browser posts on CNET - Page 114

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Zune HD: You call that a browser?

After a few hours on Tuesday of playing with the Zune HD that Microsoft sent me, I found a lot of things I like about it--the slim size, the Quickplay user interface feature that gives you immediate access to recently added and favorite songs, the big on-screen volume controls, and the Zune Pass, for example. But the Web browser seems like an afterthought.

I know that mobile Web browsing isn't the same as PC browsing, but I've used Safari on the iPhone for more than a year, and it's great--I actually read articles, for work and fun, … Read more

Opera Mini 5 beta browser strikes it rich

These days, Mozilla's Fennec and the Skyfire browser have been stealing all the thunder in the mobile browsing space. On Wednesday morning (that's Tuesday night for us in San Francisco), Opera yanked some of it back with the release of Opera Mini 5 beta for Java phones.

Introducing a graphically enriched layout topside and new features below decks, the new Opera Mini beta browser is snappier, more attractive, and more advanced than last year's predecessor, Opera Mini 4.2. Mini 5 beta brings over several features from Opera's desktop browser (Opera 10 for Windows | Mac.) Tabbed browsing is among them, as is a password manager. Each page opens with Speed Dial, a grid of nine thumbnail images and Opera Desktop mainstay, that you assign to favorite Web sites and can select among to quickly launch a Web page. The Speed Dial view replaces Opera Mini's previous landing page, a tangle of links capped with a search box and URL field. These thumbnail images make the landing page more meaningful, both in giving users a visual they can instantly recognize, and creating an easier target for users to accurately hit on touchscreen phones than a scrawny little link.

While the URL field and search bars haven't joined together in this beta as they have in other mobile browsers and in most desktop browsers out there, Opera has at least consolidated the two onto a single line. To address another long-overdue fix, Opera now lets you type directly into a text field. In previous versions, clicking a field opened up a blank page, where you were prompted to start typing before you could return to the main interface.

Opera Mini's navigation menu received another overhaul in Mini 5 beta. Opera moved it up to the top and made it completely icon-based. Press downward (on a D-pad for a keypad phone) to engage more items, like bookmarks, history, settings, and the Find in Page search tool, a new one for Opera Mini. Find in Page has previously been available in Opera Mini; it's nice to see it return.

The password manager that's new to Opera Mini works as expected, producing a dialog box the first time you log into a site asking if you'd like it to remember your credentials. You can turn this off in the Privacy portion of the Settings submenu.

Many additional features carry over from previous Opera Mini versions, including options to view the page as you would from the desktop versus a mobile view. There are also the usual shortcut keys and support for landscape mode on most phones (not on BlackBerrys, unfortunately, an ongoing omission). There are also additional options that pop up in response to long presses on the 'select' key or on the touchscreen, like for selecting and copying text, opening the image, and now, for opening content in a new tab.… Read more

Mozilla patches holes in Firefox 3.5, 3.0

Mozilla on Wednesday released two new versions of its browser, Firefox 3.5.3 and 3.0.14, that patch three critical security holes and fix assorted other bugs.

The updates can be fetched through the Help menu's Check for Updates option, or can be downloaded directly.

Although Mozilla still supports the 3.0 version, it's pushing people to the 3.5 version, and support for the 3.0 series will end in a few months. Version 3.5, released in June, supports a variety of new Web page technologies and includes a faster JavaScript engine for running … Read more

Chrome extensions arriving in developer version

Support for extensions to customize Chrome, the top-requested feature for Google's browser, has begun arriving for adventurous users.

Previously, extensions worked only for those who enabled the feature with a command line switch. Now the feature is enabled by default in the developer preview version of Chrome on Windows, Aaron Boodman, the Google engineer who oversees the extensions work, said in a blog post Wednesday.

"We're ready for a few more people to start using extensions--the kind of adventurous people who populate the dev channel," said Boodman, who earlier in his career developed the Greasemonkey tool … Read more

Opera browser sings

Opera 10 maintains the program's tradition of striving for the fastest, smallest, and most full-featured browser available. Opera covers the basics with tabbed browsing, mouse-over previews, a customizable search bar, advanced bookmarking tools, and simple integration with e-mail and chat clients. Mouse-gesture support, keyboard shortcuts, and drag-and-drop functionality round out the essentials.

Opera's extras push it to among the top of the class. Its integrated theme support lets you preview themes from within the interface, and the new version sports a look that's an attractive balance between "dark" and "light" themes. Opera's … Read more

Rival browsers gain on Internet Explorer

After resetting its methodology to better account for global variations, Net Applications' browser usage statistics have resumed an earlier trend in which Internet Explorer's main rivals edged ahead.

Mozilla's Firefox had the most notable gain, from 22.5 percent to 23 percent, while Google's Chrome rose from 2.6 percent to 2.8 percent. Apple's Safari was flat at 4.1 percent, and IE dipped from 67.7 percent to 67 percent. Opera, in fifth place just before this week's release of Opera 10, was essentially flat at 2 percent.

The browser wars are back … Read more

Opera browser sings

Opera 10 maintains the program's tradition of striving for the fastest, smallest, and most full-featured browser available. Opera covers the basics with tabbed browsing, mouse-over previews, a customizable search bar, advanced bookmarking tools, and simple integration with e-mail and chat clients. Mouse-gesture support, keyboard shortcuts, and drag-and-drop functionality round out the essentials.

Opera's extras push it to among the top of the class. Integrated theme support previews themes from within the interface, and the new version sports a look that's an attractive balance between "dark" and "light" themes. Opera's desktop widgets can … Read more

Sony shipping Chrome on Vaios

Google promised earlier this year that a major computer maker would start to ship its Chrome browser.

Sony's the one.

Sony's Vaio line has begun carrying the browser in the U.S., the Financial Times reported late Monday.

According to a Dow Jones report, all Vaio-branded PCs are now using Chrome as their default browser. A Sony representative told Dow Jones that there are no plans to add Chrome to Vaios outside the U.S.

Vaios will continue to come with Microsoft's Internet Explorer in tandem.

The Financial Times also reported that other companies are in talks … Read more

Google reforms Chrome for Snow Leopard

Google released an update for Chrome to fix compatibility problems with Snow Leopard on Monday, which along with other fixes shows the gradually maturing state of the Mac OS X version of the browser.

Chrome 4.0.203.4 for the Mac is only a couple notches up the version ladder than the version 4.0.203.2 it replaces, but there are some significant changes in the developer-preview software. For Snow Leopard compatibility, programmers fixed a garbled text bug, said Jonathan Conradt, a Chrome engineering program manager, in a blog post Monday.

Google began Chrome on Windows but has … Read more

Microsoft extends IE 8 charity offer

Microsoft is extending a promotion that is designed to spur downloads of Internet Explorer 8 with the promise of donating food to the hungry.

The "Browser for the Better" effort kicked off in June. Under the plan, Microsoft was donating $1.15 in food for each download completed through the program's Web site, up to a maximum of $1 million.

The program was slated to end early this month. However, Microsoft never took the site down and announced formally last week that it is extending the promotion through the end of September.

Microsoft declined to say how … Read more