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In the middle of last month, Google and Samsung announced the Chromebook “for everyone”, a $249 device running Google’s Chrome OS. The Chromebook is nothing new, and it’s a project that I’ve always been fond of in concept.

The new Chromebook has already launched online and in retail stores, and is quite possibly set to see some success as the holiday season nears. Let’s take a look at the state of the Chromebook as we reach the end of the year. (more…)

The Mac.AppStorm team has done a great job over the past weeks rounding up the best in Mac news, giving our readers a great way to catch up on what’s happening in the world of Mac apps without having to stay glued to dozens of rumor sites. There’s been enough interesting web app news this week, I thought we could do the same thing over here at Web.AppStorm.

So, here’s a quick summary of the past weeks’ biggest web app news for your reading pleasure. We likely won’t do these posts weekly, but if you find it informative and enjoyable, I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments at the end of the post!


Oh Google. You startup so many new projects, and yet fail to see so many of them through to the end. Case in point, at least possibly: Chromebooks.

Chromebooks were supposed to be a new category of netbooks that only ran Chrome. They were netbooks with only a web browser. It doesn’t seem like such a bad idea, per se, but even as folks who review web apps for a living, none of our team could imagine getting rid of our Macs and PCs for a Chromebook. There’s still too many things we need native apps for.

Even Google didn’t seem so sold out on the idea of Chromebooks. After all, they also make Android for tablets, which has both a browser and native apps. Chromebooks could have been interesting if they were cheaper, but for the most part, they cost the same as PC netbooks, and often weren’t much cheaper than the iPad or larger Android tablets. In fact, with the iPad 2’s discounted price, they’re almost neck-to-neck on price.

Last year, around 30% of our readers said they’d wait and see if they wanted a Chromebook. That’s why we’re wondering: did you ever try one out? Do you still use it, or did it become an expensive paperweight? Would you still consider getting one today?


Tablets and smartphones have homescreens filled with apps, while more traditional computers have start menus or docs or search tools to find the apps you need. With web apps, though, it seems the best way for most of us to find apps is with random links in our bookmarks or just by googling the app every time we need it.

Users of Google’s excellent browser Chrome know how fundamental the new tab page is for keeping up with web apps, especially as Google’s focused more on the Chrome Web Store. However, while the standard new tab page is useable, it is lacking in terms of customization and is missing some pretty basic features. Speed Dial 2 is a free Chrome extension that not only fixes these problems, but makes the new tab page beautiful.


Twitter can be an awesome tool and is, with no doubt, my favourite social network. Personally, the sleek design and functionality of the Twitter app on Mac draws me to use native apps instead, but when I was a Windows users, the web app was my favourite method of connecting. Luckily, being browser-based, the Twitter website can be manipulated with some extensions to customise the experience you have with it.

In today’s roundup, we’re going to take a look at some of the best browser extensions that optimise, customise and manipulate the Twitter experience on the web.


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.


Look back six years ago, to the year 2005, and the Web is a different place. The Browser Wars are still raging, and while Netscape is putting up a valiant fight, Microsoft and Internet Explorer are looking more and more invincible. It looks like the Web will fall to the evil Empire, and there’s little that anyone can do to stop it.

And then, on June 7, 2005, Bertrand Serlet stepped onto the stage at WWDC and announced something no one really saw coming — the soul of Apple’s little upstart browser, Safari, was being open sourced. And it was called WebKit. Apple was once again trying to give Microsoft a run for their money, and they were going about it in a totally different way then anyone would’ve expected.

Think about it for a second. Apple is a notoriously secretive company. Why would they want to oversee an open source software project? To answer that question — and to properly judge how successful this open source endeavor has been — we have to take a look back at WebKit’s roots. But I’d also be remiss if I didn’t touch on what WebKit is becoming today, and where it could be heading tomorrow. Knowledge of the past is important, because it helps us understand the present — and to better prepare for the future.


Google, in association with Samsung and Acer, is launching the new Chromebooks today, a set of notebooks that run Google’s cloud-based operating system. If you’ve already seen all the coverage of what exactly the Chromebook is, including on AppStorm, you’ll know that a Chromebook has no local storage, and all applications are in fact web apps, just like the type we review here.

The Chrome Web Store is, as Jarel Remick explains, a marketplace for web applications that puts regular apps into a marketplaces with ratings and reviews. If you’re a new Chromebook user (or, anyone who’s started using the Chrome browser), today’s review might help you in choosing which apps should be your first install and could be the ticket to replacing a traditional computer.


Google is set to co-launch the Chromebook, a new category of computing, alongside Samsung and Acer this month. To recap for anyone who hasn’t already seen our coverage, a Chromebook is a notebook that runs only Google’s entirely cloud-based OS, Chrome OS. Two models, with WiFi or WiFi + 3G connectivity, will be available internationally on the mid-June release with special business and education programs available to help bulk customers distribute the costs.

However, there was another smaller announcement made during Google’s recent set of presentations – the Chromebox. The Chromebox is a so-called “nettop” that looks and feels like a Mac Mini, but runs the same cloud-based operating system. Naturally, I don’t think anyone sees this as a real desktop alternative, but it might have some indirect potential that could make it a true contender in certain markets. (more…)

We’re used to privacy and security scandals in this day and age. Sony, of course, recently leaked millions of users’ data (including credit card details) from their PlayStation Network just after Apple and Google were accused of tracking their users’ location. In recent years, we’ve come to expect that our data might get leaked at sometime in our online career. The latest revelation, however, comes from Chrome – and it’s accompanying web application store.

The Chrome Web Store was silently purged of two applications recently, both flash-based Super Mario games that were reported to have access to your browsing history, bookmarks and other website data. (more…)

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