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The days of Firefox "talking" to you while updating are over. With the release of Firefox 15 today, Mozilla has done away with that form of updates, opting for the silent updates, or background updates, utilized by Chrome and other software. No longer will you have to wait while it updates to the latest version! What a relief.
All joking aside, this really is a nice feature to have in software. One of the most frustrating things I have encountered in computing is when I really need to look up something quickly and the browser is updating to the latest version. Since the updater is an integral part of the software, Mozilla took its time testing this before releasing it.
"This was one of the scariest projects that I've ever worked on, since messing something up in the updater component could have catastrophic consequences in case it prevents users from being able to update to newer Firefox revisions," said Ehsan Akhgari, a programmer who worked on the project.
The feature has been present in the nightly Firefox build for a while now, and using that, they caught a few bugs which were fixed in time for the release of Firefox 15. The latest version of Firefox is available from the Mozilla website. If you already have it installed, this should be the last update you have to endure.
Developers who submit a Windows 8 app to the Windows Store using the word 'Metro' will "fail certification". This is a move from Microsoft that will see the Metro name die a horrible, horrible death. A recent change to the "Naming your app" instructions appears despite the heavy use by Microsoft of the term elsewhere.
This means that developers are now having to rebrand their apps in order to pass the new, stricter, non-Metro requirements. One big example is Windows-based Twitter client, MetroTwit, which already has a great following, and it now risks losing users when they go through a now required name change.
This is a big change, and its getting so close to the launch of Windows 8 I fear the Microsoft may be poisoning the Windows 8 name by this huge tectonic shift in renaming Metro, and the domino effect its having on developers, and their apps. Time will tell, I guess.
It all started with a day. A while back, we reported how Chrome became the top browser in the world for a day. A little later, it managed to stay the top browser for a week. And then it managed a month. And now, it's still on top and is continually increasing its lead over the others. It currently has captured one-third of the market.
StatCounter has the market share of Chrome pegged at 33.8% for July 2012. This figure is up from June's 32.8% and up significantly from July 2011's figure of 22.1%. IE is still putting up quite the fight and still manages to have 32% of the market. Firefox, on the other hand, is losing ground and is down to 23.7%.
Safari has managed to hold steady at around 7.1%. Last month, Chrome managed to become the top browser in Europe and surpassed Firefox for the first time. Chrome has a massive lead in South Africa and Asia, where it is the top browser and has a massive lead. IE still leads the US, UK, and Australia, which is interesting.
Google's latest Chrome Stable release, version 21, adds a few new things into the mix of Google's popular web browser. Chrome now sports the getUserMedia API, which lets your web cam and microphone get accessed by web apps, all without a plug-in. The getUserMedia API is, what Google are calling, the first step in WebRTC, a new real-time communications standard which has its dreams pegged on allowing high-quality video and communication on the web.
The getUserMedia API also allows web pages to create new experiences such as Webcam Toy and Magic Xylophone. The latest Stable release of Chrome also includes "deeper Google Cloud Print integration, expanded support for gamepads, and support for high-resolution Mac Retina screens." One of the best bits there is support for the Retina MacBook Pro.
The improvements to the 2880x1800 resolution on the rMBP looks great, as the image above shows. The left just looks, bad, after looking at the Retina-powered Chrome on the right. I'm itching to get my hands on a new Retina MBP, the urge is rising, heavily.
It would appear that Safari will no longer be offered for Windows. Or, at least that is the thought after doing a bit of searching around Apple's site. It would seem that the link to Safari for Windows has been removed from the main download page. OSX Mountain Lion ushered in Safari 6 with it, and there is certainly no easily visible link.
Safari 5.1.7 was located on Apple's knowledge base, but that's the only link that could be found. A search for a Windows version of Safari still brings up a link to "Safari for Mac + PC," but clicking that page takes users tot he main Safari page where there seemingly is no download link in site.
Offered since June 2007, usage numbers on the browser have it accounting for about 5% of total internet traffic. Most of that traffic is likely coming from Mac OSX so a quiet death for the browser isn't too unbelievable. It certainly could be a mistake, but that seems highly unlikely given Apple's track record.
The Next Web is reporting from an e-mail they received explaining that Google says that extensions developers can now start monetizing via Google Adsense, where Google state:
We are updating our ad policies to allow extensions to monetize through ads. Please ensure your extensions are in compliance by reviewing our extension ads policy guidelines.
Google seem to be giving developers the ability to put ads in extensions that feature more persistant visual elements, TNW have used an example by adding them to the TNW extension for Chrome:
But, it is nearly full circle for Google, because when extensions were first announced back in 2009, the early extensions focused on a few areas, one of which were to block ads. Now these same extensions can feature ads, making developers money on ad revenue. It has been noted though, over the course of the Extensions timeline, that some were being used to replace or display alternative ads on websites, which takes potential profits away from the site owner.
Google set to update Chrome to be Retina Display compatible for the new MacBook Pro, Canary build already has support
I'm going to start with: I really want a new Retina Display-powered Apple MacBook Pro, like, really bad. But, Google have just announced that their first version of Chrome that supports the eye-busting 2880x1800 resolution is, already here. Yes. It's out, available in the experimental Canary channel.
Google have said they are "committed to polishing Chrome until it shines on that machine". Canary builds are experimental, and are considered the "bleeding edge" versions of Chrome. These builds aren't even tested before they're released, so it's always a case of not having much expectations of how it should run.
But, if you're rocking the new Retina Display-powered MacBook Pro, you can test out just how gorgeous that high-res screen looks on Chrome. Google have said that the current build in the wild already shows "the early results" of their work on bringing high-resolution support to Chrome. The developers are "off to the races to make Chrome as beautiful as it can be".
Mozilla has just opened the doors to their Mozilla Marketplace, where you can download web apps and games, at a limited capacity as the service is in an experimental stage. But, it steps outside of the boundaries of the usual digital download storefronts like Google's Chrome Web Store.
Mozilla Marketplace lets you download something from the store, and the app gets treated like an actual desktop app. This means they are independent of the browser, so Windows users can access them from the Start Menu, and even uninstall an app traditionally through the Control Panel.
If you want to try the Mozilla Marketplace out, you'll need to download and install the Nightly build of Firefox 16, as functionality for the store isn't available through the public release yet. At the moment, there are 200 apps available on the store, with most of them being free. As time goes on, this number should grow exponentially. Click here to try it out!
Safari also now syncs with the cloud and can pull up tabs that are open on iOS devices.
Tabview is a new way to see all of your open tabs. It is like how tabs work on the mobile iOS Safari.