Opera adds WebRTC, updated design to Android browser
Opera has updated the Android variant of its web browser to version 20, and has included support for WebRTC, a technology that can support browser-based video conferencing. The update also adds a new customizable interface, a flat-design Speed Dial, upgrades to the search and address bar, an update of the Chromium core to version 33, and a number of other minor updates. The updated Opera for Android is available to download now from Google Play, for devices running Android 4.0 or higher.
Opera Software launches mobile internet packages sponsored to cover customer cost
Opera Software has announced the launch of its Sponsored Web Pass product, offering mobile Internet packages to consumers that provide free data. Operators can team up with advertisers to sponsor the cost of customers' mobile Internet access, in time- or content-based increments. By watching a short ad from a corporate sponsor prior to viewing selected content, users can then engage with the content in their (free) Web Pass for its duration. When the Sponsored Web Pass expires, users are given the opportunity to opt-out of continuing using data. Operators interested in utilizing Opera's Web Pass can contact Opera Software.
IE 11 now approaching Safari's install numbers
Microsoft's Internet Explorer 11 web browser more than doubled its share of the worldwide browser market in the month of November. This according to new figures from research firm Net Applications, which showed Internet Explorer 11 at 3.27 percent of the worldwide web browser market. The November surge saw IE11 leaving Opera far behind, and the Microsoft-made browser is now approaching Apple's Safari browser in terms of market share.
Opera adds tablet mode to Android app
Opera has updated its browser for Android with dedicated support for tablets. Rather than taking the approach of Coast, version 18 of the Chromium 31-based Android app continues to offer a similar experience as before, with the Discover, data-saving Off-Road and Speed Dial being updated to match the larger display size. Improvements to the search engine list, fixes to fullscreen video playback, and other stabilization and performance changes are also touted.
Coast removes most browser UI, relies on swiping, pared-down home screen
Opera has launched a new free browser for the iPad, one that aims to make web browsing act the same as navigating an app. Coast, available to download now, removes most of the usual items found in browsers, such as the top interface and address bar, and instead replaces it all with general actions typically associated with apps, such as swiping.
Technology companies working on cheaper Internet access plans
A group of technology companies have grouped together to launch a new initiative to bring Internet access to parts of the global population that do not have it. The collective, consisting of Ericsson, MediaTek, Nokia, Opera, Qualcomm, Samsung and led by Facebook, launched Internet.org and will work together on projects to provide access to those without an Internet connection.
SPDY support, more personalization options added to browser
Opera has released a new version of its browser for desktops, using Chromium. Opera Next, effectively the beta version of the main Opera browser for PC and Mac, adds in a number of refinements to the previous iteration of the browser, including a new way of organizing bookmarks, as well as new content discovery options.
Opera for Android out of beta, already passes 350K downloads
Opera for Android has now exited beta, three months after it was first made available to users through the Google Play Store. The official release is free and is available for download now. Opera touts a number of features that users will prefer over other mobile browsers including an ‘Off-Road’ mode that helps to stabilize web connections when the connections become patchy, while also reducing data consumption.
Off-Road mode lowers bandwidth for mobile connections
A new version of the Opera web browser has been made available through Google Play. The updated browser has now replaced the Presto rendering engine with WebKit, the same engine used by Chrome and other browsers, and also includes a number of new features ideally suited to mobile Internet users.
Large contingent took severance package before Christmas
Opera's move from the Presto rendering engine to WebKit has forced the company to restructure its development teams. The Core Technology division, consisting of around 100 developers, has dropped by more than 90 positions in the last quarter, with overall employee numbers reduced from 931 to 840 in the most recent quarterly report.
Presto being exchanged for open source projects
Opera is replacing the Presto rendering engine used in its web browser with WebKit. The migration to a different rendering engine comes at the same time the browser is celebrating 300 million monthly users in total over all formats, including smartphones, smart televisions, tablets, and personal computers.
Opera 12.10 brings Windows 8 touch support, Retina
Opera announced an update today that brings new feature enhancements for both Windows and Mac users. The update to Opera 12.10 brings compatibility with the Retina displays seen on newer Mac notebooks, as well as basic touch support for Windows 8 devices. It also, brings WebSocket API support and built-in support for the SPDY protocol to improve and secure connections. The new version is available as a free download at Opera's site.
Opera gets customizable themes, photo integration
Opera today released the latest version of its browser, Opera 12. The new version for the first time integrates customizable themes into Opera, and it features upgrades for security and plug-in operations. The new version also builds webcam capability directly into the browser. Opera 12 touts faster startup time and page loading thanks to a responsive tab-loading feature, which retains a tab's site information upon restart, but doesn't load the tab until it is selected by the user. The upgrade also contains tweaks aimed at increasing page loading time.
An offer by Facebook could spark an Opera bidding war
Facebook's rumored plan to purchase Opera Software could set off a bidding war for the popular browser maker, one that might see Opera selling for more than $1 billion, unnamed bankers have told Reuters. Analysts suggest a Facebook bid would bring competition from multiple Internet players, including Google, due to Opera's importance in the developing world.
Sources suggest Facebook would join browser wars
Facebook may be planning to buy Opera Software, maker of the Opera web browser, according to a rumor. Sources of Pocket Lint say that the social network is looking towards making its own browser, which would put it alongside Apple, Google, Microsoft, Mozilla, and Yahoo, and the purchase of Opera Software and its technology would save Facebook from having to build one from the ground up.
Firefox nightlies to support WebRTC for video chat
Mozilla is gearing up to allow a plugin-free approach to video chat in upcoming versions of Firefox. A demo at the IETF 83 conference caught by TechCrunch showed off the implementation of WebRTC, an HTML5 component that will allow two-way voice, video, and file swaps. As shown, it would sign in with Mozilla's Social API.
NetApplications shows second big increase for IE
New NetApplications data has shown that Internet Explorer might be on a sustained, if slight, recovery in web share. Microsoft's browser gained almost exactly one point to hit 53.83 percent of browser use online. The gain roughly mirrored one from January and saw IE at its highest position since October.
Spike sees Chrome get one-day browser lead
A brief if historic milestone in web browsers occurred this weekend as Google Chrome temporarily overtook Microsoft's Internet Explorer in usage, StatCounter found Wednesday. For one day, March 18, Chrome had 32.71 percent of traffic to IE's 32.5 percent. A rise in share from Brazil, India, and Russia was credited for the sudden position swap.
Intel Atom CE5300 brings faster video to TV
Intel's smart TV efforts got a lift early in the week with a newly updated Atom chip for digital media hubs. The CE5300, nicknamed Berryville, is its first 32-nanometer chip of its kind. Details are short, although it should carry two cores, "advanced" graphics with H.264 B-frame hardware encoding, and support both Hyperthreading (for up to four code threads at once) as well as virtual machines.
Browser brings optimizations for feature phones
Opera brought its latest mobile browsers to Mobile World Congress, including Opera Mobile 12 and the Opera Mini Next beta that serves as a preview for what the company is working to add in the future. We were able to take a look at both editions running on Android devices and a feature phone, with new optimizations geared for both device categories.
Safari edges out Chrome, Firefox likewise on Win
The team at Tom’s Hardware have run their latest head-to-head test of web browsers. All the leading browsers for the Mac and PC platforms were tested and included Opera, Firefox, Safari, IE 9 and Chrome. Coming out on top for the Mac platform was Apple’s own Safari browser, while Mozilla’s Firefox is currently the fastest browser available on the Windows platform.
No obvious motivation mentioned
Apple may be intentionally delaying the creation of a formal standard for how touchscreen devices interact with web content, claims Haavard, one of the developers behind the Opera web browser. The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is currently at work on the standard, known as the Touch Events Specification. Apple, though, has allegedly submitted "invalid or irrelevant" patent claims in a way that is holding up the specification's progress.
New version promises better UI, faster access
Opera has released a milestone upgrade for the Windows version of its browser. Release 11.60 incorporates several enhancements to the user interface and improves performance (free, Windows). Key among these are a new email client, quicker access to favorite sites, improved Web compatibility, and faster, more secure connectivity.
Nework proxy could help most in developing nations
Researchers at Aalto University in Finland have designed a device that can cut the power consumption of at least 3G smartphones up to 74 percent. The device serves as a network proxy that sits between the Internet and mobile phones. It handles most of the effort required to transfer data to a smartphone, potentially significantly reducing power consumption.
Phone features touchscreen and QWERTY keyboard
Canadian Wireless provider Telus will soon be offering the Motorola Motokey Social to its prepaid customers. As its name implies, the phone targets users with a strong interest in social networking, and incorporates a dedicated hard key to access Facebook much like the smartphone-level HTC Status. The UI provides five different home screens, two interface themes and built in links to Twitter in addition to Facebook; Opera Mini gives it slightly more sophisticated web browsing.
Browsers updated for variety of platforms
Opera has announced that its Mini and Mobile browsers have been updated on all platforms, including Android, iOS, S60, J2ME, BlackBerry, S60 and MeeGo. A data usage view is the primary new feature available on all devices, enabling users to take a quick look at how much data the browser has used and a comparison between the original page sizes and the savings due to Opera's compression technology.
NetApplications August 2011 desktop, mobile share
Apple broke through a symbolic barrier at the start of September as a study of desktop market share from NetApplications revealed that it had broken through the six percent mark in desktop usage share for the first time. The Mac hit 6.03 percent in August and had gained nearly a full point over the course of one year. Although it had yet to dislodge Microsoft from its dominant spot, almost all the gain was at Windows' expense, as the OS dipped from nearly 94 percent last August to 92.9 percent.
Dolphin Browser ported to iPhone
One of Android's better-known apps, Dolphin Browser, has been given a long-requested port to the iPhone (free, App Store). The iOS version of MoboTap's software uses Apple's WebKit engine but brings features that have yet to reach Safari. It already has tabbed browsing ahead of iOS 5, a Firefox-style address bar with search results, and gesture-based shortcuts for common tasks.
Skype using VP8 even with Microsoft patent gripes
Google had an unusual celebration Wednesday as it claimed that Skype 5.5 was now using the video format behind WebM, VP8. WebM Product Manager John Luther said that that any video chat between two or more users on 5.5 will switch over to VP8 for the stream. The format had been chosen in part because of its low lag in live situations and ability to gracefully handle lost data.
12 groups tell MPEG-LA Google VP8 copies tech
The MPEG-LA video group's attempts to find patent violations in WebM proved successful as the company late Thursday claimed that 12 companies and organizations had their technology infringed. The so far unnamed dozen said the VP8 video codec underlying Google's format copied technology used in H.264, the standard MPEG-LA supports. The collective was considering forming a patent pool to demand licenses, and MPEG-LA was "facilitating that discussion," CNET was told.
Non-Apple browsers being blocked
The web versions of Apple's WWDC 2011 session videos are being blocked for browsers outside of Safari, according to complaints. Both the stable and Canary versions of Chrome, for instance, are unable to access the videos. Similarly, neither Firefox nor Opera will work, regardless of whether the browsers are running on a Mac or Windows system.
Opera founder exits over board dispute
Opera's creator Jon S. von Tetzchner surprised the industry on Friday with word he was leaving the company. The web browser developer is due to leave June 30 and will do so on friendly terms. He has made no public mention of why he will be leaving but currently has "ideas about new projects" that are being kept secret.
Opera Mini 6 reaches iPhone and now iPad
Opera started off Tuesday by launching a version of Opera Mini 6 for iOS (free, App Store). The major remake is the first to support the iPad and carries a new look to take advantage of the extra space. Apple's tablet now gets pop-overs for menus and a large visual tab browser that helps pick out tabs by content.
Nintendo says 3DS getting browser, store June 6
Nintendo in a Japanese update dated its launch plans for the browser and download store for the 3DS. Both the e-Shop for games and the browser are expected to go live the evening of June 6 in the US, just hours before Nintendo's E3 keynote. Not said was how it would work, such as whether classic console games would get any special treatment on the 3DS.
WebM Community Cross-License guards video patents
The WebM Project took a defensive measure on Monday with the creation of the WebM Community Cross-License. The approach will see 17 companies and groups give licenses to any WebM-related patents they have to other CCL members. Google, Matroska, and Xiph.org form the core but are joined by AMD, Cisco, Huawei, LG, Logitech, MIPS, Mozilla, Opera, Pantech, Quanta, Samsung, STMicro, TI, and Verisilicon.
YouTube starts streaming new videos in WebM
YouTube in an update Tuesday afternoon said it was now encoding all new videos in its in-house WebM standard. The format would let viewers using new versions of Chrome as well as Firefox and Opera see video in HTML5 using the open format. Videos would still be playable in the H.264 format and the original Flash containers.
Opera 11.10 ships with faster Turbo and WebP
Opera took its own turn at revamping its browser by launching Opera 11.10. The upgrade has a new version of its distinctive Turbo compressed browsing mode and is now about 15 percent faster than it was before. The shift comes in part both through deeper compression and the use of Google's WebP picture format, which itself is about 40 percent more efficient than usual JPEGs and similar images.
Conflict appears to be resolved
The Opera Mini browser has finally returned to smartphone app store GetJar, after several weeks of absence due to a competitive conflict. The reason for GetJar's turnaround remains unclear, although the company originally cited the embedded app store in Opera Mini as a violation of its terms of service and the primary reason for rejection.
Browsers compared based on power consumption
Microsoft has staked an interesting claim regarding Internet Explorer 9, essentially labeling it the greenest browser. In an IEBlog post, the company graphed results from power consumption tests using IE9, Chrome 10, Firefox 4, Opera 11 and Safari 5. The first three browsers showed close numbers on an idle system, however IE9 achieved the lowest wattage when visiting a news site and running HTML5 applications.
Internet Explorer 9 ready at midnight
GetJar kicks Opera Mini browser out for violation
The app store for virtually all smartphone platforms that is GetJar on Wednesday announced it has rejected the Opera Mini web browser from its offerings. Citing a competitive conflict, GetJar CMO Patrick Mork, explained that Opera Mini has an app store embedded in its browser. This was after the company posted a tweet that stated Opera Mini violated GetJar's terms and conditions.
Net Applications shift lowers Firefox and Apple
Net Applications said it was forced to rework its Internet market share figures on Tuesday after the CIA updated its Internet usage to better reflect worldwide computer use. The surge in Chinese users relative to the US meant that alternatives to Microsoft lost share in February. Firefox had not only been "over-reported" and dropped a full point to 21.74 percent, but Internet Explorer made an artificial jump from exactly 56 percent to 56.77 percent, its first market share gain in half a year.
MPEG-LA takes steps to find WebM patent violations
Google's WebM video standard came under renewed threat on Thursday with an MPEG-LA request. The video standards group is asking members for any instances in which a company believes one of the VP8 format patents behind WebM might have violated its patents. It hopes to streamline creating a joint license that it could offer for "essential" patents.
Net Applications puts iOS over 2pc web share
Mobile Apple hardware reached a milestone today as new findings showed iOS cracking two percent share of the web for the first time. The iPad, iPhone and iPod reached 2.06 percent of Net Applications' traffic study worldwide and were in even higher use in certain areas. In English-native and other more mobile-driven countries, the share was disproportionately higher, ranging from 3.4 percent in the US to almost 10 percent in Singapore.
Sony to put Opera onto BRAVIA HDTVs, Blu-rays
Sony and Opera, the web browser traditionally associated with mobile devices, have teamed up on a scheme to put the latter's software onto the former's Bravia HDTVs and Blu-ray players. The network-connected hardware would support some fledling Internet standards as a result, such as HTML5, HbbTV and OIPF. At the same time, it would offer users an option other than the Google TV platform that's being embedded into some Sony hardware.
Google WebM plugin for IE9, Safari due soon
Google in a defense of its decision to pull H.264 from Chrome's HTML5 revealed that it will put out WebM plugins for Internet Explorer 9 and Safari. Expecting no official support from Apple or Microsoft, Google plans to develop extensions that would load its self-owned video codec. No timetable was given.
Microsoft jabs Google dropping H264 in Chrome
Microsoft Client Platform team member Tim Sneath jabbed Google for its decision to drop H.264 support in HTML5 for Chrome in favor of WebM. He compared it to a country deciding to drop English as a language in favor of artificial languages like Esperanto and Klingon. The remarks pointed out the irony of claiming to promote openness and choice by artificially removing the most practical, popular option.
Video preview demos zooming, scrolling functions
In a short video, Opera announced on its blog that it will demo the new Opera for Tablets at CES 2011. The video shows the browser running on the Samsung Galaxy Tab and highlights its scrolling and zooming functions. The video did not clarify whether Opera for Tablets would be available solely as a download, such as Opera Mini for iOS (App Store) and Mobile for Android, or if it would also be customized and embedded in yet-to-be specified tablet devices.
Plaintiff lays claim to basic interface command
Adobe, Apple, HTC and several other corporations are being sued over a basic interface command, court documents show. The plaintiff, Hopewell Culture and Design, accuses other firms of violating a patent titled Double-Clicking a Point-and-Click User Interface Apparatus to Enable a New Interaction with Content represented by an Active Visual Display Element. While seemingly covering a fundamental, long-used interface trope, the patent -- first filed for by Actify in 2002 -- suggests that double-clicking had previously "not been used to effect user input to a Web browser that uniquely corresponds to the double-click input."
Browser now available for Mac, Win, Linux
The Opera 11 browser has now exited its short-lived beta stage, and offers tab stacking, among other new features. The functionality, highlighted earlier, lets tabs be created simply by clicking and dragging. Other changes include a clearer safe address bar, about 200 extensions and extra translation options.