Google Chrome to reach v4 before Firefox? Work begins on Chromium 4.0

Posted on August 13, 2009. Filed under: Google | Tags: , , |

 
google chrome
 
Version numbers probably mean more to the general public than to regulars at DownloadSquad. When it comes to Chrome, however, Google seems like they’re hoping to catch up with Opera by the end of next year.

After doing an install from Buildbot’s snapshots, I checked Chromium’s about screen. Lo and behold, build 23129 is tagged as 4.0.202.0. While it’s just a number, it means, of course, Chrome will likely hit v4 long before Firefox ever does.

Other than the version number I haven’t noted any obvious changes as of yet.

Technical Program Manager Anthony LaForge posted a note to the Chromium-dev board announcing that the move was made to reflect the code freeze on Chrome v3. “There is still a bit of work that needs to be done for 3.0 in terms of stability and fixes,” he wrote. “To that end we will be pulling changes into the 195 branch (what will become the stable release).”

This isn’t the first quick version-to-version jump Chrome has seen. Chrome 3 hit the dev channel less than a week after Chrome 2’s release back in May. Looks like I was off the mark about Chrome hitting version 8 or 9 before Google ditched the beta tag on GMail…

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Latest Google Chrome dev build adds Windows 7 jumplist support

Posted on August 10, 2009. Filed under: Google, Windows | Tags: , , |

By Lee Mathews, Downloadsquad

chrome-pin

Though the recent release of Firefox 3.6 alpha 1 didn’t prioritize support for Windows 7’s jumplists, Google has flicked the switch in the latest developer channel build of Chrome.

As you can see in the screenshot above, Chrome’s jumplist works just like any other in Windows 7. Recently browsed sites are listed below those you pin to the list. Space is also reserved for quick access to recently closed tabs and opening new windows – both normal and incognito.

Quick access to (I might as well say it) porn mode is a welcome change. Sure, you could set up it yourself by adding a command line argument to your Chrome shortcut, but this is a much more elegant solution. That’s assuming, of course, you’re on Windows 7 and can take advantage of the feature.

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Chrome’s New Feature: Click The UI Designer To Close The Window

Posted on August 5, 2009. Filed under: Google, Internet, Tech News | Tags: , , |

By MG Siegler, Tech crunch

This is just kind of odd. Look at the picture below. See the picture of some guy in place of the “X” button? Yeah, that’s this guy.

Apparently, one of Google’s Chrome UI designers, Glen Murphy, has inserted his face into the latest nightly build of Chrome. Specifically, this is the Linux build, which is meant for developers and testers (we haven’t been able to see it on the Mac or Windows versions).

Our tipster was pretty surprised when he downloaded the nightly build and saw a person’s face staring back at him, so he asked around on the Chromium irc channel, and found out it was Murphy (who you can see in a picture here from SXSW three years ago).

Apparently, the next update will remove Murphy’s face. Oh those Googlers, always messing around.

google chrome features

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Latest Google Chrome Beta Is “30 Percent Faster,” Supports HTML5, And Is Prettier Too

Posted on August 5, 2009. Filed under: Google, Internet Market, Tech News | Tags: , , , |

by Erick Schonfeld, Tech crunch

Google just released a new beta version of its Chrome browser for Windows PCs. The company claims that it is 30 percent faster than the current stable version of the browser (based on V8 and SunSpider benchmarks).

googlechromelogoWhat may be more significant, though, is that this is the first version of Chrome that adds some support for HTML5, including video-tagging capabilities. The latest Firefox 3.5 beta also adopts HTML5, which allows for all sorts of cool things inside Web video like links and other interactive elements. It lets you treat video more like a Webpage. Along with Google’s acquisition of On2 today for its video codec, it looks like Google is getting behind open video in a big way. (Read this post from last year for more on the evolution of HTML).

The new Google Chrome beta is also prettier. Those themes we’ve been telling you about are now fully incorporated. And the new beta also improves the New Tab and Omnibox features.

When you create a new tab, Chrome shows you thumbnails of the sites you visits the most often (just like in Safari). These act as automatic bookmarks. Now, you can rearrange the thumbnails in any order you like by dragging and dropping them, or you can pin one down so that it doesn’t move even if you don’t visist it as much as other sites.

The Omnibox is Chrome’s all-in-one address and search bar. As you type words in, it gives you drop-down suggestions, which now have icons distinguishing between search results, bookmarks, and Websites.

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Google’s got a new Chrome beta

Posted on March 18, 2009. Filed under: Google, Internet, Windows | Tags: , , |

By Lee Mathews, Downloadsquad

On the official Google Chrome blog a few hours ago, Google announced the release of a new beta version that falls somewhere in between the stable and developer branches.

Apart from the speed improvements in Google’s V8 javascript engine, several new features have been added. In addition to the drag-to-split side-by-side browsing feature demoed in the clip above, the new Webkit core includes autoscrolling, full page zoom, and form filling.

If you’re trying to get your hands on it, you may need to be patient. A number of Twitterers are having the same problem I encountered: The downloader application looks like it’s working, but the actual setup process never begins. The announcement only came a few hours ago and Chrome devotees are likely hammering the download servers, which may be partly responsible.

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Google Chrome on Linux progressing, screenshots inside

Posted on March 17, 2009. Filed under: Internet, Tech News | Tags: , |

By Lee Mathews, Downloadsquad

google-chrome

Ubuntu users (or users of a Ubuntu-based distro) who have been waiting patiently for the chance to play with Google Chrome, there’s now a dead simple way for you to do it. Thanks to the PPA (personal package archive) for Chromium daily builds team, getting the pre-alpha Chromium browser running on your system is about as painless as it can be at this stage.

You’ll need to add repositories, of course. They are (substitute jaunty or hardy if needed):

deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/chromium-daily/ppa/ubuntu intrepid main
deb-src http://ppa.launchpad.net/chromium-daily/ppa/ubuntu intrepid main

Once they’ve been added, running sudo apt-get install chromium-browser in a terminal window will take care of the rest. After the package has finished installing, just type chromium-browser [enter] to fire it up.

While it’s still in its early stages, Chromium on Linux runs as it does on Windows – fast and smooth. Some important features aren’t working yet, like the tab and bookmarks bars and options menu, but nearly everything else is. Incognito, history, download manager, and the new tab view are all functional, and every web page I tested rendered beautifully – and fast.

Check the gallery after the break for screenshots from my CrunchBang install.

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Xenocode lets you run Safari, Chrome, Internet Explorer from a flash drive

Posted on March 4, 2009. Filed under: Internet, Software World, Tech News | Tags: , , , , , |

By Brad Linder

xenocode-safari

There have been portable versions of web browsers including Firefox, Google Chrome, and Opera that you can run from a USB flash drive for a while. Basically these apps let you store your data to the flash drive allowing you to run these apps on Windows without installing anything or writing any data to the Windows registry.

Xenocode takes a different approach. And it works with other applications including Safari, Internet Explorer, and other desktop and web-based apps like Google Talk, Gimp, and Adobe Reader. That’s because Xenocode employs virtualization techniques that detache an app from the operating system it normally runs on. Xenocode apps can be run from a web browser if they’re deployed online. Or you can download a single executable file for some apps and run them from your hard drive or a USB flash drive.

Some of the web browsers are a bit on the old side. The version of Google Chrome available for download is out of date, and Xencode offers an executable version of Safari 3.2.1, not the newer and much cooler Safari 4 beta. But if you’re looking for a way to try out a browser or another app without installing it first, Xenocode is worth checking out.

Source: downloadsquad

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Flock Ditching Firefox, Moving To Google Chrome

Posted on March 3, 2009. Filed under: Internet, Tech News | Tags: , , , |

By Michael Arrington

flocklogonewFlock, a social-focused browser startup that has raised nearly $30 million in venture funding, has ceased building on top of the open source Firefox browser, say multiple sources. The next version of the Flock browser will be built on Google’s open source Chrome browser platform. The last version of Flock was released in October 2008.

Flock first launched in October 2005 and has had 6 million or so downloads. But it still has less market share than even Netscape, which was discontinued over a year ago.

In the past Flock has said all it needs is a few tens of millions of users to score big dollars from the search engines (each active user generates $5 or so in search engine revenue). But after three years of trying, Flock hasn’t been able to achieve more than a fraction of that number of users.

As to why Flock is leaving Mozilla: sources say that they’ve become frustrated with Mozilla’s lack of attention to Flock’s needs. One source says Flock felt like the “red headed step child of the Mozilla development community.” Sources are also saying that Flock feels that Google Chrome is far easier to work with than Firefox.

One problem is that Chrome isn’t yet cross-platform and works only on Windows machines. But Google is actively working on Mac and Linux versions of Chrome and should release them in the next few months. Right about the time the next version of Flock is released.

Flock hasn’t yet returned a request for comment on this story.

Update: Flock CEO Shawn Hardin responds in the comments:Mike,I was responding to your email from only a few hours ago when I saw your article. It’s important to clarify a couple of things. We haven’t ceased development efforts on the Mozilla platform. Our upcoming release of Flock 2.1 is built on the Mozilla platform. Having said that, the browser space is heating up, and we’ve seen a variety of exciting technologies emerge over the last several months that are appealing.We always have and will continue to make architectural decisions that balance what’s best for our users and what’s best for Flock as a business. This has resulted in a healthy, growing user base and business for Flock, and we expect this to continue in 2009. In fact, with over seven million downloads almost entirely from word of mouth, Flock enjoys a highly satisfied user base with consistently over 92% customer satisfaction, very strong net promoter scores, and an average of four hours of usage per day.With a continuing focus on user-centered browser innovation, our team is in active research and development on a range of exciting new enhancements to Flock. It is still far too early to comment on anything specific, but we are very excited about this design phase…

Source: techcrunch

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Latest Chrome release gets full-screen browsing

Posted on February 28, 2009. Filed under: Internet, Tech News | Tags: , , , |

By Josh Lowensohn

googlechromelogoOn the horizon for the next release of Google’s Chrome browser is something I’ve long lusted after: the option to browse the Web in full screen. On Wednesday, an early version of this feature came to the latest developer build of Chrome (v.2.0.166.1). Those running it can simply hit F11 on their keyboard to send the browser into full screen, which eschews any UI besides the side page scroller, and your Windows taskbar.

The full-screen mode is missing a few core features found in Firefox and IE7. For instance, there is no drop down top navigation. This means to enter a new URL or open up your favorites, you’ll need to hit F11 to return to normal browsing. You also can’t see what tabs you have open, but you can still switch between them using the Ctrl+Tab shortcut.

Compared to IE7 and Firefox 3, Chrome has the least reason to offer such a feature considering how little of your screen real estate its UI takes up. However, for users on ultraportable notebooks, that extra few pixels can make the browsing experience a far more enjoyable experience. It can also be incredibly helpful if you’re using an online photo editor, as you get more room to work.

Source: cnet

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Tap into Safari 4’s hidden preferences

Posted on February 25, 2009. Filed under: Internet, Tech News | Tags: , , |

By Jay Hathaway

safarihiddenprefs

Safari 4 marks a dramatic shift in UI design for Apple’s browser. In the Mac version, the big news is the Chrome-like “tabs on top” layout, and the equally Chrome-like Top Sites feature, but some smaller things have changed too. A new autocomplete feature has been added to the URL bar, and Google Suggest has been added to the search bar. Worst of all, in my admittedly-finicky opinion, That blue bar tracking page load progress in the URL bar is gone.

If this is all too much for you to take at once, and you want the faster rendering and improved standards-compliance without all of the UI upheaval, you might want to have a look at this list of hidden preferences compiled by Caius Durling. Using the Terminal, you can change everything I mentioned above back to the way it was in Safari 3. Want tabs on the bottom again? You got it. And long live the load bar!

Source: downloadsquad

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Hype Check: Safari 4 can’t beat Google Chrome

Posted on February 25, 2009. Filed under: Internet, Tech News | Tags: , , , , , |

By Lee Mathews

benchmarks-safd

Apple’s download page declares Safari 4 “the world’s fastest web browser.” Pretty strong words. That is, of course, if they had any actual meaning.

Perhaps they’re referring to a different world. On the planet Earth, however, Safari 4 still can’t surpass Google Chrome on the Sunspider, V8, or Dromaeo browser benchmarks.

If you’d like to see how it stacks up, take a look at my comparatives from Dromaeo – Safari 4 is the column labeled Webkit 528.16. Other browsers used were Chrome 2.0.160.0 (labeled Webkit 530), Chrome 1.0.154.48 (labeled Webkit 525), Firefox 3.0.6, Firefox 3.1 (labeled 60780) with Tracemonkey enabled, Opera 9.63, and Opera 10. It’s no longer news how slow Internet Explorer (both 7 and 8) are at processing Javascript, so I haven’t included its results here. Tests were run on an AMD quad 9550 with 4gb of memory running Windows Vista Ultimate x64.s?

graph-dwq

graph-dwq-qw

On Google’s V8 benchmark, Chrome 2 beats Safari 4 like a rented mule, and Firefox 3.1 barely puts up a fight.

Safari 4 does perform admirably when tested on Dromaeo, placing first in ten tests. Firefox 3.1 claims seven top marks and comes close on two more. Based on overall numbers, however, Chrome 2 still wins the Javascript speed title.

Wait, didn’t CNet just release “shocking results” that show Safari 4 coming in first? Sure they did. And Webware ran a post showing it coming in second in their battery of tests. I’m going to have to side with Webware on this one.

At this point, though, what do the numbers mean? Firefox 3.1 puts up a score three times the next best in the “bits in byte” test. Chrome 2’s 1057.765 in recursive number calculation is about 25 times what Firefox can manage. Safari’s Fannkuch result is 33% better than that of Chrome. Each browser seems to be very strong in certain areas and weak in others, so do the numbers really matter that much?

No.

They’re interesting to look at, but in actual use Chrome 1 and 2, Safari 4, Firefox 3.1, and even Opera 10 “feel” very similar in terms of performance to me. Ultimately, it boils down to using the browsers yourself to determine which one is best suited to your browsing habits.

Ignore the hype machine. Who cares what browser puts up the best test results if it doesn’t pass muster on your favorite sites.

Source: downloadsquad

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European versions of Windows to include multiple web browsers?

Posted on February 25, 2009. Filed under: Software World, Tech News, Windows | Tags: , , , , , , |

By Brad Linder

browsers

The European Commission appears to be a few steps closer to forcing Microsoft to provide customers with a choice of web browsers as part of an antitrust measure. European regulators took similar measures a while back by requiring Microsoft to offer a version of Windows sans Windows Media Player. But simply unbundling Internet Explorer is a bit more complicated, since, as many readers pointed out when we first mentioned the possibility – it’s a lot easier to download an alternative browser if you have a browser to start with.

But a spokesperson for the European Commission says that it’s likely regulators will require Microsoft to offer customers a choice of competing web browsers in addition to Internet Explorer. So basically, when you run Windows for the first time, you may be asked if you want to install Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, Opera, Google Chrome, or another browser as part of the setup process. Presumably the browsers you don’t install would be erased from your storage or wouldn’t be downloaded in the first place, which is a much better solution than installing each 5 browsers when most users will only need one.

It’s also possible that the decision could be left to computer makers. For example, Dell could decide to install Firefox, while Lenovo goes with Internet Explorer.

There’s still another round or two of negotiations to go, but it sounds like the European Commission is already pretty close to requiring Microsoft to do something to make it easier for customers to use competing web browsers.

Source: downloadsquad

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