The latest version of Google Chrome is now live for all platforms and with the new version comes a plethora of brand new features.
The new features are as follows; new customization for the New Tab page, forced dark mode, Password Checkup, Tab Hover Cards, Click-To-Call and more. Firstly, the New Tab page originally just allowed users to customize the background, now Google gives users a choice between a large selection of images or themes, while also giving the option of shortcut customization.
Forced Dark Mode is exactly what it sounds like. Google Chrome will now convert all websites on the web to a dark theme, whether or not they support it in their back-end. Instead of adding new source code to every individual website, Google has used color inversion theory to change the light websites to a dark theme. Tab Hover Cards gives users more accessible navigation through their chosen cards, while 'Click-to-Call' adds an option to send a phone number found on the web to the users Android phone.
It baffles me why people are still using Microsoft's ancient Internet Explorer, and now even Microsoft themselves have kindly asked Explorers users to upgrade and let the browser die.
Microsoft has taken to their official blog to address the issues surrounding the use of Internet Explorer. Microsoft's senior cyber-security architect Chris Jackson has said that the use of Internet Explorer while may be easier compatibility wise in the short term, provides substantial "technical debt" in the long term. According to Jackson, the use of Internet Explorer creates costs do down the line for companies, and also provides difficulties when creating web-pages for future use.
Microsoft has recommended users to try and stay ahead of the curve and transition to new modern browser for not only compatibility improvements but also security reasons as well. It should be noted that Microsoft don't even support Internet Explorer anymore, since the company announced back in 2016 that they will be killing support for Internet Explorer 8, Internet Explorer 9 and Internet Explorer 10. If you happen to be one of the few users that are still cruising about the Internet on Internet Explorer it is highly recommended that you upgrade to a more modern browser such as Edge, Chrome or FireFox.
Can you believe it... Google released their first web browser 10 years ago now, with Chrome being a "fresh take on the browser" in 2008. Fast forward to today, and it's the most popular browser.
Internet Explorer was a thorn in internet users' sides, and for some people they might not even know that Chrome launched as a Windows-only beta app, but Google eventually ported it over to both Linus and macOS in 2009.
Google strapped together the Apple WebKit rendering engine and Mozilla's Firefox to build Chrome, with Google at the time not being so evil, and made Chrome's source code available to all through their Chromium project.
Opera has just pushed out a new browser update, with v50 of its popular browser coming out in the next few hours that will stop sites from hijacking your CPU to mine cryptocurrency.
There are already extensions released for both Chrome and Firefox that block hijacking scripts, but Opera is the first to block cryptomining within its built-in ad blocker. Impressive stuff, especially as Opera is my browser of choice (I'm all-in with Google for everything else).
Google is set out to rid the annoying ads from its web service, upgrading Google Chrome with a new built-in ad blocker which will be designed to remove any annoying ads that ruin Chrome's web experience.
This new built-in ad blocker will not be blocking all ads across the internet but will instead mainly concentrate on the ones that are super-annoying which is any that are influencing the users experience. What is good to know though is that if the website has a intrusive amount of ads the new ad blocker will instead of blocking just a few, it will remove all ads on the site even if the other ones meet the required standard.
Google assures owners of websites that it has been working very closely with publishers to ensure that the new feature is agreed upon before going live. Google also hopes that since Chrome will have it's own built-in ad blocker that people will stop using third-party software to block ads.
Reddits co-founder Alexis Ohanian has announced at an AI event that Reddit will be partnering with Microsoft to create AI tools which will integrate Reddit's content into searches on Bing.
This new integration is a combined goal to develop a feature that is called Intelligent Search, the feature is designed to make the user of Bing feel more at home with the browser by answering questions quickly and promptly.
Intelligent Search will take the comprehensive information regarding your search question and compile all information into one refined answer, the source name for a answer is labelled "Consolidated from multiple sources."
Amazon have been planning on their full release in Australia for quite some time now and while local retailers have been preparing for the American retailer super-giant their time has run out, Amazon is fully open and operational. The plan of becoming open for business just before Christmas seems to of gone right ahead as Amazon have already been selling Kindle e-reader devices and audio books.
Now that the American retailer has been fully activated in Australia there is suspicion to what Amazon's game plan might be, known for sacrificing profits on sales through extremely low prices just to greater it's presence is something local retailers would be very afraid of. Australia is already home to many technology retail giants such as Harvey Norman, JB Hi Fi and The Good Guys, all of which are expected to take a considerable hit to their profits once Amazon becomes the social norm for purchasing technology upgrades of gifts.
It seems as though Microsoft is making some very interesting moves with its upcoming release of Windows 10 S, which is a more restricted version of the full Windows 10 for the education market, something Microsoft is looking to combat Google's Chromebook/Chrome OS combo with.
Microsoft is placing restrictions on the software you're allowed to install with Windows 10 S, with one of those caveats being that the software will only be available on the Windows Store - meaning no third-party browsers. This means we won't be seeing Google Chrome, Firefox, Opera, or Safari on Windows 10 S, ever.
Why this matters: This is a strong move by Microsoft, and it's something that would've been heavily criticized years ago as anti-competitive but the game has changed. Google is now a powerhouse in the education market and is eating into Microsoft's once dominant business, and could lead to Microsoft already envisioning a future of full Windows releases being more locked down to specific software or ecosystems.
We all know just how much CPU and especially RAM that Chrome can eat up, but Google promises that Chrome 57's background tabs will be limited to an average CPU load of just 1%, on a single CPU core.
Google explains the throttling method that they've used on background tabs on their Developers website, with Google pushing every background tab into its own time budget (in seconds), with specific CPU time for the tab to complete its process - and is limited to just 10 seconds, freeing up CPU cycles. The company does note that the regeneration code can be shifted around, as they take in more data about how background tabs are throttled.
If you're like me - right now, you've got a background tab playing music through Google Play Music, so there will be some exceptions to background tab throttling in order to see those tabs not crashing or not functioning properly.
Google Chrome has received some performance improvements applied, with help from Microsoft and its PGO technology that makes Chrome's startup time around 17% faster. Chrome now loads web pages 6% faster and is 15% faster with new tab loading times.
Microsoft's PGO technology is 'Profile Guided Optimization', which measures just how users use the application, and then with this data in-hand it will re-compile an application that focuses on optimizing the most-used functions. Another feature of PGO is that it speeds apps up by keeping the most-used functions inside of the CPU's fast instruction cache.
Google took to the Chromium Blog, explaining in a new article called 'Making Chrome on Windows faster with PGO'. The team added: "To gather this data, the nightly build process now produces a special version of Chrome that tracks how often functions are used. PGO then optimizes those high-use functions for speed, in some cases increasing the binary size of those functions. To balance out that increase, PGO also optimizes less-used functions with smaller, though slightly slower code. These trade-offs result in higher overall performance, and a smaller overall code footprint".