I’m not just Joe the Android Guy, I’m also Joe the Web Guy: during the day I write web pages for a local company. I’ve been in web development since 1994 and have seen a lot come and go. The biggest differences I’ve seen have been centered around web browsers. Back in the mid- to late-90’s browsers had radically different features and functionalities. Developers had to write their code for one browser or the other, or put in a lot more work to make things “pixel perfect” across the two biggies: Internet Explorer and [...]
Mozilla’s been working for months on a major re-tooling of Firefox for Android, replacing the XUL-based interface that the browser had been using with native Android elements, hoping to improve app performance. Back when it discussed this project in October of last year, Mozilla revealed this to be more of a long-term goal, and didn’t intend on having it take over the main release until sometime this year. Since then, it’s been cranking-out builds of the new version for interested testers to check out, but continued with XUL for both the primary and beta versions [...]
Google’s earned itself a bit of a reputation for getting started with big projects but then taking forever to see them through to a finished state. You need look no further than Gmail, which despite first entering testing in 2004, didn’t abandon its “beta” tag for another five years. It seems that Google has found new motivation to get projects out of beta since that time; Chrome for Android had its first beta release less than three months ago, and Google is reportedly nearly prepared to strike down this “beta” label, as well.
Sundar Pichai, [...]
Google gave Android users a powerful new browser option earlier this year when it ported Chrome over to run on Ice Cream Sandwich. The app made a strong first impression, and we’ve heard from Google about some of the company’s plans for future releases of the software. A newly-available update starts delivering on the company’s promises, adding a desktop mode in addition to a bunch of other usability improvements.
We first heard Google talk about adding a desktop mode to Chrome just about two months ago. With the release of this new Chrome 0.18.4409.2396 beta, [...]
Owners of BlackBerry’s PlayBook tablet got their eagerly awaited update to PlayBook OS 2.0 last month, bringing with it, among other features, support for compatible Android apps through its Android Player. The process by which you can run those apps take a tiny bit of effort, requiring the developer to re-package his or her release for the BlackBerry, but it’s certainly preferable to re-coding a port, or just not reaching BlackBerry users with Android apps at all. One of the latest developers to embrace the Android Player on the PlayBook is MoboTap, the team behind the [...]
We’ve talked before about some of the tools Google has made available in order to help bridge the gap between the time you spend working on your computer and time spent on your smartphone. There’s stuff like Chrome to Phone, for example, which lets you access information your pulled-up while browsing from your PC while later on a mobile device. Today the company has a tweak along those lines to introduce to its mobile site, letting you easily access information on places you’ve researched from your smartphone.
If you’ve got Google’s Web History [...]
Dolphin Browser HD continues to try and attract new users by offering unique features you might not get on the other major browsers. Lately it had been promoting its Webzine layout, but enthusiasm towards the option may have soured in the wake of news of privacy concerns. Today, though, the browser gets a new stand-out feature with the arrival of Dolphin Browser 7.4 and its Sonar voice commands.
Dolphin uses the standard Google speech-to-text interface for actually interpreting your voice, so the special thing about Sonar is how it reacts to your commands. Dolphin’s [...]
While we may think of the web browsers that accompany the major smartphone operating systems as wholly distinct entities, many of them share common elements. At the heart of mobile Safari, the Android browser, and RIM’s browser for the PlayBook is some code known as WebKit. Browsers heavily rely on WebKit to handle page layout when rendering content to the screen. Unfortunately, that may mean that an unusually large fraction of smartphones are vulnerable to a newly-discovered exploit.
The news comes courtesy of security firm CrowdStrike, which intends to make a [...]
The newly-released Chrome for Android is already a fast, capable browser, even if it is technically still a beta release. After launching earlier this month, the browser now finds itself on the receiving end of a new update, but Google hasn’t published any changelog to accompany it. Just what’s new in the latest version of Chrome?
Probably the most noticeable change to occur in this update has to do with browser speed and responsiveness. The web-browsing experience should altogether feel a bit smoother, and benchmarks confirm the improvement.
Chrome should [...]
About two weeks ago, Google gave Android users a new browser option, introducing the first public beta for the mobile Android edition of its Chrome browser. We’ve been quite impressed with our experiences using it thus far, but seeing as this is still a very early release, there’s plenty of room for the app to grow and change from here. Google’s Sundar Pichai, head of all things Chrome, recently sat down to answer some questions about the company’s work on the browser, including future developments for the Android version.
So far, even with limited [...]
Apple found itself in the hot seat recently after it was discovered that the company had approved apps for sale in its App Store which were capable of secretly reading your phone’s contact book and sharing that personal data. The company’s damage control for that incident has led to the decision that apps must now formally request permission to access your contacts, hopefully resolving this all. Today the iPhone is back in headlines about privacy issues, but this time it’s Google’s actions that are under the microscope.
Basically, Google’s being [...]
Smartphone users are probably most familiar with Mozilla for its work on mobile versions of Firefox, but the foundation has much grander ideas in mind for what it could offer mobile devices. We got our first inkling of this project last summer, when Mozilla revealed plans for Boot2Gecko, an ambitious project to offer a new smartphone operating system built on web-based apps. Today we get to see just what the team has been up to for the past seven months, thanks to a whole bunch of new screenshots and some detailed descriptions of how the platform will work.
At its heart, [...]