browsers Stories June 4, 2015


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

browsers Stories April 29, 2014


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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browsers Stories March 3, 2014

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:

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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.

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browsers Stories August 18, 2011

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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…

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