New clutter-free interface comes three years after last major design change
Mozilla on Thursday released a new beta build of its flagship product. Not only does the Firefox 29 beta with its minimalist ‘Australis’ interface bear a striking resemblance to Chrome, it also packs a much-improved Chrome-like approach to browser syncing.
Chief among the many gripes that people have with Microsoft’s upcoming Windows 8 operating system are: that it includes the tile-based Windows 8 UI (aka “Metro”); that it’s the Windows 8 UI, and not the classic desktop, that greets you when you fire up your PC; and that there is no way to disable this behavior. Up until Microsoft released Windows 8 to manufacturing, a lot of people were still hoping that it would add to the OS a way to bypass/disable the tile-based interface. Unfortunately, the software giant was not in any mood to appease them. That said, there isn’t anything to prevent a third party from giving these people their wish.
Alas, poor VGA and DVI; we knew ye well. If those increasingly obsolete connection technologies hold a place near and dear to your heart, you might want to make it a point of going out and picking up a laptop or desktop sometime soon. It's looking like five years from now, DVI and VGA ports will join dinosaurs, VCRs and the Dodo in the pages of the history books, smothered by the more widespread HDMI and DisplayPort interfaces.
The way in which we shuttle files back and forth between our mobile devices and home PCs is changing, but changing to what? Just as the SuperSpeed USB 3.0 spec gets ready to be baked in natively to chipsets from Intel and AMD, both companies are also looking at Thunderbolt (Intel) or equivalent alternatives (AMD), but where USB 3.0 has an advantage is in cost.
Microsoft may be pushing touchscreen control as the wave of the future with Windows 8’s tiled Metro interface, but Tobii Technology thinks just swiping and pointing your way around an operating system is so, like, 2011. Tobii says its novel new "Tobii Gaze" control scheme, which mixes eye-tracking technology with a touchpad and is being shown off at CES next week, delivers superior control compared to both mice and touchscreens. Big words indeed!
As part of the ongoing beauty- and experience-enhancement drive that Google announced earlier this week, the company is working on a series of interface updates for Gmail, which will be rolled out in a graduated manner over the next few months. The web colossus today launched a couple of new themes to give you a taste of what’s to follow.
You've probably heard of Light Peak, Intel's new high-speed data transfer I/O, but unless you follow the Apple scene, you probably never heard of Thunderbolt. They're one in the same, with Intel and Apple introducing Thunderbolt today on an updated line of MacBook Pro laptops. But don't worry, though Thunderbolt strikes the Apple platform first, it's also coming to PCs.
Hit the jump for pictures from the actual press conference!
Oh woe are we, for yet another freeware application has grown its wings and left the nest of awesome, available software that we can all install on our desktop and laptop systems ad infinitum. In case you haven't heard, Google has picked up BumpTop--technically, Bump Technologies--leaving fans of three-dimensional displays but a scant week or so to download the company's freeware app before it all goes away.
Of course, BumpTop isn't gone for good--it remains to be seen just how Google plans to integrate its multitouch-friendly, three-dimensional desktop transformations into the company's own services. Rest assured that you'll likely see some incarnation of BumpTop emerge in the future. But whether it's coming back as a standalone download or as a part of a brand-new device is anyone's guess.
However, that doesn't mean that you're left with no way to break your two-dimensional desktop out of its existing constraints. I'm taking a look at five different 3D transformation tools in this week's Freeware Files. Don't let the (brief?) demise of BumpTop be the end of your experimentation with three-dimensional system desktops!
If one were to anthropomorphize contemporary computer navigation technology, it would be a grave-bound man living in constant fear ever since Minority Report's release. However, most people would agree that the gesture-based interface depicted in the film has lost a bit of its novelty. It is no longer as challenging an undertaking as it seemed back when the movie first hit theaters.
Using the movie as an inspiration, two MIT students, Tony Hyun Kim and Nevada Sanchez, have been working on something they call the Glove Mouse. It is basically a pair of gloves that lets the user control a computer using just hand gestures.
How did you interact with your gadgets 5 years ago? Chances are, with a Mouse and keyboard. Maybe some buttons, or a trackpad here and there. But how about today? Probably with a mouse and keyboard, still, but we'll bet that's not all. Does your phone have a touchscreen? Likely. Can it do voice recognition, too? Bet it can. Do you have a Wii or a PS3? Then you’d better add motion control to the list.
Our point is that the way we interface with our gadgets has changed tremendously over the last couple years, and it’s only going to get crazier from here. To help you prepare, we’ve put together a list of 10 of the future interface technologies we’re most excited about. Read on to find out which ones made the list!