Internet Explorer 11 would be arriving on Windows 7, this is your day. Microsoft have confirmed the fact that IE11 will be arriving on Windows 7, but haven't provided a time frame unfortunately.
We might not see Internet Explorer 11 for Windows 7 until after the launch of Windows 8.1, which is my train of thought right now. I think Microsoft could release their new OS, and then once that is out in the wild and the limelight is taken away from it, they'll slide out Internet Explorer 11 for Windows 7 to keep their hype train moving along before Xbox One is released.
Mozilla has just released version number 22 of its popular Firefox browser. The update brings a wealth of new and exciting features such as 3-D gaming, video calls, and file sharing. For the most part these new features are aimed at the developer crowd with the intent of making future releases even more feature-rich.
Additional features include the integration of WebRTC as well as asm.js. These additions are crucial in helping Firefox continue to improve and evolve and further solidify that Firefox is very much in the here and now. The addition of 3-D gaming support showed that Mozilla continues its long standing support for focus on browser-based gaming.
Additionally, video calls and file sharing will now integrate seamlessly with users between the mobile version of Firefox as well as the desktop-based browser. Firefox 22 is available right now from Mozilla.org, and the Android version of the app has also been refreshed to version 22 which can be downloaded from the Google Play Store.
Microsoft has commissioned a study that shows that Internet Explorer 10 is the most efficient browser on Windows 8. The study's data suggests that if every user of Windows 8 switched to Internet Explorer 10, we would save enough energy to power 10,000 US hoseholds.
Microsoft will likely use this new "fact" as part of its marketing push to regain some of the browser market share. However, just how important is power consumption? Quite frankly, I'm not going to make the switch to Internet Explorer just because it uses slightly less power. On a notebook, though, the argument starts to gain some validity.
After all, most people surf the web for the majority of their computer use, so saving up to 18 percent of your battery life could result in a big boost. But with Haswell's jump in battery life, this argument starts to lose some of its impact.
Mozilla, the developers behind Firefox, are planning a major design overhaul for the popular web browser. The changes will appear in Firefox 25 which is slated to arrive in October. Those who wish to preview the changes are in luck as Mozilla has set up a special Nightly UX channel for Firefox 25. (Source #2)
For those of you who just want to know the differences, keep reading. The new look is awfully similar to the current user interface for Google's Chrome browser. The tabs have been rounded over, and Firefox is ditched the top left settings drop-down in favor of a more Chrome-like menu icon at the right hand side of the URL bar which is affectionately known as the "hot dog icon."
Other features include:
- Curved tabs.
- Remove tab affordance from background tabs.
- Separate Bookmark Star from location bar and merge with Bookmarks Menu item.
- Updated Panel Based Application Menu and Customization Mode.
- Windows (All): Draw entire window frame including Caption Buttons.
- Windows XP: Custom window frame style for all default themes.
Additional changes to the browser include updating in-content user interface styles, refining all aspects of the existing UI, as well as several bug fixes. Firefox warned developers that they should plan for a minimalistic toolbar UI and that the API to add toolbar buttons will be very different.
Everyone's favorite Google evangelist, François Beaufort, has discovered a Chromium code review that aims to add Google Wallet to Chrome. The review in question is titled "Make sure the Google wallet in-app payment support app is always installed" and does basically what it says: integrates Google Wallet into Chrome.
Google Wallet has actually already been integrated into the latest Chrome Canary build, which you can verify by trying to download and install the latest build of the app. Integrating Wallet into Chrome is a natural extension as Google continues to push the web through Chrome OS as alternative operating systems.
We can expect to see Google Wallet show up in the everyday build of Chrome in a few months, likely when Chrome 29 launches.
Mark down another feature discovery for Chromium evangelist François Beaufort. He is credited with discovering a new feature to help clean up your browser after malware strikes. The new feature will allow users to reset the default search engine, homepage, cookies, and other details to the original Google settings.
In the new UI panel, users can individually select from five different categories what they would like to reset. Since this is currently in Chromium, we can expect the exact details of the feature to change. However, it is a nice addition as more and more malware target browsers.
There is no way to know when Google will add this into the main Chrome build, but we'd be fairly confident that it is coming. Some are guessing that it will show up after Chrome 30.
We can expect Microsoft to include WebGL support in Internet Explorer 11. Microsoft teased that the new web technology would be supported through a Vine video released earlier today. Internet Explorer is expected to release alongside the upcoming Windows 8.1 update that will make its first public debut in June alongside Microsoft's BUILD conference.
WebGL allows web browsers to display 3D graphics, which is becoming increasingly important as Google pushes for Chrome OS and more and more software is becoming web-based. Opera, Chrome, Safari, and Firefox all currently offer some support for WebGL. Epic Citadel, a tech demo, was recently released that demonstrates just what WebGL is capable of.
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.