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Posts Tagged ‘ Chrome ’

Google’s support policies shove users towards Chrome

Wednesday, November 6th, 2013

Road closed

Google has announced that it will stop supporting Internet Explorer 9 with Google Apps, meaning users of Microsoft’s ageing browser will likely lose access to key features.

It’s not clear exactly what functionality IE9 users will surrender, but a support page on Google’s site claims that “unsupported browsers” will only be able to access Calendars in read mode and the basic HTML version of Gmail (although given that descendants of Picasso now appear to be in charge of the regular Gmail interface, that may not be such a bad thing).

Google’s announcement on dropping support for IE9 claims there’s nothing pernicious going on here, merely that it’s the continuation of a long-stated policy to support only the past two versions of major browsers. Now Microsoft’s unveiled IE11 with Windows 8.1, it’s time to push IE9 off the cliff. “End users who access Gmail and other Google Apps services from an unsupported browser will be notified within the next few weeks through an in-product notification message or an interstitial pages with information about modern browsers and how to upgrade to them,” Google’s blog post states.

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OneTab: the end of Chrome memory leaks?

Tuesday, March 12th, 2013

OneTab might just be the Chrome extension that boosts the productivity of PC Pro. Sat next to me all day is Nicole Kobie, PC Pro news editor and rapacious harvester of browser tabs. Every time she sees a news story she might like to follow up on, she leaves it open in a browser tab, opens a new one and continues her hunt. By the end of the day her browser window looks something like this:

Chrome browser tabs

That’s the point where she starts thumping her desk in frustration and uttering profanities in that charming Canadian drawl of hers, because the 37 open tabs have brought her bedraggled PC to its knees. What’s more, she hasn’t got the first clue what’s hiding beneath all those tabs because all she can see is the favicon.

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Posted in: Software

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Google Chrome for iPad and iPhone review

Friday, June 29th, 2012

Google Chrome for iPad

It’s been a long wait for a valid alternative to Safari on the iPad and iPhone, but one finally arrived this week, and it’s a big one: Google Chrome. Now, before you get too excited, Google hasn’t been able to bring the full Chrome experience to iOS, for reasons we’ll go into later, but much of what has made Chrome so popular on the desktop is in place. Google’s approach is to create a unified experience across all devices, from your PC right down to your iPhone. (more…)

Chrome’s shine getting lost in translation

Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

digital world
Google’s developers might be as smart as a Savile Row suit with a masters degree in quantum physics, but sometimes software makers can be too clever for their own good.

Take Google Chrome, for six years the browser of choice for your correspondent. It’s clean, fast and simple, yet increasingly it tries to second guess how I want to browse the web.

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Posted in: Rant

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Google takes Chromebooks to the high street

Monday, October 3rd, 2011

chromesmall

As you may have heard, Google has its first shop-floor presence — not in California as you’d expect, but around the corner from PC Pro, inside PC World on Tottenham Court Road in London.

So this morning I wandered over to take a look and take some photos. Obtaining permission for this latter task from this particular branch of the PC World empire proved a challenge, but that left me lots of time to eavesdrop on customers trying out the web-only machines.

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Smartphone crapware: worse than laptops?

Monday, August 22nd, 2011

Sony Ericsson Xperia Mini ProA couple of years ago I holed myself up in the PC Pro Labs with some new laptops to see what impact their pre-installed software — known as crapware, bloatware and shovelware — had on performance.

The results proved shocking but, when it comes down to it, that software is pretty easy to deal with it’s just a matter of uninstalling everything and, if you’re really particular, running an app like CCleaner to get your Registry back to its fighting weight.

Not so with smartphones. On Friday, I eased the Sony Ericsson Xperia Mini Pro from its box, turned it on, and was greeted with a message urging me to set up McAfee WaveSecure before I’d even set up the phone with my Google account. (more…)

Android App of the Week: Miren Browser

Friday, December 3rd, 2010

Miren BrowserMiren Browser isn’t exactly a unique proposition – after all, Android’s Market boasts dozens of third-party browsers – but this new contender boasts a shedload of features alongside one of the slickest interfaces we’ve seen.

It’s much easier to use than many of its rivals, which are feature-packed but often fiddly. Open a page in Miren and it’ll default to its full-screen view – which automatically hides Android’s status bar, too – so you can take advantage of every one of your device’s precious pixels.

Navigation options are both useful and unobtrusive, hidden in the corners of the screen and fading from view if they’re not in use. The right-hand corner houses a button to open Miren’s address bar as well as a handy loading dial, and the bottom-left corner provides a back button. The top of the screen provides links to your tabs alongside a small symbol to open a new page.

Desktop-style features are present elsewhere to make life easier. Chrome users will be familiar with the eight thumbnail images of your favourite sites that appear on boot, and they’re present here, too, alongside links to your bookmarks, history and downloads. Those eight thumbnails can also be customised with links to either a selection of bookmarks or simply the sites you visit most. (more…)

Mozilla founder is right: Firefox has lost it

Wednesday, May 19th, 2010

Firefox logo invert

I’ve written in the past about my defection from Firefox to Chrome as my default browser, and was called everything from a “troll” to a “little bitch” for moaning about its increasingly slovenly performance and constant nagging.

Now, it appears even Mozilla’s friends are turning on Firefox. The browser’s co-founder, Blake Ross, was reportedly asked on a web forum whether he felt Firefox could maintain even double-digit market share over the next five years (it currently has around 25% of the worldwide market, according to Net Applications). He replied:

“I’m pretty sceptical. I think the Mozilla Organisation has gradually reverted back to its old ways of being too timid, passive and consensus-driven to release breakthrough products quickly.”

I make him right. It gives me no pleasure to lay into Mozilla – Firefox was my default browser for the best part of the last decade, and Mozilla engineers are among the smartest and nicest people I’ve ever had the pleasure to interview. But Firefox has lost it.

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How to clean up CCleaner

Tuesday, August 25th, 2009

CCleanerNo, ‘Piriform’ isn’t the name of a rare virus. Piriform is the team behind CCleaner (renamed from ‘CrapCleaner’ so that american schools could use it…) – just about the nicest, tightest, cleanest and most frequently recommended system tidyer-upper.

It’s so well regarded that some of the less well-written printer drivers suggest that you run it to clear up their mess when in the midst of a version upgrade. It’s also the proud holder of PC Pro’s Software of the Year 2008 award.

I am blogging this because Piriform commits a couple of very minor sins in the setup of the utility. One is that it tries to sneak the Yahoo toolbar in on you, unless you know to always untick the check-box; the other is that it’s king of the ultra-tiny version update. Only Winamp is worse, in my experience – hardly a week goes by without a new release, during which a moment’s inattention will land you back with the toolbar.

This may seem obsessive but I can’t be the only person who has seen people browsing on netbooks with upwards of six toolbars in Internet Explorer, and left with a browser window able to show about ten lines of text.

Anyway, Piriform has released a major update to CCleaner. It’s now on 2.22 and there’s support for cleaning out the Google Chrome cache and the Sun Java cache; just these two tricks alone are worth the clicks to get it.

Firefox 4 looks awfully familiar…

Tuesday, July 28th, 2009

Firefox 3.5 is still fresh, but Mozilla has been busy mocking up its early concepts for the big move to version 4. Now, these images come with a great big disclaimer that “These are NOT FINAL! THEY ARE ONLY FOR BRAINSTORMING/EXPLORATION!“, but it’s interesting to see which direction Firefox could be taking. Take a look for yourself and form your own opinions, but from where I’m sitting it looks like a certain other browser seems to have had an influence on Mozilla’s designs.

The first design is fairly typical Firefox, with the tabs beneath the address bar (click to enlarge):

Firefox 4 concept (tabs on bottom)

The Aero effect looks nice, and it’s a very clean interface, with only minor changes from the Firefox 3.7 concept images which Mozilla recently released. But there’s also a mockup with the tabs – unusually for Firefox – moved above the address bar: (more…)

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