Tag Archives | Web browsers

Opera 11.50 Beta’s Speed Dial Gets Widgety

Opera Next–the auto-updating test edition of the next major version of the Norwegian Web browser–is out in a new version, 11.50. It has a clever addition to Speed Dial, the page of thumbnail links to favorite sites which has been widely imitated since Opera invented it: extensions. Rather than just depicting shrunken versions of sites you’ve saved, Speed Dial can now include widgety little applications, such as the weather one in the lower left-hand corner of the screen above.

Like most browser innovations, Speed Dial extensions will only be interesting if they gets embraced by developers, who’ll need to build them in large quantities. And it’ll be be most interesting if it turns into a standard, so that users of all browsers get to enjoy it, too. But if you like checking out nifty new Web concepts, it’s worth a peek right now. As is Opera in general–every time I revisit this browser, I wonder why it’s not more popular. (According to Google Analytics, only one percent of you use it to visit Technologizer.)


Using a PC? You Definitely Have Annoyances

Mac users must be sworn to secrecy; they rarely complain about their computers. A friend, plied with alcohol, reluctantly admitted that his MacBook suffered from random shutdowns. Like, no!

PC users, on the other hand, seem to be proud of their computing annoyances. Online bragging matches are common, with each participant trying to top all the other PC disaster stories.

You think I’m kidding about Mac and PC users? Try this on for size: Mac people vs. PC people: Top 5 differences. (Thanks to TechBite subscriber Gil.)

This week’s story is a collection (okay, a hodgepodge) of ways my PC annoys me, with, of course, work-arounds.

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iChromy: An Alternative iPad Browser With Chrome Envy

Google’s not bringing the Chrome web browser to the iPad anytime soon, if ever, so app maker Diigo is trying to fill the void with iChromy.

The free alternative iPad browser, which launches in the App Store today, mimics the Chrome aesthetic. Tabs appear at the top of the screen, and a single bar handles web addresses and searches, just like Chrome’s omnibar. There’s even a star-shaped bookmark button to the right of the URL bar, just like Chrome.

Chrome flattery aside, iChromy’s greatest asset is stability. When tab overload threatens to crash the browser, iChromy quietly shifts memory away from background tabs that you haven’t opened in a while. These pages reload when you access them again, but it’s a small price to pay for having lots of open tabs with minimal crashes. I’ve been playing with a preview version of iChromy on an original iPad for a few days, and it’s far better at avoiding crashes than my previous iPad browser of choice, Atomic Web Browser.

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Early Chrome Build Lets You Kill the URL Bar

Google may take minimalism to the extreme with future versions of the Chrome browser.

As ConceivablyTech points out, the latest Chrome Canary build — an early-stage version that precedes developer and beta versions — includes the ability to hide the URL bar. To turn on this feature, enter “about:flags” in the URL bar, enable “Compact Navigation,” relaunch the browser, right-click any tab and click “Hide the toolbar.” (Don’t be shy; you can install Canary side-by-side with other Chrome versions.)

Once you do this, the URL bar will disappear, providing an extra 30 pixels of room to browse. The forward button, back button and tools icon nest within the same strip of space as open tabs. Clicking an open tab creates a drop-down URL and search bar that’s much shorter than screen width.

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Flock: Officially Dead

I regret to say that this is almost certainly the last thing I’ll ever write about Flock. There was a time when it was my favorite Web browser. But being based on the Mozilla engine turned to be tricky, and last year Flock started all over again as a Chrome variant–one which was quite different from its earlier incarnation. Even if the move was logical, it was confusing.

In January, social gaming behemoth Zynga snapped up the team behind Flock–but not the browser or the company. (Most of the stories about the buyout, including mine, inaccurately said that Zynga had acquired Flock itself.) When Flock CEO Shawn Hardin’s blog post about the news didn’t say anything about the browser surviving, it was ominous. Today, it’s official: Flock is dead.

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Internet Explorer 10. Yes, Already!

It’s been less than a month since Microsoft released the final version of Internet Explorer 9, but it’s already unleashing a sneak peek at IE10. As with IE9, it’s starting with a nearly interface-less “Platform Preview” that’s all about the rendering engine–and especially HTML5 support–not features.

The company isn’t saying when IE10 will ship, but if it sticks to its typical schedule it might be about a year away–which would be quick on the heels of IE9 by Microsoft standards.

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