What's next...

I'm sure you've seen that this web site is no longer being maintained, so what's next?

Honestly I haven't finished those plans yet, but at the moment it's slightly in favor of a technology/science blog of some sorts. No design yet, no definitive ideas yet, you can always leave ideas at my mail address (comments are disabled because of huge waves of spam).

I just want to thank you all for visiting this site when it was still running browser news :)

Chrome 12.0 released

Continuing their rapid release, Google has made their twelfth release available, which is right on time for the debug of Chrome OS on the Chromebooks this month.

Regardless of the Chrome OS release, this baby comes with some interesting features nonetheless:

  • Hardware accelerated 3D CSS
  • New Safe Browsing protection against downloading malicious files
  • Ability to delete Flash cookies from inside Chrome
  • Launch Apps by name from the Omnibox
  • Integrated Sync into new settings pages
  • Improved screen reader support
  • New warning when hitting Command-Q on Mac

If you are using Chrome, the update will come automatically, or can be triggered by going to the wrench menu and hit the about Chrome option. If you don't have Chrome installed, you can get it from Google's web site.

Opera Swordfish announced

After the release of Opera 11.10, codenamed Barracuda, the next release has been officially unveiled to be named Swordfish. Swordfish will eventually become the stable Opera 11.50 release and already includes some nice goodies.

Currently Swordfish focuses on three key features: Opera Next, password synchronization, and Speed Dial extensions. The first one is the most interesting, being a new development channel where you can get new Opera snapshots much easier. It's distinctive by a white icon and its menu button and can be installed alongside the normal stable Opera release. This is of course similar to Chrome's Dev Channel and the Firefox Aurora channel.

Another new feature is password synchronization, which improves the existing Opera Link functionality, while last but not least Speed Dial now supports extensions to adapt the site's specific Speed Dial in Opera.

You can test drive this new release by reading and downloading the installer from the Opera Desktop Team's blog.

Firefox 4.0.1 released

Mozilla released the first maintance update of Firefox 4, addressing the escaped rough edges of the new release. Therefor the changelog is simple, but to the point

You can get the full binary download from Mozilla, users who already have Firefox should get an automatic notice, or can trigger it through the about screen.

Chrome 11.0 released

Google released the 11th release of Chrome already, bring lots of bug fixes, but also a couple of new features.

Google Chrome's rapid release schedule has caught attention from the competition. Just look at the second most web browser, Firefox, which has adopted a similar strategy. For instance Opera still sticks to a more traditional release schedule, but compared to their previous releases does appear to have increased their release schedule.

Chrome 11 comes with a lot of security fixes, but also includes some new features. The most noticeable is the speech input feature that allows you for instance to translate text with Google Translate by recording your voice and then hear the translated words. Oh and there's a new icon and logo too, which is way more flat than the previous one.

Existing Chrome users will get this update automatically, but it can also be triggered manually through the About Chrome dialog under the wrench menu (or on Apple in the Chrome menu). New users can download this release from Google Chrome's site.

Firefox Aurora channel available

There's absolutely nothing wrong with copying a good idea and executing it correctly. Follow Chrome's separate development channels, Mozilla has released the first channel, Aurora. The idea behind this all is a much more accelerated release, where Firefox 4 took too long before being released.

Besides the cutting edge nightlies, which are released, well nightly, there is now an Aurora channel, which contains slightly less unstable builds. The advantage of this channel is that it's more stable than the nightlies, but still contains an early preview of things to come in the next Firefox release.

After Aurora comes the beta channel, which is not yet ready, and of course the final end product. The idea is that trunk is the main Mozilla central channel is never blocked from new features, while Aurora and Beta channel allow for stabilization of the eventual end user release.

For now Firefox 5 has made it onto Aurora. Being more raw than other releases, this build caries the Aurora name, while official Firefox branding starts in the beta channel. Currently this release looks a lot like Firefox 4, but contains a lot of fixes that just didn't make it.

Let hope we'll see awesome new stuff in the coming weeks! You can try the Aurora channel on your own risk =)

Opera 11.10 released

The folks at Opera Software released a new version of their Opera web browser, bringing the version up to 11.10. Unlike some other web browsers, the minor version increase doesn't mean it has little new stuff in it, the vikings seem eager to show their art of war to the world.

With almost all new releases of all the other major web browser vendors, except for Apple's Safari, one would almost forget Opera. But that would be unwise, because while Opera may be small it still packs a lot of innovate approaches to surfing the web.

In Opera 11.10 there's a whole lot of new features, including a new, more flexible and limitless Speed Dial, which automatically uses website logos and lets web developers make content tailored for this feature. One of the best rendering engines, named Presto, has also been updated to include more support for CSS, SOCKS Proxy, W3C file API, and WOFF. Other new features include: plugin installation wizard (to add missing plug-ins easily), URL filter API for Opera extensions, support for the Google WebP image format. But existing features have also been improved, Mail, Dragonfly, search, UserJS, and much, much, more.

You can download this new release of Opera for Windows, Linux and Mac.

Firefox 4.0 released

Finally all the long and hard work on the fourth and biggest release yet has payed off! Mozilla has released Firefox 4, a new contender in the war with Internet Explorer and Chrome.

Feeling like hearing that Duke Nukem Forever finally gets released this year, Firefox 4.0 offers a very big leap in progress over the Firefox 3.x series. But the competition hasn't waited for Mozilla to catch up, the current browser war will be a hard one, and it will be interesting to see if Firefox 4.0 is enough to remain strong.

The first thing you'll be greeted with is the new look. Firefox 4 has a much different and better look that its predecessor, fitting nicely with the glass theme in Windows Vista and 7, while polishing it to look good on Mac too. Tabs have moved to the tab (you can still disable this feature), following the idea what Chrome and Opera have started. The menu bar is gone (with an option to re-enable it), instead giving a two tear menu in the top left under the orange Firefox button. Yeah it looks a lot like Opera's. Another bar missing in action is the status bar, which now, similar to Chrome, pop-ups in the bottom if necessary.

But of course there is more. The rendering engine has received much love from the Mozilla developers, bringing it to the present future with more standards support. The JavaScript engine has also been greatly optimized to be fast and ready to compare with the likes of V8. New is also hardware acceleration, which per platform improves rendering of web sites as well as elements like video and canvas. WebGL support, which is a JavaScript wrapper around OpenGL ES, may have a future a new way of using accelerated 3D graphics in your web browser.

When these superficial and internal changes aren't enough there are new features present as well, like Firefox sync, which can synchronize bookmarks, but also preferences and passwords in the cloud with a secure connection. A new way of handling tabs has also been added, you can now for groups of tabs that stick together. And of course you can now also pin tabs as web apps in your browser, which secures them from being closed accidentally and stick nicely on the left side.

There's a whole lot more in this release and Firefox 4 certainly is a good web browser. It can't but be noticed that the release is inspired mainly by Chrome, but what the heck, it's a war out there and it's never a bad thing to copy great ideas. All Firefox users should install this release, and of course persuade some extension developers to release their add-ons. Let's enjoy this great release!

Firefox 4.0 Release Candidate 2 released

It's weekend, but Mozilla still released a second release candidate of their upcoming Firefox 4 web browser.

  • Blacklisted a few invalid HTTPS certificates
  • Updated localizations for 29 locales
  • Added Vietnamese localization, bringing the total languages available in Firefox 4 to 83

With Microsoft releasing their Internet Explorer 9 only days ago, it's nice to see the second most popular web browser to do the same, so you can stack them up nicely against each other.

You can download and test drive this almost golden release from the Mozilla web site. Firefox 4 final is expected to arrive on March 22.

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