Google has been working with Adobe to improve battery life drain caused by Flash and today flipped the switch on a new Chrome feature that does exactly that. The new feature aims to detect Flash on a webpage that is actually important to the main content and “intelligently pause content” that isn’t as important. The result is to hopefully make the web experience with Flash more power efficient to improve battery life on your laptop. Here’s how it works: expand full story
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Mozilla announced a major overhaul of its desktop browser today and Firefox’s Android build isn’t being left behind. Now available to download from the Play Store, Mozilla’s refreshed mobile browser ships with several technical tweaks, but the standout here is Firefox Accounts for Firefox Sync.
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Google has announced an experimental feature in the developer version of Chrome OS that allows you to access more than one user profile at the same time, easily flicking between them, as well as passing both tabs and files back-and-forth between profiles.
Switching profiles is as easy as clicking on the profile picture in the system tray popup. […] One nice thing, but still highly experimental, is that you can move windows to different profiles with a simple right click in the window top bar. As you can see in the video, even the Files App even supports this feature.
To access the feature in the Chrome OS dev channel, enter the following line:
If you’re not currently using the dev channel, you can find instructions for switching here, but note that by definition you can expect to experience some glitches. The stable channel is always recommended when working on anything important.
browsers Stories September 29, 2011
Amazon yesterday outed its Kindle Fire tablet, the lower-priced $79 Kindle and the new $99 Kindle touch. They also unveiled a brand new browser written exclusively for the Kindle Fire, dubbed Silk. There has been some concern among web developers about the browser’s rendering engine given how numerous web sites are optimized for the open-sourced WebKit rendering engine. According to a post by Mike Mainguy, a software architect with Lemans Corporation, the Silk browser does leverage WebKit as its rendering engine. Moreover, it also employs SPDY, Google’s optimized hypertext transfer protocol introduced in late 2009 as part of the search giant’s “Let’s make the web faster” initiative. It’s currently used in Chrome and now in Amazon’s Silk browser, too. Mainguy explains:
All told this isn’t as big a technological change at the front end and is more of a story about amazon trying to use their infrastructure to make the mobile browsing experience better. Frankly, this is a scaled up and modernized version of what blackberry did years ago (are they still doing that?).
It appears that Amazon combined SPDY with Amazon Web Services to caches files and offload page rendering to the cloud, depending on workload. According to the Silk team:
browsers Stories August 25, 2011
Several new enhancements have surfaced in the latest developer version of Google’s Chrome browser. As previously announced, the software now respects Apple’s multitouch gesturing philosophy in OS X Lion. This means you can flick your finger left or right on your Magic Mouse (or two fingers on a trackpad) to advance and go back in your history. Unfortunately, the browser doesn’t yet support double-tap or pinch to smoothly zoom in and out of web pages iPhone-style, like Safari on Lion. Another handy treat: You can now rest assured that accidentally hitting the Command + Q combo won’t quit Chrome because a subtle overlay appears telling you to hold down the combo briefly in order to quit.
In addition, Chrome now supports Lion’s Full-Screen feature through the standard full-screen button found in the upper right corner of the window. The latest nightly build across all platforms also sports the brand new Omnibar history syncing feature which comes on top of the previously available syncing capabilities for Chrome extensions, passwords, bookmarks, web apps, autofill items, browser settings and themes. A multi-profile feature has also seen some work in the visual department, even though it is not yet available in nightly Chrome builds for OS X. If you wish to try out those experimental features, we recommend installing the Google Chrome Canary build. This particular version, unlike other Chrome channels, runs without a hiccup alongside your existing stable Chrome installation.
browsers Stories August 18, 2011
Image credit: dropit2entrecard.blogspot.com
Something fell off our plate amid the late craze in tech reporting, especially with Google buying Motorola and HP abandoning PC biz and webOS devices. That doesn’t mean this little nugget is not worthy your attention, quite the contrary. Three years ago, Google mentioned it would eventually enable the so-called native code execution in Chrome. The latest beta of Chrome 14, unleashed a week ago, now supports this functionality, the Google Operating System blog has discovered.
In Layman’s terms, native code execution lets the Chrome browser run snippets of web code specifically optimized for your computer’s processor rather than analyze, interpret and painstakingly turn HTML code line by line into a machine-readable format – that takes a lot of time, slowing down code execution as a result.
Google’s definition simply states the technique lets developers “build web applications that seamlessly execute native compiled code inside the browser”. For our tech-savvy readers, Google outlined some of the benefits of this technique in the announcement blog post three years ago:
Modern PCs can execute billions of instructions per second, but today’s web applications can access only a small fraction of this computational power. If web developers could use all of this power, just imagine the rich, dynamic experiences they could create. At Google we’re always trying to make the web a better platform. That’s why we’re working on Native Client, a technology that aims to give web developers access to the full power of the client’s CPU while maintaining the browser neutrality, OS portability and safety that people expect from web applications.
The stable Chrome 14 release is expected within a month, when native code execution will become standard feature for the 160 million active Chrome users, as of May 11. So, why should you care? Read on…
browsers Stories August 15, 2011
We here at 9to5Google are no strangers to Chrome Experiments, sweet little snippets of code that highlight the many advances Google’s been adding to its browser. Take, for example, a tech demo where you write your message and have the band in a music video dance it out. Today, Conceivably Tech points us to another interesting showcase that highlights the efficiency of Google’s WebGL support in Chrome.
WebGL is for the web what OpenGL stands for on your desktop, a standardized way for web developers to tap the power of your graphics card directly, by embedding an OpenGL code right inside web pages. The WebGL Water demo runs smoothly full screen on my 1.6GHz Core i5 MacBook Air and the water ripple effect, particles and lighting effects have to be experienced first hand in order to be fully appreciated.
The code runs best in Chrome due to the use of the OES-texture-float extension, which is currently only available for Chrome. If this is a sign of things to come, soon we will be able to run complex visualizations and shiny 3D games right inside our browser.
browsers Stories July 27, 2011
We here at 9to5Google love Chrome Experiments, nifty little web apps that showcase what can be achieved with HTML5 and the Chrome browser. Be it a simple project like the Google I/O countdown timer or mind-boggling stuff such as this interactive music video, Google Experiments is a go-to place for a glimpse of where web technologies are headed. All Is Not Lost, the latest Chrome experiment and an HTML5 music collaboration between the band OK Go, the dance troupe and choreographers Pilobolus and Google, is one such example.
It lets you embed your message in a music video and have the band dance it out, Keiko Hirayama, senior marketing manager with the Google Tokyo team explains in a post over at the Chrome blog. Upon visiting the experiment’s landing page, you’re only required to type in your message. The web app will then load the video and make the band dance it out with a little bit of HTML5’s canvas magic…
browsers Stories July 1, 2011
A big milestone today as Google’s Chrome hits a cool 20 percent web usage share according to StatCounter numbers for the month of June (via TNW) based on aggregate data collected from their network of three million websites.
For the first time ever, Chrome passed the 20 percent mark globally, accounting for 20.65 share of all web browsing the world over. Compare that to just 2.8 percent in the year-ago period. Google’s browser is now chasing Firefox which fell from 30 percent in June 2010 to 28 percent in June 2011. All versions of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer have also fallen to 44 percent globally, down from 59 percent in June 2010.
In the United States Chrome’s rise was less rapid, hitting 16 percent in June while Microsoft’s and Mozilla’s browsers scored 46.5 percent and 24.7 percent, respectively. What’s especially interesting is Chrome’s share in South America where it grabbed 29.72 percent of the market, beating Firefox (24 percent) to the browser punch (Microsoft’s browser had 44.1 percent share). An indication of things to come globally?
browsers Stories June 3, 2011
WebKit – an Apple-developed, open-sourced rendering platform – is picking up steam on desktop. On laptop and desktop computers, WebKit-powered browsers are closing in on Mozilla’s Firefox, which is the world’s second most-popular browser. Look no further than Net Applications’ numbers derived by monitoring more than 40,000 websites in their network (see above chart). Adding May 2011 web usage share numbers for Safari (7.28 percent) and Chrome (12.52 percent) brings us to the combined 19.8 percent market share.
That’s just shy of one fifth of all desktop browsing, putting WebKit within spitting distance of Firefox’s 21.71 market share. Trends do not favor browser vendors who have been pretty much bleeding market share to Google and Apple in past months. Chrome and Safari have managed to grow their user base over the past couple of months at the expense of Mozilla’s Firefox, Microsoft’s Internet Explorer and Opera Software’s Opera. A StatCounter survey supports those findings (see below). Why is Mozilla failing?
browsers Stories May 11, 2011
Google just said at Day Two Keynote that users have installed 70 million web apps found in the Chrome Web Store in the first three months. To put things in perspective, Google said Chrome has been downloaded 160 million times worldwide so far. The store is also available in 40 new languages as of today.
The company also introduced a simple way to enable one-click purchases withing web apps themselves, via Google Checkout. So, what’s the deal? Unlike Apple which takes 30 percent cut on iTunes content sales or in-app purchases, Google said it would take just five percent. “We at google felt we can do a little better”, a Google engineer said during the keynote in a hint at Apple’s 70:30 revenue sharing deal.