browser

Mozilla VP: Chrome Frame is the wrong answer

Mozilla and Microsoft don't always see eye to eye when it comes to browser technology, but they agree broadly on one thing: thumbs down for Google Chrome Frame.

Chrome Frame is a plug-in that puts Google's browser engine under the hood of Microsoft's Internet Explorer, and Google argues that it can modernize IE versions 6, 7, and 8 with faster page loading and JavaScript performance. It kicks in only on Web pages that Web developers have labeled with a specific tag. After Google announced it, Microsoft criticized it as creating a potentially increased risk to browsing security. … Read more

Feed your news demon

Although FeedDemon remains one of the best desktop RSS and Atom feed catchers, its latest version contains many changes, some of them controversial.

FeedDemon has dumped its proprietary online synchronization site, newsgator.com, in favor of syncing with Google Reader. New users won't notice, but older users are likely to lose many unread feeds since Google can't import feeds with more than 10 unread items. Once synced, unread items can number more than 10 items again. There's also a new, persistent ad placed in the lower left corner of the interface that goes away when you buy … Read more

Weels moves toward keyboard-less browsing

SAN DIEGO--It's not that today's Web browser users don't have keyboards. It's that we don't really need to use them.

That's the business case of Weels, a start-up that presented at DemoFall 09 Wednesday: that much of what we do in browsers, including sharing content between users, can be done strictly with a mouse.

The idea is that, in a browser, everything can be manipulated--moved around, copied to folders and shared--solely by being dragged and dropped with the mouse. After a simple registration, users see what amounts to a toolbar at the top of … Read more

Camino: Heavy on performance, light on community

If you're a Mac user with a need for speed, you'll struggle to find a better browser than Mozilla's Camino. Apple's Safari will win a drag race, but it lacks the customizability that comes with an open-source browser like Camino. Unfortunately, both Safari and Camino fall incredibly short against Firefox because both are heavy on speed and light on community.

For those who want a highly optimized, lightning fast browsing experience on the Mac, you can't do much better than Camino, as TechCrunch writes. But most of us want more than that. We want Adblock … Read more

Google plug-in builds Chrome browser into IE

Google released an Internet Explorer plug-in Tuesday designed to let Microsoft's browser use the features and performance of Google's own Chrome browser.

The software, called Google Chrome Frame, lets IE 6, 7, or 8 use Chrome to render Web pages and execute their JavaScript programs, Google said. To use it, people must install the open-source plug-in, currently in the developer preview stage, and Web developers must insert a line of code onto their Web sites that engages Chrome Frame when a person visits the site.

"For users, installing Google Chrome Frame will allow them to seamlessly enjoy … Read more

Firefox gets an early taste of 3D Web standard

A nascent technology called WebGL for bringing hardware-accelerated 3D graphics to the Web is getting a lot closer to reality.

Last week, programmers began building WebGL into Firefox's nightly builds, the developer versions used to test the latest updates to the open-source browser. Also this month, programmers began building WebGL into WebKit, the project that's used in both Apple's Safari and Google's Chrome.

Wolfire Games picked up on the WebKit move and offered a video of WebGL in action.

Overall, the moves stand to accelerate the pace of WebGL development by making it easier to try … Read more

The right direction

Editors' note: This is a First Take of a beta product, not a rated review.

Opera strikes out in a new direction with Opera Mini 5 beta, a rewritten version of its mobile browser for Java phones, like Sony Ericssons and even BlackBerrys. The beta is not only slicker looking, with a glossy visual treatment that focuses on icons instead of on text links, but it also appeared faster in our tests.

The Mini 5 beta browser carries over several features from the desktop version and from Opera Mobile, the offering for Windows Mobile and Symbian phones. These include features … Read more

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