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.
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.
Browsers vary wildly on different platforms
Noted Windows review site Tom's Hardware recently reviewed the latest versions of some of leading web browsers running on Mac OS X and Windows 7 and found that, overall, Mac browsers -- particularly the one judged the best overall, Safari (v5.1) -- were catching up and in a few cases exceeding the Windows browsers, particularly with page load times, Flash, HTML5 and WebGL. Google's Chrome was judged the best overall for Windows and a stiff competitor on OS X as well.
Standard blasted by security researchers
Security research firm Context has issued a report criticizing WebGL, the 3D graphics standard used in popular browsers such as Firefox, Chrome and Safari. The report points to several serious vulnerabilities that are said to leave systems open to attacks. Experimental exploits reportedly used malicious code to gain access to a computer's core operating system.
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.
Tests limited to few elements
The Worldwide Web Consortium (W3C) has published results from its first set of HTML5 compliance tests, which were topped by the latest Internet Explorer 9 beta. Microsoft's browser was found to adhere to a limited set of features more closely than Firefox 4 beta 6, Chrome 7, Opera 10.6, and Apple's Safari 5 browsers.
Firefox Home to remain primary iOS utility
Mozilla has outlined its future plans for Firefox Home, the App Store utility that serves as a bridge between the desktop Firefox experience and iOS browsers. Although the app has been periodically updated with additional features from the desktop software, the company claims it is not working to make mobile Firefox browser for the iPhone.
System "sandboxes" tabs for stability, security
Figures linked to Mac, Linux Chrome betas
Usage of Google's Chrome web browser surpassed that of Apple's Safari for the first time last week, says tracking firm Net Applications. The company monitors roughly 160 million visitors to 40,000 sites, and notes that Chrome users represented 4.4 percent of the market between December 6th and the 12th. The figure was a growth of 0.4 percent over the month of November, and beat out Safari's 4.37 percent share.
No beta extensions yet, says Google
An early implementation of extensions for the Mac version of Chrome should return by the end of the week, says Google. While extensions were fully enabled on Tuesday for Windows users, the technology has remained in a primitive form on Macs. The first Mac support is being provided exclusively through the dev channel versions of the browser, not the public beta.
Open-source browser takes on Firefox, Safari
Google has finally released a beta version of its Chrome browser for the Mac platform, following a year of availability for Windows users. The open source software is designed to compete with other popular browsers such as Safari and Firefox. The latest release offers many of the same features as the Windows version, although the early Mac beta still lacks several capabilities.
Mac software long in development
Google has finally released the Mac beta of Chrome, which follows long after the original Windows beta, released in September 2008. As with Safari, Chrome runs on a WebKit engine claimed to quickly and accurately render pages. The Google software differs in design, pushing tabs to the top of the browser, while using an "Omnibox" that combines search and URL fields into a single bar.
Browser long missing from Mac platform
Google will finally release a public Mac beta of Chrome in early December, says a product manager for the browser, Neil Baum. A Google spokesman has meanwhile declined to offer a specific date, but does note that Baum's timeframe is consistent with promises to release beta software before the end of the year. Developer channel versions have been available since June, but are not recommended for most people due to stability problems.
Also addresses security holes
Neglected browser approaches major update
Cuts off theoretical attacks
Draws fire from Mozilla designer
Apple's Safari browser may occupy too central position in upcoming European versions of Windows, critics say. Users should soon be presented with a special browser ballot, explaining what web browsers are, and more crucially offering a choice of apps beyond Internet Explorer. The feature comes as a result of pressure from the European Commission, which has accused Microsoft of hampering competition by bundling IE with Windows, forcing developers to design for it and potentially limit their innovation.
Timeframe suggests accelerated development
The Mac version of Chrome should be released before Christmas this year, suggests Google CEO Eric Schmidt. The executive made the revelation at a New York press conference, in the middle of answering a question about the browser's overall marketshare. Chrome's share has been disparaged by Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, who recently called the browser "a rounding error." Microsoft's Internet Explorer remains the dominant web browser worldwide.
May close some common vulnerabilities
Beginning with two Tuesday updates, all future iterations of Mozilla's Firefox browser will check for at least some outdated plug-ins, the company has announced. Firefox 3.5.3 and 3.0.14 will both scan for the latest version of Flash, prompting users to visit a link where an updated plug-in can be downloaded. "For now, our focus is on the Adobe Flash Player both because of its popularity and because some studies have shown that as many as 80 percent of users currently have an out-of-date version," says Firefox security team member Johnathan Nightingale.
Firefox 3.6 alpha debuts
Mozilla has published the first alpha preview of Firefox 3.6. The upcoming release is codenamed Namoroka, and in its completed form should represent an intermediate step towards Firefox 3.7, a major browser upgrade expected sometime in 2010. The v3.6 alpha nevertheless includes several important changes, such as a new Gecko rendering engine, upgraded to v1.9.2.
Firefox 3.5.2 update
Mozilla has released Firefox 3.5.2, updating its multi-platform web browser. A key fix in the release aids photographers, illustrators and other graphics professionals, by now properly rendering images with ICC profiles on all monitors. Such profiles are used to define color spaces, ensuring that the colors depicted on a display are those intended.
Safari 4.0.2 update
Post-Firefox 3.5 patch
Having just released Firefox 3.5 on Tuesday, Mozilla is already developing a minor troubleshooting update. The company says it expects Firefox 3.5.1 to be released in mid-to-late July, fixing three bugs and "topcrashes," referring to the most common crashes experienced by users. "[The] goal of this release should be a quick turnaround that fixes topcrashes and bugs we almost held ship for," a note states.
FireFox hidden gestures
MacMagazine has released a tutorial on how to enable multi-touch gestures in Firefox 3.5. The gestures allow users to alternate tabs via twisting. By opening a new window or tab in FireFox and typing “about:config” into the address bar, users can gain access to a filter list; in some cases a warning message may pop-up when loading the filter list. Users then search for “browser.gesture” within the filter search bar, in order to get a full list of settings which consists of controls and gestures.
11M Safari 4 downloads
Over 11 million copies of the final version of Safari 4 have been downloaded in a space of three days, Apple claims. The software became available for Macs and PCs on Monday, following Apple's WWDC keynote. Prior to the keynote, a beta version of the web browser had been available since February. It is not known how many downloads of the beta were recorded.
Safari 4 official release
Early Chrome for Mac build
Google has begun distributing a very early build of Chrome for the Mac. The company warns that the browser -- still in developer channels -- remains very unstable, and may exhibit behaviors such as crashes. The software is moreover missing many basic features, such as the ability to print, change privacy settings or even load Flash videos from sites like YouTube.
Firefox 3.0.10 update
Only days after the release of v3.0.9, Mozilla has posted a another update for Firefox, bringing the web browser to v3.0.10. The update is mainly intended to fix a "major stability issue," but also fixes a security flaw related to the @nsTextFrame::ClearTextRun() command. It is available as a 1.5MB download through the Firefox auto-updater, or else from the Mozilla website.
Firefox 3.0.9 update
Mozilla has posted the v3.0.9 update to Firefox, its multi-platform web browser. The patch is mainly said to address "several" security and stability problems. Also fixed though is a recurring problem with database corruption, which would previously prevent Firefox from accessing stored cookies.
CoolIris updates plugin
CoolIris has updated its plug-in that is designed to improve the way web browsers display pictures, video and other digital content. The new version offers enhanced support for Facebook galleries, new ease-of-use improvements and options to add metadata to photos and videos. For the first time, users can also display images stored on their hard drives.
Firefox 3.1 becomes 3.5
Stainless 0.5 browser
Mesa Dynamics has released what it calls a "significant" update to its proprietary web browser, Stainless. The app is now being developed as a full product rather than a technology demo, and predominantly features separate processes for each tab, as in Google's Chrome software. The scheme can dramatically increase speed and memory efficiency while browsing, as well as stability.
Apple posts Safari 4 beta
Custom Chrome for Mac
A primitive Mac version of Google's Chrome browser has been compiled by an independent coder and released to the public. The build, number 9780, is actually based on the development Chromium version of the Mac browser, which is still in a early state and may not produce a formal Mac version of Chrome until as late as June. The custom build is nevertheless said to add working links, and be less than 50ms slower than a recent WebKit nightly build.
Mac Chrome in early phases
The Mac version of Google's Chrome web browser continues to make progress, but at a slow speed, one of its developers hints. Work during the past couple of months is said to have mostly revolved around basic layout tests and WebKit compatibility, and only recently progressed to developing the interface. Links remain non-functional, and renderers are said to regularly crash.
Mozilla joins EU vs. MS
Mozilla is throwing its support behind a European Commission ruling on bundling Microsoft's Internet Explorer with Windows, according to the company's CEO. Microsoft received a Statement of Objection from the Commission last month, accusing it of violating European competition laws. The action was initially sparked by a complaint from Opera, which produces third-party web browsers. Mozilla itself develops the Firefox browser.
Firefox 3.1 optimization
Mac owners searching for a faster version of Firefox may be able to turn to a custom-developed build, an independent coder claims. While the current official build of the web browser is v3.0.6, Mozilla is presently seeding a beta of v3.1, sometimes known as Shiretoko. The Mac beta is said to be unoptimized for Intel processors however, which has led to Chris Latko's creation of a custom version under open-source rules.
Firefox 3.0.6 update
Alternate iPhone browsers
Recently-introduced "alternative" browsers for the iPhone are mostly weak, and not truly separate from Safari, reports allege. Though Incognito
is said to be useful for its ability to privatize browsing information, it along with browsers like Squeaky, WebMate
and Shaking Web
are said to be simple extensions of Safari, with one or two unique features sometimes coming at the expense of core aspects like bookmarks. The only major free title, Edge Browser, is in fact said to lack forward and back buttons.
3rd-party iPhone browsers
A slate of new third-party web browsers has unexpectedly appeared at the App Store, reports indicate. The browsers were all published within a short space of time, and include titles such as the 99-cent WebMate, which queues up multiple links without switching to them, and the $1.99 Incognito, which deliberately omits any history tracking. Apple has not made any special notice of the software's existence.
Safari RSS vulnerability
A vulnerability in both the Mac and Windows versions of Safari may present serious privacy concerns, says coder Brian Mastenbrook. The problem, said to have been confirmed by Apple, is specifically related to the application's built-in RSS reader, which may be exploitable to read the contents of a person's hard drive. The exploit is triggerable by visiting a malicious website, and could in theory allow access to items like e-mail and passwords.
Safari use rises in Dec.
Minority browsers grew in popularity again during the month of December, according to tracking figures from Net Applications. Marketshare for Mozilla's Firefox reached 21.34 percent, up from 20.78 percent in November; Apple's Safari jumped from 7.13 to 7.93 percent, and Google's new, Windows-only Chrome browser shifted from 0.83 to 1.04 percent. This marks the first time the software has been over the 1 percent mark.
iPhone use during Xmas
Adding to recent iPod figures, new data suggests that the iPhone sold well throughout the Christmas shopping season as well. During the week of Christmas, iPhone browser share is said to have risen 35.7 percent over the week before, reaching 0.57 percent of all browser use. This figure is also more than 50 percent higher than the average iPhone share in November, which was 0.37 percent.
Highbrow for Mac
Helium Foot Software has announced Highbrow, a browser management utility for Macs. Allowing users to switch between web browsers at a whim, the program presents three main options: choosing a preferred browser, the most recently-opened one, or manual selection. Highbrow provides a small menu on the Menu Bar that enables users to simply click on a browser of choice and surf the web, without having to adjust preferences in an individual browser.
Firefox 3.1 B2 adds touch
A newer beta version of Firefox adds multi-touch support, Mozilla has announced. For owners of MacBooks with multi-touch trackpads -- new and old -- Firefox 3.1 beta 2 includes a variety of supported gestures, mainly swipes. Swiping left and right with three fingers will move forward and backward through a browser's history, while swiping up and down will jump to the beginning or end of a page.
No Opera Mini for iPhone
iPhone owners should not expect to see the Opera web browser on the device anytime soon, says Jon Stephenson von Tetzchner, CEO of the company. Von Tetzschner notes that while engineers have developed a version of Opera Mini for iPhones, Apple is blocking release through the App Store, due its competition with the built-in Safari browser. Opera Mini is used frequently on other smartphones, and speeds up mobile browsing by delivering stripped-down versions of websites.
Flock 2.0 browser released
The developers of Flock have announced v2.0 of the browser, which is launching today across multiple platforms. Flock is oriented towards social networking sites, and thus has built-in functions for sites such as Digg, Flickr and Twitter. The second edition adds support for MySpace through the MySpace Data Availability platform, which lets users track contacts via the People Sidebar, and browse or share photos, links and videos.
Firefox 3.1 beta 1 posted
ChunkIt web search tool
TigerLogic has unveiled ChunkIt!, a tool for searching "behind the links" in Google searches or on any other web page. The application automatically scans the links on a page, and fetches information from them that might be valuable to filtering by relevance, without actually navigating to each site. When shopping sites are browsed, keywords are highlighted in item descriptions; research sites -- including LexisNexis, JSTOR, ScienceDirect and Wikipedia -- can all be previewed through the software.
Opera updated to 9.6
Opera Software has released the latest version of its web browser, Opera 9.6. The update enhances the performance of Opera's built-in e-mail client, and also adds new features to Opera Link, a free browser synchronization service. Opera Link now lets people synchronize custom search engines and typed history, meaning visited websites will be available across all of a user's computers. A new feed preview has been added as well, permitting users to see RSS feeds before subscribing to them or creating bookmarks.