Existing web content can be brought to the surface easily in the form of an always-on widget. The widgets will have full access to the operating system via the Widget API. Apps would be able to take advantage of the email system to display messages, location-based services, and the Blackberry’s push notifications system, just to name a few.
The new Blackberry Widgets will be distributed via the Blackberry App World interface. Unfortunately, all the live widget running goodness will only be available on Blackberry OS 5.0 or greater. When official, 5.0 will include an enhanced browser (finally), and support for both SQlite and the Widget API.
In addition to the heavily touted Sidewiki feature in the new Google Toolbar, the browser add-on also includes Google's advanced in-page translation for Firefox users, "making it easy to read a webpage in another language with the click of a button," Google said in a blog post.
Throwing another bone to Firefox users, the updated toolbar works in sync with Firefox version 3.5's Private Browsing Mode and will not record your search box history when maneuvering stealthily around the Web. PageRank, Web History, and Sidewiki are also turned off, freeing users up to visit the Detroit Lions support group without leaving any embarrassing traces behind.
Out with the old and in with the new appears to be the theme for September. It doesn't even matter that Windows 7 hasn't been officially released yet, the Release Candidate has been solid enough for Vista users to leave their old OS behind and rock out with Microsoft's newest darling, according to market share data by web metrics firm Net Applications.
Vista's market share dipped by 0.18 percent in September, which isn't earth shattering, but it is the first time the OS has back tracked since January 2008. Windows 7, on the other hand, climbed 0.34 percent and now claims 1.52 percent of the market. Not bad for a pre-release OS.
On the browser front, Internet Explorer fared a little worse, losing 1.26 percent of its market share. The continued backwards slide has to be troubling for Microsoft, especially considering IE's market share set a new low of 65.7 percent. That's good news for Firefox and Chrome, whose market share jumped by 0.77 percent and 0.33 percent, respectively.
Turns out Microsoft isn't the only one concerned about Google's Chrome Frame, an extension which embeds Google's Chrome browser in Internet Explorer. Emerging as an unlikely supporter in Microsoft's corner, Mike Shaver, VP of Engineering for Mozilla, added his thoughts in a blog post.
"Running Chrome Frame within IE makes many of the browser application's features non-functional, or less effective," Shaver wrote. ""These include private browsing mode or their other security controls, features like accelerators or add-ons that operate on the content area, or even accessibility support."
Shaver when on to say that the users would be "seriously hindered" in understanding the web's security model and how their browser operates. A better solution, says Shaver, is if Frame-friendly sites explained to users that their site worked better in Chrome.
Upon the release of version 3.0 for their web browser, Chrome, Google has stated that they’ve got some pretty sizeable goals for the fledgling application.
Google has reported that Chrome currently holds less than three percent of the browser market, but they expect that a year from now that number will grow to five percent. But, in two years Google is planning on that number growing twofold, and jumping up to ten percent. If it doesn’t, Google’s own Engineering Director of Chrome Linus Upson will be “exceptionally disappointed.”
Sure, the goals are a bit lofty, but between the advertisements running on both the Internet and TV and the soon to be released Mac version, Google should be able to make up some ground.
Google on Tuesday put the final coat of polish its Chrome 3.0 browser and has begun offering up the stable build to the general public. The release comes just two weeks after Chrome celebrated its first birthday and is the result of 51 developer, 21 beta, and 15 stable updates, along with 3,505 bug fixes, Google says.
In Chrome 3.0, you can now rearrange thumbnails of recently visited sites when you first fire up the browser, as well as pin thumbnails to a specific spot so they don't disappear.
Other additions include an improved Omnibox with an optimized presentation of the drop-down menu, additional HTML5 capabilities, such as the <video> tag, and support for Themes.
If your browser hasn't automatically updated yet, you can manually snag the latest stable build here.
Speed? Check. Minimalistic interface? Check. Better tab management, pretty good standards support, and support for third-party extensions? Check, check, and, well, not yet. But if Google's latest developer preview version of its Chrome browser is any indication, extensions will soon be supported as a standard feature.
"We're ready for a few more people to start using extensions - the kind of adventurous people who populate the dev channel," said Aaron Boodman, the Google engineer who oversees the extensions work.
Google recently began supporting extensions in developer versions of Chrome, but you had to input a command line switch. With the latest preview version of Chrome on Windows, however, extensions are supported by default.
The lack of extensions support has been a major criticism of Chrome ever since it launched, but with support seemingly right around the corner, Firefox users will be faced with a tough dilemma: Switch to Chrome, which has superior tab stability but a smaller library of extensions, or ride it out with Firefox in anticipation of version 4.0, which will also treat tabs as separate processes.
Question for the Firefox users: Would you switch to Chrome if it supported extensions? Hit the jump and tell us why or why not.
In its first week since release, Opera 10 with Turbo Browsing has been downloaded more than 10 million times, Opera Software announced today.
"While we have consistently grown in our download rates with each consecutive launch, Opera 10 has far exceeded any previous record we had," said Jon von Tetzchner, CEO, Opera Software. "To us, this means that Opera 10 delivers a more compelling reason to choose Opera, and that reason is Opera Turbo. The concept of turbo browser was the result of our One Web initiative, as our goal is to ensure that Web browser is fast, efficient, and universal, anytime, anywhere."
For those of you who might have missed it before, Opera's Turbo mode is a cross-platform solution that compresses up to 80 percent of network traffic. Dial-up users stand to benefit the most, but even broadband users and WiFi roamers should see performance gains by flipping the Turbo switch.
According to Mozilla's recently released roadmap, Firefox 4.0 will first show up in beta form around June of next year, with a final release planned for October or November. The usual round of speed and responsiveness tweaks will be part of the next-gen browser, in addition to a new extensibility platform Mozilla is calling 'JetPack.' But the biggest change might be the Chrome-like handling of tabs, where each tab functions as its own separate process.
Between now and then, Mozilla plans to release Firefox 3.6 before the end of 2009 (you can already snag the Alpha 1 build here), which will feature Windows 7 integration, lightweight themes, asynchronous location bar, improved scrolling model on Windows, startup optimizations, and more. Then in early 2010, Firefox 3.7 will bring out-of-process plugins to the table, as well as book synchronization, task oriented browsing, the ability to run websites as an application, and other improvements.
In a three-way cage match, LifeHacker threw Chrome 4, Firefox 3.5, and Opera 10 into the ring and let the three browsers duke it out to see which would emerge as the fastest app for surfing the web.
See the full results here, then hit the jump and tell us which browser you like best.