Google gave Android users a new browser option yesterday when it finally released a version of Chrome for smartphones. While it’s still considered a beta release, impressions of the browser have thus far been extremely positive. We gave you a quick look at it in action, since not everyone yet has access to the Ice-Cream-Sandwich-running hardware required, taking note of Chrome’s impressive tab management. Had our video run a bit longer (quite a bit), though, and we might have run across one of the Easter eggs already discovered for the app.
Chrome will keep track of [...]
When Google delivered a long-overdue update to Chrome to Phone for Android last week, we were glad to see it arrive, but didn’t read that much into the action. Perhaps we should have taken it as a sign that Google was starting to get all its ducks in a row when it came to Chrome on the platform, as the company has just now released the first beta version of Chrome to the Android Market.
This project has been in the works for some time now, at least as evidenced by the progress documented over at chromium.org since last fall. There are a few restrictions on who can get [...]
The number of PC users who employ Chrome as their primary browser continues to grow and grow. If you’ve already made the transition to Chrome, and you use an Android smartphone, there’s a good chance you’ve already tried-out Google’s Chrome to Phone app. We talked about the release of this tool all the way back in 2010, and after a lengthy hiatus, Google’s back to cranking-out updates for the software. The first in over a year arrives today, fixing bugs and making a few improvements.
Chrome to Phone works with the copy of Chrome on your desktop or [...]
Just before Christmas, Mozilla delivered an early present in the form of Firefox 9.0 for Android. That release brought with it some improved support for tablet screen layouts, spruced-up the browser’s HTML5 support, and included all the latest bugfixes. Mozilla continues with its rapid release strategy today, announcing the arrival of Firefox 10 Mobile.
So, what changes can you look forward to in this release? Users of Mozilla’s Sync service, letting you coordinate bookmarks between your smartphone and desktop browsers, should find the feature easier to set-up than [...]
In some ways, Microsoft’s selection of Windows phone apps is reminiscent of the early days of the iPhone. Users who have been on iOS for a while will remember Apple’s initial resistance to apps offering users an alternate to Apple’s mobile Safari web browser. Apple’s since changed course, approving numerous browser alternatives for inclusion in its App Store. While Microsoft, on the other hand, doesn’t specifically prohibit alternate browsers, there’s quite the dearth of them on the platform. At least, that’s the situation unless you’re [...]
It’s been about a month-and-a-half since Firefox for Android moved up to version 8.0, bringing with it changes to the app’s rendering engine and featuring some new security options. Mozilla’s all about maintaining momentum with its browser releases nowadays, so it’s no surprise that Firefox 9.0 is already leaving beta, becoming the latest alternate browser option.
While there are changes with this release that will benefit smartphone users, the most prominent really focus on the browser’s tablet experience, instead. Users of Firefox 9.0 and Android [...]
This time, we take a dive into the software element of the LG Nitro HD. For the most part, we’ve all become accustomed to see a manufacturer-customized skin on any non-Nexus devices. Of course, the LG Nitro HD is no exception.
LG’s user interface maintains a resemblance to Samsung’s TouchWiz 3.0. This gives the icon a very “iOS” appearance. Some users may like this look and other may not. LG has added a set of quick actions to the pull-down notification bar. This gives users the ability to quickly enable or disable silent mode, Wi-Fi, [...]
Ever since it adopted a strategy towards rapid releases, Mozilla has been cranking out new versions of Firefox for Android nearly as fast as we can keep up with them. Despite the arrival of all these updates, we’ve noticed that the feature sets being introduced have seemed a little lackluster, but that’s likely a consequence of not waiting around to deliver more infrequent, larger updates containing more content. One feature in particular that we know a lot of you have been waiting for is already starting to arrive, as we’ve learned that a working version of the [...]
Dolphin recently attracted the ire of some of its users when it was discovered that the Dolphin Browser HD had been passing the URL of pretty much every site visited along to the company’s servers. Dolphin quickly reacted by explaining the privacy lapse as an innocent oversight – that the company had no ill will and would disable the Webzine feature at fault. With that controversy dying down, the company is moving on forward, and yesterday announced the availability of version 2.0 of the Dolphin Browser for iOS.
Like the release of 7.0 for Android, this update [...]
Right as September was winding-down, Mozilla released a new beta of Firefox for Android, bringing the browser up to version 8.0. If you didn’t feel like beta-testing new and yet-unproven features at the time, you might want to take another look at Firefox, as today Mozilla has taken off the beta wrapping and delivered the finalized Firefox 8.0 to the Android Market.
The feature set introduced in Firefox 8.0 doesn’t include any revolutionary changes, but should offer general performance improvements, and includes a new security management tool that lets you control [...]
One of the main features of the Dolphin HD alternative browser is its Webzine mode, which presents websites in a format optimized for casual browsing on a mobile device. Recent analysis of information transmitted during browsing sessions has revealed that Webzine may be a privacy liability, sharing details of your session with Dolphin. The company has now responded to the issue; what went wrong, and how has it been fixed?
As it turns out, the browser has been passing along the URL for every single page you’ve visited to one of Dolphin’s servers. The company has [...]
Just over three months ago, Dolphin Browser HD for Android hit version 6.0. Today the next major update is arriving, with the release of Dolphin Browser HD 7.0, exclusively through GetJar.
What’s new in 7.0? Version 6.0 introduced the Webzine view to the browser, offering a new, casual way to browse web-based articles. That’s getting a bunch of improvements in this release, including a smoother interface, a viewing mode switcher for jumping from Webzine to a standard or desktop layout, and a featured Webzine section offering the top 16 most popular destinations for [...]
Firefox for Android offers plenty of options that distinguish it from Android’s default browser, and with the help of add-ons, that feature list will only grow. There’s no denying, though, that there’s a tradeoff for all that flexibility, and Firefox just may not feel as spry as other Android browsers. Mozilla has a plan for addressing some of Firefox’s performance issues, but there’s a price to be paid.
The idea centers around the abandonment of the current XUL implementation used to display the app’s user interface. XUL is used on Firefox [...]
If you’re into alternative Android browsers, today is your lucky day. A little earlier, we heard about Bolt leaving private beta, and now Opera has updates to its pair of browsers ready, releasing Opera Mini 6.5 and Opera Mobile 11.5.
We discussed Bolt’s reliance on developer Bitstream’s servers to re-format content for the app, optimizing layouts, re-compressing video, and saving on the amount of data needed to be transferred to your phone. Opera’s been playing that same game for years with its Opera Mini browser, and today’s updates are focused [...]
Android Ice Cream Sandwich and the Nexus Prime may be on hold for the time being, but don’t let that disappointment sour you against the rest of the news that’s flowing out of CTIA. Before it’s over, we’re liable to hear about some new phones, new technologies, and new apps. As for that last group, Android will be getting yet another alternate browser for users to consider, thanks to the announcement that the Bolt browser is leaving its private beta and entering the Android Market as version 3.0.
Like many mobile browsers, such as Skyfire, Bolt’s [...]
Mozilla’s strategy towards Firefox Android releases has seen a rapid escalation in its version numbering, hitting 4, 5, and 6 all this year. It’s a bit odd to see such a bombastic attitude towards ever-increasing release numbers, especially in the course of the year which saw Android OS numbering creep from just 2.3.1 to 2.3.6. Nevertheless, it’s a move that draws the app attention and keeps users interested in staying on top of things. Today, Firefox for Android makes the leap to 7.0, picking up a few new features along the way.
The problem with an accelerated [...]
Ice Cream Sandwich is nearly here for Android fans to sink their teeth into, but just where will it fit into the Android release numbering scheme? There’s been talk of the operating system as both Android 2.4 and Android 4.0, but we haven’t seen confirmation of either. Looking at what meager evidence is available, however, there’s a case to be made for Ice Cream Sandwich being Android 4.0
The theory behind this inquiry is that, in the weeks leading up to the release of Ice Cream Sandwich, engineers will be stepping-up their testing. That means, among other [...]
Opera continues to work on improving its alternate browsers, most recently releasing an update to Opera Mobile for Android containing an assortment of bugfixes and security improvements.
Opera Mobile 11.1 update 2 tightens-ups the security of the browser’s cache files. Apparently, it had previously been setting reduced permissions that would have let other apps read and modify the cache, creating an avenue for a potential exploit.
If things just weren’t looking right when you tried Opera Mobile in the past, you might want to check out some of the [...]
When the Internet was invented (no, not by Al Gore), unlike traditional data networks which sent data as a contiguous stream, a packet-based delivery system was implemented. Your data, just like an order from Amazon.com, is split into lots of packages, called “packets”. These packets are then sent via the fastest route from the source to the destination.
Depending on what technology is being used, those packets might be very small, or relatively large, but they’re still just a bunch of puzzle pieces that get put back together and turned into anything from a [...]
Those of you following the evolution of web browsers already know about the desktop version of Firefox hitting the 6.0 milestone — ahead of schedule — last week. Today, some of the same goodness that’s packaged inside the desktop version is available in the updated version for Android-powered smartphones and tablets.
Firefox version 6.0 includes the following upgrades and enhancements:1. Higher-quality image rendering and smoother zooming2. First wave of optimizations for tablets and large-screen devices3. Improved interaction with touch-optimized [...]
Update: the Market comparison shown here turns out to be the new Google Market skin which, for some unknown reason, appeared on this device out of the box vs the original unboxed device.
While Verizon still has some of it’s bloatware installed, overall the Droid 3 from Motorola runs smoothly and efficiently. Bing has not been installed by default, and you can even remove some of the 3rd-party default apps. As for Motorola’s mini-Blur? It’s stable, easy to use, and snappy – which for basic Android users is going to be a big plus.
If you’re hurting for Adobe Flash on an iPhone, you may have already checked out Skyfire’s browser, which transcodes Flash video on Skyfire’s servers before delivering it to you in a format your iPhone can display. What’s a Flash fan to do, though, if you’d rather stick with Safari? Skyfire has just the thing for you, revealing its VideoQ app, which divorces Flash video playback from the company’s web browser.
The way VideoQ works is an interesting approach to the Flash problem, and though it’s far from the most convenient solution we [...]
Now that Symbian’s days are numbered, RIM is struggling to recover ground with BlackBerry, and webOS continues to search for its audience, we’re starting to look at a future where we could really end up in a world with only Android, iOS, and Windows Phone 7 smartphones to choose from. Some of you may applaud such a development, while others would miss the decline in smartphone diversity. That’s just thinking about current mobile operating systems, though; what about future ones becoming new players? One group that could rise to take a share of the smartphone market is [...]