Google Chrome Gets Windows 7 Taskbar Previews

In addition to the Form AutoFill feature in the latest dev version of , the new dev version has also added support for taskbar previews.

If you hover over the Chrome icon in the taskbar you will see previews for all the open tabs as seen in the screenshot below.

chrome_windows7_taskbar_previews

This is definitely good, since users will now be able to quickly jump to a tab without having to open the actual window. The Windows 7 Taskbar preview is only available in the developer version of Google Chrome.

Google Chrome Gets Form AutoFill, Finally

The latest development version of has added a much required feature, called Form AutoFill. This was one of the most requested feature from the missing Google Toolbar for other browsers like IE and Firefox.

Google Chrome AutoFill

Just like the Google Toolbar, Google Chrome now allows you to set up profiles and enter Addresses and Credit cards details which you can then use to fill out long and inane forms :-).

Chrome Autofill Profiles

AutoFill is enabled by default in Chrome dev v5.0.356.0. You can also add profiles and enable or disable the AutoFill settings by visiting Options -> Personal Stuff.

Microsoft Promises To Continue Improving SVG Support in IE 9

Earlier this week, Microsoft introduced Internet Explorer 9 developer preview, which showcases the improved rendering capabilities Internet Explorer. One of the biggest improvements in IE 9 is native SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics) support.

It’s simply shocking that it took Microsoft so long to realize SVG’s potential. SVG support has been present in other browsers like Firefox and Opera for half a decade and all major browsers other than Internet Explorer have some level of support for SVG.

SVG-Internet-Explorer

Earlier this year, Patrick Dengler- a Senior Program Manager at Microsoft, joined the SVG Working Group. Microsoft will be working with the W3C (World Wide Web Consortium) to ensure that their implementation is interoperable and will assist in ironing out ambiguities present in the SVG 1.1 specification.

SVG-Browser-Comparison

It is good that the sleeping giant is finally waking up. However, as illustrated by the CodeDread chart, Microsoft has a lot of hard work ahead of itself, if it dreams of ever catching up with the likes of Opera and Chrome.

Import Gmail and Twitter Contacts in Firefox

Mozilla labs has just released an experimental add-on which let’s you import contacts and email addresses of your friends right inside Firefox. The contacts are listed in a “Contacts” panel and integrate with local and web based address books to concatenate all the contacts at one place. Right now, the add-on works with Gmail, Twitter, Google Apps and personal address books.

To get started, install the contacts add-on and restart Firefox. Click “Tools” from the Firefox menu and choose “Contacts”.

import-contacts-firefox

This will open a new browser tab and you will see options to import your Twitter and Gmail contacts as shown below

import-contacts-in-firefox Click the import buttons provided next to a service and all the contacts will be imported in the Firefox contact manager.Once the contacts are listed, you can click on the email links to launch a new compose message with your default email application – Microsoft Outlook, Thunderbird or Gmail.

gmail-contacts

The good thing about the add-on is that you can import contacts from Gmail and Google Apps accounts and can view the email address even if you are offline. If you face problems importing the Twitter contacts, first try saving the username and password of your Twitter account in Firefox.

This add-on looks impressive and will be useful if you find yourself forgetting email addresses of people very often. Note that the native address book import is implemented for Os X only. More information about the add-on can be found on the project page.

Firefox 3.6 Now The Most Used Browser By Mozilla

Late last week, Mozilla started pushing update alerts to Firefox 3.5 users to upgrade their browsers to Firefox 3.6, looks like those alerts have borne some fruits, because Firefox 3.6 is now the most used Mozilla browser according to the recent stats.

Firefox 3.6 Most Used Browser

As of today, Firefox 3.6 is used by 43% of users as compared to 23% before the push. According to the Mozilla metrics team, around 75 million users made the switch to Firefox 3.6 since the past week.

As of today, almost 186 million people have downloaded Firefox 3.6 since it’s release on January 21st 2010, which is definitely a huge number, however, this is bound to grow in the next few weeks, when more users upgrade to FF 3.6.

firefox_36_adoption

Another interesting fact is that Firefox 3.6 has had the most early adoption trends as opposed to Firefox 3.5 and Firefox 3, this is most likely because Firefox 3.5 has had a lot of problems and crashes, and FF 3.6 provides a much more stable version of the browser.

Listen To Online Radio While Browsing The Web

crp_3

For Google Chrome on Windows and Linux Only: The Chrome Radio extension for Google Chrome makes it much easier to playback online radio streams right inside the browser. The extension is very nifty, streamlined and fits smoothly in the browser without interfering with the user’s browsing experience.

Radio stations can be saved within the extension and can be organized in groups, or say, genres. You can also assign quick access keys to five of your stations so that your favorites stay at your fingertips. The extension keeps track of your most played stations and if you want, will also autoplay the last played station on browser startup. Import and Export of station database is also supported.

Coming to the source of media, you can add radio stations from sites like di.fm, sky.fm and shoutcast. Just copy the playlist url (or stream url) from the webpage and add it to the extension. If you get lost, the extension should help you out with its FAQ page which highlights many questions such as how to add stations, where to find them et al.

Download Chrome Radio Player | Developer’s Website

Close Tab Most Popular Firefox Button, Popular Firefox Menu Items

Mozilla Labs has released a new test result which was used to find the most popular Firefox menu buttons, according to the initial findings, Close Tab is the most popular button used in Firefox, followed by New Tab, Bookmark Item, Back and Reload.

Mozilla Firefox Popular Buttons

However, according to further in-depth analysis it was found that most people used keyboard Shortcuts to close tabs and the mouse more often to bookmark items and copy paste content. You will also find a screenshot of menu usage, grouped by the menus in Firefox, in the screenshot below.

Most Popular Firefox Menu Items

An interesting thing that I could see in the data presented is that the New Tab operation is pretty less as compared to the close tab action, which suggests that users are either clicking on links on website, or using their bookmarks to open almost 50% of the tabs they are browsing.

More details on the most popular Firefox menu buttons and their usage can be found at Mozilla Labs.

Download Internet Explorer 9 (IE9) Preview With GPU Accelerated HTML5 Support

Today at MIX10, Microsoft unveiled the next generation of Internet Explorer browser, IE9. IE9 uses a new JavaScript engine called "Chakra" which has boosted it’s performance as compared to IE8 and browsers like 10.10 and Firefox 3.6, putting it behind Safari, and Opera 10.5.

IE9 Chakra JavaScript Performance

IE9 also supports   and CSS3, however, it falls way to shot in Acid3 tests scoring only 55/100 which is worse than most of the other browsers. IE9 supports GPU or hardware accelerated HTML5, which means that graphics and HTML5 videos will play much better on IE9 because it will utilize the graphics card for better performance.

ie9_preview_version

The IE blog has a much more detailed post on the new features in IE9. If you are interested, you can download a preview version of IE9 from here.

Microsoft Releases Workaround For Internet Explorer 0-Day Vulnerability

Internet-Explorer-0-day-VulnerabilityMicrosoft has released a couple of workarounds for the extremely critical Internet Explorer vulnerability we had discussed earlier. The workarounds are available as Fix It solutions, which can be applied directly from the browser.

The vulnerability in question is caused by an error in the Peer Factory class (iepeers.dll) and affects Internet Explorer 6 and 7. The impact of the vulnerability has been magnified by the public availability of the exploit code as well as presence of in-the-wild malwares exploiting this vulnerability.

The first workaround simply disable Peer Factory in the concerned systems while the second one enables DEP (Data Execution Prevention) protection for older versions of Internet Explorer.

The Fix-It solutions make it aptly clear that Microsoft is taking this issue extremely seriously. An update is currently being tested internally and would be pushed out to all affected users as soon as possible. However, in the meantime users stuck with older versions of Internet Explorer should immediately apply the workarounds.

[ Download and Apply Fix-It Solutions ]

A Comparison Of Twitter Clients For Google Chrome

In recent days, Google Chrome has really picked up pace. Hot on the heels of Firefox, Opera, Safari and pretty much any other browser out there, Google is trying to grab some significant market share and establish itself in the browser mart. When Chrome was still young, people hesitated to change browsers because they were wary of Chrome’s lack of support for extensions and other features that mature browsers like Firefox had, especially those gained by addons. Now that Chrome supports extensions and has nearly 4,500 of them in its repository people are considering using Chrome as a primary browser and ditching Firefox for the memory hog* that it is.

If people are going to use a browser full time, how can it not have support for Twitter? Chrome has had a few nice extensions for Twitter and we’re going to see which one is the best.

Chromed Bird

greenshot_2010-03-16_02-58-57 Chromed Bird is perhaps the first Twitter client that I tried on Chrome and I have been hooked onto it since day one. The only problem with Chromed Bird is that I can’t find any problem in it. Really. It just works, that’s all. It’s regularly updated and several of it’s setting can be modified from an options’ page. It has support for Lists and can also preview short urls on mouseover. Other than that, you can set refresh intervals for each column, define font for the text and color for the columns. People who’d like to keep a track of their shortened links would be delighted to know that Chromed Bird supports bit.ly authorization through it’s api key.You can also choose from 3 provided themes for the extension.

Pros: bit.ly and lists support,   agile, notifications.

Cons: No support for Twitpic or other similar services.

Tweetings

greenshot_2010-03-16_03-00-12 The first thing that you are going to notice about Tweetings is its beauty. It’s got that Mac-like look with sleek columns and shiny buttons. It looks just elegant. However, beauty and brains should go together, and for Tweetings, this combination came hereditarily. Tweetings is based on on Chromed Bird. The underlying engine is probably same and the functions and features are also identical. All you get apart from Chromed Bird is a new design a good design. (Tweetings is also available as a separate application for Windows and iPhone)

Pros: Personal account support for bit.ly and twtn.gs. Customizable retweet format.

Cons: No support for Twitpic or other similar services.

Metrist

greenshot_2010-03-16_03-00-51 Metrist’s design is nothing better than mediocre. Like all the others, you click a small icon in the menu bar and the application comes rolling down. Unlike Tweetings and Chromed Bird, Metrist doesn’t support Twitter’ oAuth, so you’ll have to enter in your Twitter username and password. Also, there is no support for lists, favorite-ing a tweet or Twitter new Retweet API. In spite of a dire lack of features, Metrist still stands as a decent Twitter client, for those who don’t need much except to post their one-forty characters.

Pros: Simple minimalistic design, agile.

Cons: No support for oAuth, no url shortening, no Twitpic, no new retweets or favorite-ing a tweet.

Skeet

greenshot_2010-03-16_03-01-26 The description for this extension is A simple, usable Twitter client for Chrome. Ok let’s see. Skeet might be simple but there ain’t no fun of being simple when you ain’t usable. All I could get on installing skeet was a 400error. The developer said that this error occurs when the user has crossed his Twitter API limit. However, I was still afar from reaching my limit when I always got this error. So instead of taking the pain myself, I referred to Clif’s review of Skeet that he made a few days ago. He says: Currently, my biggest problem with Skeet is that it disappears as soon as you click away from it. This can be maddening if you are in the middle of tweeting or replying, because your unfinished message also disappears.Oh well, I know how that feels. Making a compact 140 character tweet from thoughts of a million words takes effort.

Pros: Search twiter from within the client, attractive UI.

Cons: Unstable.

Verdict

If you ask me, I’d say Chromed Bird any day; but if you want your tweet workstation to look pretty, there’s no harm in using Chromed Bird’s little brother Tweetings.

*Memory hog: Now people may comment that firefox is no memory hog. People, once you use Chrome, firefox looks like a fox with a butt larger than Manuel Uribe. Believe me. :P