Safari Stories February 26, 2016

Gmail Default mail app

I’ve never been a big proponent of the stock Mail application in OS X, so I generally find myself relying on Gmail inside a browser for all of my email needs. In fact, I don’t have any accounts configured inside of the Mail app at all. With this in mind, I get frustrated when I accidentally click a mailto link while I’m using Chrome. Doing so forces the Mail app to open, which wastes time.

Wouldn’t it be better if you could configure Gmail to be the default mail client inside of Chrome or another browser? In this video tutorial, I’ll show you how easy it is to configure Chrome, Safari, and even Firefox to use Gmail as default. expand full story

Safari Stories October 9, 2015

Google’s app indexing links coming to Safari on iOS by end of month

Google first introduced app indexing for iOS apps in search back in May, allowing in-app content to appear in search results with links that send users directly to an app. The feature was originally only available in the Google app and Chrome browser, but now Google is launching an updated version of the framework that will make the app links also appear in Google search results in Safari.

Getting your app content found on Google just got easier. App Indexing is now compatible with HTTP deep link standards for iOS 9, as it has been on Android from the beginning. That means that you can start getting your app content into the Search results page on Safari in iOS, simply by adding Universal Links to your iOS app, then integrating with our SDK.

Developers simply need to support the Universal Links standard to get their apps to show up in search results. Users will begin to see the app indexing links showing up in Safari on iOS by the end October.

Devs can read more on how to support the feature here.

Safari Stories February 19, 2015

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Google has this morning announced that its Inbox email app experience made for Gmail is officially expanding to tablets, and both the iOS (you can read more about the iOS update over at 9to5Mac) and Android versions of the app (which actually received the update in December) are now ready to go.

Since the app was launched, its web interface was tied down to Google’s own Chrome browser. But Google announced change to that requirement today as well… expand full story

Safari Stories February 11, 2015

Google brings smooth Safari-like zoom to Chrome Canary for Mac

The latest build of Chrome Canary for Mac packs a great new feature that’s likely familiar to those who use Safari on a daily basis. While current stable builds of Chrome have a jaggedy pinch-to-zoom functionality that only zooms in 10% increments, the latest build of Chrome Canary provides a smooth buttery zoom experience like Apple’s browser.

As of right now, it looks like the feature works a little bit less fluidly than Apple’s offering, but that’s to expected in the most experimental public release version of Chrome. Zooming works the same way that it does in Safari and current versions of Chrome, so all it takes is pinching two fingers on the Trackpad.

If you’re sticking with Safari on your Mac for this reason or others (battery life, anyone?), it looks like this feature—once it makes its way to the stable release—will give you one more reason to switch over to Google’s browser. If you want to give it a try, head over and download the latest build of Chrome Canary.

Safari Stories August 14, 2014

Google expanding its Safe Browsing service to warn against more deceptive software in browsers

Google announced today on its Online Security Blog that it’s expanding the Safe Browsing service that helps fight against malicious websites and warns users of potentially dangerous software when downloading files through browsers like Chrome. Rolling out next week, Safe Browsing is being updated to warn users against additional types of deceptive software:

programs disguised as a helpful download that actually make unexpected changes to your computer—for instance, switching your homepage or other browser settings to ones you don’t want… We’ll show a warning in Chrome whenever an attempt is made to trick you into downloading and installing such software. (If you still wish to proceed despite the warning, you can access it from your Downloads list.)

Google noted today that it’s “currently showing more than three million download warnings per week—and because we make this technology available for other browsers to use, we can help keep 1.1 billion people safe.” Some of those users are also receiving warnings from Safe Browsing through Firefox and Apple’s Safari browser.

Safari Stories June 5, 2014

usbrowsershare

Over the past couple of years, Chrome has gained and fallen in terms of browser marketshare. Google’s browser briefly eclipsed Internet Explorer as the most popular browser in the world, but Microsoft quickly regained that crown. Now, Adobe has issued a report claiming that Chrome, on both mobile and the desktop, has finally eclipsed Internet Explorer as the world’s most popular browser.

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Safari Stories January 16, 2014

Google privacy case looks set to go ahead in UK after Google’s dismissal attempt fails

Google today lost its attempt to have a British court dismiss a claim for breach of privacy in respect of dropping cookies in Safari even when the option was switched off.

Google has argued that the appropriate jurisdiction was the US legal system, where a similar case had already been rejected. Mr Justice Tugendhat at London’s High Court today rejected that argument, stating that he was satisfied there was a case to answer and that it should be heard in the UK.

I am satisfied that there is a serious issue to be tried in each of the claimant’s claims for misuse of private information.

The claimants have clearly established that this jurisdiction is the appropriate one in which to try each of the above claims.

Although Google was denied the right to appeal the ruling, it has said that it intends to attempt an appeal regardless.

We still don’t think that this case meets the standards required in the UK for it to go to trial, and we’ll be appealing today’s ruling.

In the U.S., the company was fined $22.5M by the FTC last July over the infringement of privacy.

Safari Stories December 16, 2013

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Google, which was fined $22.5M by the FTC for illegal use of tracking cookies on iPhones even when the user had set Safari to reject them, is asking the UK’s High Court to reject a claim for compensation from a group of British iPhone owners, reports The Guardian.

Google is arguing that any case should be held in the U.S., and that UK courts have no jurisdiction in the matter. It also observes that a similar claim in the USA was dismissed two months ago.

Google has been called “arrogant and immoral” for arguing that a privacy claim brought by internet users in the UK should not be heard by the British legal system […]

In the first group claim brought against Google in the UK, the internet firm has insisted that the lawsuit must be brought in California, where it is based, instead of a British courtroom …  expand full story

Safari Stories January 28, 2013

Following FTC fines, UK iPhone users sue Google for bypassing Safari privacy settings

Google agreed to pay a record $22.5 million Federal Trade Commission fine in August following an investigation into whether it bypassed mobile Safari security settings to install tracking cookies without user consent. Now, twelve iPhone users in the United Kingdom have launched a lawsuit against Google that seeks compensation related to the tracking. They also want a “proper explanation” about how their personal information was used. The Telegraph via Business Insider has the full story:

It is thought the case, being brought against Google by law firm Olswang on behalf of the internet users, is the first of its kind in the UK. They say that cookies, small tracking files, were installed by Google on the Apple computers and mobile devices of those using the Safari internet browser without their knowledge .

Claimants thought that cookies would be blocked because of assurances given by Google in the time their devices were allegedly affected, from summer 2011 to spring 2012, and also because of Safari’s default settings.

“We hope that they will take this opportunity to give Safari users a proper explanation about what happened, to apologize and, where appropriate, compensate the victims of their intrusion.”

Safari Stories August 9, 2012

It’s official: Google agrees to pay record $22.5M FTC fine in Safari bypass dispute

We reported last week that the Federal Trade Commission voted to fine Google $22.5 million for violating browser security settings in Safari, but now Google has agreed to pay the record-setting amount and finally settle its dispute.

According to the press release (via MarketWatch): 

  • Google to pay $22.5 million to settle FTC dispute
  • SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) — Google Inc. GOOG +0.27% Thursday agreed to pay a $22.5 million penalty to settle a dispute with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission. The FTC said the penalty stems from charges that Google misrepresented users of Apple Inc.’sAAPL +0.13% Safari Web browser after saying it wouldn’t place tracking “cookies” or serve targeted ads to Safari users. The FTC said Google’s actions violated and earlier privacy settlement between the FTC and Google. Google shares were up less than 1% at $643.63 in early trading Thursday.

The allegations against Google began in February, when the search engine and other ad companies were caught bypassing Safari security settings to install tracking cookies on devices and computers without consent.

“The record setting penalty in this matter sends a clear message to all companies under an FTC privacy order,” said FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz in another presser. “No matter how big or small, all companies must abide by FTC orders against them and keep their privacy promises to consumers, or they will end up paying many times what it would have cost to comply in the first place.”

It is worth noting that the hefty fine roughly equals five hours of revenue for Google based on Q2 2012 sales.

The FTC’s full press release is below.

This article is cross-posted on 9to5Mac.

Safari Stories July 10, 2012

Google to pay $22.5M settlement in FTC’s iOS Safari privacy investigation

The last time we updated you on the FTC’s investigation into Google’s method of bypassing the default Safari browser settings on iOS devices, reports claimed the company was facing possible fines that could reach tens of millions. Today, The Wall Street Journal said Google is close to reaching a $22.5 million settlement with the FTC, according to people close to the negotiations:

The fine is expected to be the largest penalty ever levied on a single company by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission. It offers the latest sign of the FTC’s stepped-up approach to policing online privacy violations, coming just six months after The Wall Street Journal reported on Google’s practices.

In recent weeks, the FTC staff and Google have reached a proposed settlement and agreed on a fine, according to several people close to the investigation. The settlement is awaiting approval by FTC commissioners and could still be altered before it becomes public.

Safari Stories May 4, 2012

Google facing tens of millions in fines in FTC’s iOS Safari privacy investigation

We knew that Google would likely face fines in the Federal Trade Commission’s investigation into its method of bypassing Apple’s default iOS Safari browser settings. Last month, reports claimed the FTC would make a decision on the fines within 30 days. Today, Reuters reported sources close to the situation have confirmed Google is currently negotiating with the FTC over fines that “could amount to tens of millions of dollars”:

Google Inc. (GOOG) is negotiating with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission over how big a fine it will have to pay for its breach of Apple Inc. (AAPL)’s Safari Internet browser, a person familiar with the matter said. The FTC is preparing to allege that Mountain View, California-based Google deceived consumers and violated terms of a consent decree signed with the commission last year when it planted so-called cookies on Safari, bypassing Apple software’s privacy settings, the person said.

Cross-posted on 9to5Mac.com

Safari Stories April 17, 2012

In February, the story broke that Google and other advertising companies were bypassing iOS Safari’s privacy settings and continuing to track users without their consent. Google quickly disabled its code responsible for the tracking after a story from The Wall Street Journal published, and Apple then claimed it was “working to put a stop” to the issue.

Now, a new report from Mercury News claimed the U.S. Federal Trade Commission is considering whether to fine Google over the incident. The decision is expected in the next 30 days:

The Federal Trade Commission is deep into an investigation of Google’s actions in bypassing the default privacy settings of Apple’s (AAPL) Safari browser for Google users, according to sources familiar with ongoing negotiations between the company and the government… Within the next 30 days, the FTC could order the Mountain View search giant to pay an even larger fine in the Safari case than the penalty the Federal Communications Commission hit Google with Friday, say the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The report is referring to Google being recently fined $25,000 by the FCC after it allegedly “deliberately impeded and delayed” an investigation related to Street View cars. The heart of the Safari bypassing investigation is whether the company is violating a previous privacy agreement made with the FTC following controversy over the failed “Buzz” service. The report claimed Google could face up to $16,000 per violation per day for violating the agreement. Google said to Mercury News today it would “cooperate with any officials who have questions” and explained making its +1 compatible on mobile Safari created the issue:

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Safari Stories February 28, 2012

Everyone knows that Google can dodge privacy features in Internet browsers, renounce third-party cookie policies, and supply personalized ads despite a user’s privacy setting. Privacy regulators, advocates and consumers alike have called upon Google and other advertising companies to abide by browser’s do-not-track policies, but Google already stepped to the plate with a solution for suspicious users that do not want to be tracked.

Keep My Opt Outs” is a Chrome browser extension that blocks all cookies harvested for personalized ads. The evasive cookies under fire in the media essentially follow a user’s trail across websites to collect history for data reaping. The particulars help Google supply targeted advertisements. All Web browsers include a built-in setting to block this information-cropping process, but Google and other firms use a distinct code to disable the setting in Safari and Internet Explorer.

“Keep My Opt-Outs is an extension for users who aren’t comfortable with personalization of the ads they see on the web. It’s a one-step, persistent opt-out of personalized advertising and related data tracking performed by companies adopting the industry privacy standards for online advertising,” wrote Google on the Chrome webstore

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Safari Stories February 17, 2012

Internet giant Google found itself in a middle of a potential public relations nightmare following a Wall Street Journal article this morning. Tentatively titled “Google’s iPhone Tracking,” the article asserts that “Google Inc. and other advertising companies have been bypassing the privacy settings of millions of people using Apple Inc.’s Web browser on their iPhones and computers” to follow iPhone users even after they explicitly set Safari’s privacy controls to disable such tracking. According to authors Julia Angwin and Jennifer Valentino-Devries, Google used “special computer code that tricks Apple’s Safari Web-browsing software into letting them monitor many users.” Google apparently disabled the problematic code after the newspaper contacted the Mountain View, Calif.-based Company.

Stanford researcher Jonathan Mayer discovered that although mobile Safari’s default setting blocks cookies from third parties and advertisers, Google and advertising companies Media Innovation Group, Vibrant Media, and Gannett PointRoll fooled mobile Safari into thinking “a person was submitting an invisible form to Google,” letting them in turn install a tracking cookie on users’ iPhones and PCs without consent.

Once a cookie installed, a Safari glitch allowed subsequent cookies to attach. Both Google and Apple issued statements following this morning’s report…

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Safari Stories September 12, 2011

Chrome and Android, the two crucial weapons in Google’s assault on mobile and desktop, are showing no signs of stopping. We already reported today that Android passed iOS globally. When it comes to browsing the web, Google’s Chrome zoomed past the 25 percent mark for the first time this weekend, ConceivablyTech observed. More precisely, Chrome grabbed 25.02 percent share this past Sunday, per StatCounter Global Stats data.

The software has been growing rapidly, registering global market share of 18.29 percent in April, 19.36 percent in May 2011, 20.65 percent in June and 22.14 percent in July. Apple’s Safari grew marginally, adding just 0.02 percentage points to its 5.17 percent share in July. The latest StatCounter data, which may not be representative of the entire market, really spells trouble for Mozilla’s Firefox. Mozilla’s browser used to be the preferred alternative to Microsoft’s market-dominating Internet Explorer not that long time ago. How times change…

Firefox’s share is declining five times faster than Internet Explorer’s, indicating that Chrome is slowly but steadily chipping away at Firefox’s market position, which is now within spitting distance. Firefox scored a 27.49 share for the month of August versus 41.89 percent for Internet Explorer. The fact that only 14.5 percent of web users, or 54 percent of Firefox users, have upgraded to Firefox 6 is another indicative of shifting tides as Google gains significant ground in the web browsing space.

Google also benefits from the silent updating mechanism, a computer process that sits in the background to automatically keep your Chrome installation up to date, without any intervention on your part. Did the latest StatsCounter numbers surprise you? The writing has been on the wall for some time.

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Safari Stories August 1, 2011

The Guardian is reporting Chrome has overtaken Firefox as the #2 browser in the UK. Chrome now has 22% of the market and Internet Explorer, which is currently first, holds 45%. In fourth, Safari has 9% of the market. (via web metrics firm Statcounter) Chrome’s success is due in part to TV advertising. Chrome is Google’s first product advertised in the UK.

Also today, Net Applications is saying Safari now has 8% market share worldwide. (via MacDailyNews) Check out the graph below:

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Safari 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?

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