Tag Archives | Safari

Google Makes Chrome Speed Boost Boast. Who’s Next?

chromelogo5Google is boasting that an update to Chrome’s V8 JavaScript engine and Webkit browsing component has yielded a significant improvement in performance. Yippee. Now, who’s next?

The renewed browser war resembles more of a game of leapfrog than the big-bang releases of the 1990’s when one version of Internet Explorer or Netscape Navigator could change the balance of power in the browser wars overnight. Google says that Chrome is now 30% faster with today’s upgrade. That matches a performance claim made by Opera in about its new “Presto” rendering engine.

Two months ago, the Mozilla Foundation was bragging about how much snappier Firefox 3.5 will be over its predecessor. Apple, and many recent benchmarks conclude that Safari 4 is the title holder of ‘world’s fastest browser,’ and Microsoft has introduced Internet Explorer 8 by performing benchmarks of its own.

Irrespective of how many fewer milliseconds one of these browsers might take to render JavaScript, they are all getting better, in terms of standards support and performance. The real world implication is that each browser runs AJAX Web apps better than they did a year ago, and pages are being rendered with greater consistency.

Many of them have already have adopted parts of the upcoming HTML 5 specification–the lingua franca of the Web–even though it is far from being finalized. The working group responsible for it is open to breaking it up into smaller pieces.

For the first time in years, there is major innovation happening in the browsers due to increased competition. Opera has longo liked to play the role of innovator; now it’s matching wits against Apple and Google. Mozilla Firefox, the first browser to dent Microsoft’s seemingly immovable market share, is not longer the cock of the walk.

Not too long ago, it seemed as if browsers were maturing. All I can say, is that this latest round of competition is a very good thing for people who use (and create) Web apps, and those who care about standards.

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One Windows. Multiple Browsers. Bundled. I Like It!

win7firefox1Once again, those wacky Europeans are making life difficult for Microsoft. A site called EurActive is reporting that Microsoft’s ongoing antitrust tussle with the European Commission will result in the company being forced to help European Windows users opt for a browser that isn’t Internet Explorer. The details are yet to be worked out–the OS might include some sort of mechanism for choosing among multiple browsers, or Microsoft might be forced to work with PC manufacturers to install alternative browsers on new systems. Microsoft is apparently concerned enough that it has a secret plan to delay Windows 7’s release if necessary, reports our own Dave Worthington.

When you’re forced to do something you don’t particularly want to do, there are two ways to go about it: grudgingly or whole-heartedly. Previous legally-mandated editions of Windows such as the Korea-only Windows XP K and KN are the result of the first approach, and I’m not sure if they made anyone other than the government officials who required them happy.

But what if Microsoft poured its collective energy, intellect, and resources into making the best possible multiple-browser Windows–and then made it the standard version of the OS worldwide?

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5Words for February 25th, 2009

5wordsWhat’s up, ladies and gents?

Safari 4 is blazingly fast.

Google explains yesterday’s Gmail outage.

…and Gmail users get phished.

Google joins European Microsoft tussle.

Is your congressperson on Twitter?

Intel says thin is in.

AMD demos six-core CPU.

A big Photoshop bug fix.

Microsoft’s stock isn’t so hot.

Google updates Internet 6 Toolbar.

Roy Blount wants Kindle cash.

Samsung writes a Memoir (phone)

Nokia music phone hits stores.

Will the Kindle go international?

Another roaming-charges horror story.

Adobe patches up Flash vulnerabilities.

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Safari 4: Rapid! Revolutionary! And Mostly Unnecessary

safariiconApple Tuesday release Safari 4 on Tuesday, promising the “world’s fastest web browser” and exciting new features. Yes, this browser is fast Nitro makes this browser quite fast, and it works well — I’m using it right now to type out this post. While I have not tested it on Windows, a Microsoftie reported into me not too long ago that Safari 4 is indeed faster than IE8 on the platform.

Really this release of Apple’s browser appears to be more of a window dressing than an actual honest-to-god upgrade of the platform. Safari now borrows cover flow technology from iTunes, which allows you to see current previews of your “top sites” when opening a new tab, or searching through your bookmarks (here, the pages look as you last visited them).

Search has been modified to actually remember information within the pages in your history. This would allow you to search through the information contained within the pages, which is probably one of the most useful “new” features in this release.

Overall however, Safari 4 when you take out the Cover Flow really is more of a point release than a dramatic retooling of the software. However, with so much done already in the browser space, these days it’s pretty tough to be original…

Update: Found my first showstopping bug with S4 (at least for me). The browser does not work correctly with WordPress’ Dashboard on the Mac version, which obviously throws a wrench in allowing me to put it to regular use.

And before I hit save, on the subject of my calling the update “unnecessary,” which some have taken issue with: my point is that the new visual features do not really add all that much value. I did say the browser is fast, I’ve updated that to make it clearer that this is Nitro.


State of the Browser Betas: A Technologizer Cheat Sheet

cheatsheetI’m hesitant to make any bold predictions about what 2009 will hold for technology, but this one seems profoundly safe: a lot of Web browser upgrades will ship. That’s because new versions of the current big five–Chrome, Firefox, IE, Opera, and Safari–are all in various stages of progress. And prerelease versions all except Safari are available for download right now. After the jump, a quick guide to what’s up with each of them. If you’ve been using any (or all!) of them, let us know what you think…

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