My former workplace had very restrictive IT policies and so every computer was locked down, which meant that to install any software, you needed the administrator password. And the last time Canonical released a new version of Ubuntu, it was a living nightmare for me. I needed to download that OS as quick as possible to write about it, but as anyone who has downloaded Ubuntu on day zero knows, it’s pretty much impossible to do that through the direct HTTP download. And here I was, stuck on a PC that wouldn’t let me grab it off the torrent like I usually do.
How I wish I knew about BitTorrent Surf at that time…
If you had to pick a device that either had any native app you wanted other than a browser, or one that only had a browser and no other offline apps, which would you pick? Chances are, you’d pick the device with a browser. The internet’s a great place for reading, finding info, and social network, but it’s also many of our go-to way to stay productive and get entertainment. You can do anything in your browser, from playing Angry Birds to solving complicated integration problems in Wolfram Alpha.
Pretty soon, you might even be using your browser to dial phone numbers and take pictures, if Mozilla has its way. It’s working on an innovative browser-based phone OS called Boot to Gecko where everything you use in the whole device is coded in HTML5. It’s also working on a new cross-device apps marketplace to let you buy web-based apps that run and feel more like native apps.
Could something like this actually change the mobile app ecosystem?
I’m guessing most of us use some sort of notifications system within our day-to-day workflow. On our smartphones and tablets, we get sounds, alerts and other visualisations to bring new or modified information to our tablet and even on the traditional computer, most of us here a unique chime everytime an email hits our inbox.
For any fans of The Office, you might remember WUPHF.com, a service the character Ryan Howard setup based around the concept of an aggregated notifications service which handles all of a user’s alerts and sends them out to each one of their platforms. If was presented in a comedic way in the show, but I think there’s a strong case for a service like that. (more…)
The possibilities of browsing Internet content nowadays is pretty much endless. There is such a range of web browsers out there that it gives you a headache deciding between them all. Given the recent explosion of smartphones and tablets such as Apple’s iPad in recent years, web browsing has been made mobile. In today’s technology-obsessed world, if you’re cut off from the Internet, you’re just about cut off from life itself.
Yet given all these new-fangled browsers, the actual way of internet browsing hasn’t really changed over the years. Take Google for example. Apart from the odd tweak here and there, the world’s most popular search engine looks pretty much the same as it did several years ago, where it was competing among the likes of Altavista, Lycos and Yahoo.
Yes, if it isn’t broken then don’t fix it. However, you’d think there would be a more intuitive way of browsing through images and videos. I certainly do. And this is where Cooliris comes in. Believe it or not, it’s actually a browser plug-in rather than a standalone app, and what a plug-in it is. It is, for the time being anyway, the best way to browse interactive media such as pictures, videos and games on the Internet.
The goal of all Internet startups is so very predictable. Most of them want to be the next Google. And the rest of them want to gain some quick traction, so that they can be acquired by Google. And in turn, Google doesn’t disappoint them either.
As soon as there is a promising Internet startup in the radar, Google starts circling around it and snaps it up even before the competition calls a board meeting to ponder any such move. Now with Facebook in the mix, Google has only become more aggressive in snapping up more up-and-coming companies.
It’s good that Google captures the imagination of young entrepreneurs, but the rate at which they close the products and services is very alarming. Is Google becoming a graveyard of Internet startups?
There’s no question that one of the premier features of the Firefox web browser is extensions. Since Firefox’s inception they’ve been a part of what differentiated it. And even now, when every major browser on the market offers some kind of plugin architecture, the depth and quality of Firefox’s add-on catalog still reigns supreme.
The best part of Firefox’s add-on community is its continued dedication to creating new and exciting things. We’ve rounded up 20 Firefox extensions you may not have heard of before. Perhaps a couple of perennial favorites made our list too, but for the most part we’ve culled together some of the latest and greatest that the add-on community has to offer.
In this cross platform, web app driven, fully integrated world, we are always looking for ways to get our information faster, get notified quicker, get up-to-the-second updates, and do more without having to bounce around to different websites. It’s why we use RSS, it’s why we use Twitter, and it’s why we have a ton of apps on our phones and a bunch of widgets on our desktops. In my search for better integration, I overlooked a fairly simple solution for accessing my web apps- the browser. Yes, I still go to facebook.com or groupon.com to get my updates, but I never thought of looking to the browser for a tool that integrates my webapps together.
ALOT offers exactly that- a simple, browser driven solution for easily checking your favorite web apps and bringing information to you.
Mozilla’s Paul Rouget made a splash on the web this week with the question, “Is IE9 a modern browser?” and a most definitive answer, “NO”. The post makes a great argument as to why IE9 is “more modern, but not really modern.”
And of course the post’s accompanying infographic is well worth checking out for a more visual perspective on the subject. Microsoft responded with several valid points of their own on the subject, adding more heat to the continual browser wars.
Many of us are biased for one reason or another, while it’s difficult for others to really say what a “modern browser” is since it isn’t clearly defined. Personally, I’m biased and don’t believe IE9 will be a “modern”, competitive browser for any other reason than it’s what has been used for so long, by so many, but IE — I can only hope — will continue it’s market share decline.
What do you think? Is IE9 a modern browser? Once fully released, do you think it will compete with Chrome, Safari or Firefox?
This week has been pretty busy for both bigger and smaller companies in the online universe. Google trying the hardest among the lot, working towards making internet a better place as always (all the while collecting & mining data). Bit.ly pulled one more rabbit out of their hat, Mozilla showcased its financial might and Meebo jumped on the check-in bandwagon.
At the end of a week, a few times per month, we’ll bring you some of the best web app news and updates. App developers, this is a great time to familiarize yourselves with our contact form to submit your news or tips.
Read on after the break for some of this weeks best web app news and updates.