View Craigslist House Listings on Google Maps with CLMapper

If you live(d) in the U.S. you might have used or heard about Craigslist at some point of time. Craigslist is an online classified website which lets you sell or buy almost anything. It is a service which has been useful in finding used furniture, house for rent and more.

However, Craigslist is very simple as is and does not provide users with an intuitive interface that we are used to in several other services on the Internet, specially when it comes to apartment hunting. Previously, one of my favorite service, which I have used several times to find housing; PadMapper, used to provide a interface to map Craigslist house listings on a map. Unfortunately, Craigslist sent them a cease and desist to stop using data from the website.

While that in itself led several users to revolt at Craigslist, the revolt led to nothing and Padmapper will no longer show Craigslist listing on their site. Nevertheless, Craigslist is still useful for finding apartments and if you are a Padmapper user or are looking to view Craigslist listing on a map, you can use a simple Chrome listing which does something similar.

A Google Chrome Extension called CLMapper will allow you to view Craigslist posts on Google maps while you are browsing house listings Craigslist.

CLMapper Craigslist Apartment Mapper

Once you install the extension, you will be able to view all the apartments on an adjoining map as seen in the screenshot above. Clicking on the map will take you to the original Craigslist listing. This is definitely a useful PadMapper alternative because it allows you to only view apartments in a particular area and not browse through everything.

One thing I noticed that this extension does not work in all cities right now. For example, it does not work for New York. However, it does work for other cities/states like New Jersey and Phoenix.

Download CLMapper

SPDY/3 Support Comes To Google Chrome 22, Firefox Sandbox Builds

Google recently released 21 in the beta channel with support for Webcams and Gamepads. However, another important feature that Google has been working on is the introduction of SPDY (pronounced as Speedy) in the HTTP/2.0 specification. The SPDY protocol has gained a lot of momentum with committing to support the protocol yesterday and several other big players including Twitter and browsers such as 13 supporting it as well.

Chrome SPDY/3 Support

Google has been working on the SPDY protocol since 2009, with it being included in the HTTP/2.0 specifications in January 2012. Since then, several contributors have worked to release newer versions of the protocol with the latest being an experimental release dubbed SPDY/3. Google has also been testing the SPDY protocol on mobile as well. While the goal of the SPDY protocol is to speed up the web, it is up to websites and browsers to implement of the protocol.

However, it looks like two of the major browsers including Firefox and Google Chrome are already working on supporting the SPDY/3 protocol. While the SPDY/3 protocol is restricted to Sandbox builds of Firefox. Google Chrome dev and canary build versions also support SPDY/3 through a switch in about:flags. The support for SPDY/3 is available on Windows, Linux, Mac OS X and .

The SPDY protocol is definitely a step towards the future of the web and with major browser support it could help speed up how we access content on the web. Right now, other major browser like Internet Explorer, Safari and do not support SPDY, but hopefully they should do it in newer versions of their browser.

Google Chrome 21 Beta Introduces Native Support for Webcams and Gamepads

Google-ChromeGoogle has announced that Chrome 21 is ready for the beta channel. As always, the changelog isn’t spectacularly impressive, but there are a couple of new stuffs worth mentioning.

Google has been consistently pushing the boundaries of what a web browser can do. After enabling browsers to render sophisticated 3D graphics with the help of WebGL and Native Client, Google is aiming for plugin-less support for hardware peripherals like webcams and gamepads.

The first new feature in Chrome 21 is support for getUserMedia API that can be used to access the user’s webcam and mic without relying on any third-party plugins like Flash. Google is dubbing this as the first step towards “enabling high quality video and audio communication as part of WebRTC, a powerful new real-time communications standard for the open web platform”. Google currently has a few cool demoes to showcase what this piece of new technology can do. However, don’t expect it to gain prominence until other browser developers also move to support it. Opera 12 for desktop and mobile is the only other browser to support getUserMedia.

The other new feature is a JavaScript API called Gamepad. As the name suggests, this API allows browser-based games to directly access any standard gaming controller that is attached with the user’s system.

Both of these enhancements represent another step towards realizing Google’s dream of a fully featured browser based operating system.

In a separate announcement, Google also revealed that Chrome 22 onwards it will be dropping support for Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard).

[ Download Google Chrome 21 Beta ]

Google Chrome Causing Freezing and Crashing on New Mac Notebooks

This past week,  Gizmodo has higlighted freezing and crashing issues on several of its staff’s new MacBook Air models, linking the problems to Google Chrome. When the staff switched to Apple’s Safari browser, it has eliminated all the issue.

Now, Google has issued a statement to Gizmodo acknowledging that Chrome is the reason for the issues and discussing the steps it is taking to address the issue. Temporarily, Google has disabled Chrome’s GPU acceleration while it works on deploying a permanent solution. Google has also filed a bug report with Apple as such issues should not be able to cause an entire system to freeze or crash.

“We have identified a leak of graphics resources in the Chrome browser related to the drawing of plugins on Mac OS X. Work is proceeding to find and fix the root cause of the leak.

The resource leak is causing a kernel panic on Mac hardware containing the Intel HD 4000 graphics chip (e.g. the new Macbook Airs). Radar bug number 11762608 has been filed with Apple regarding the kernel panics, since it should not be possible for an application to trigger such behavior.

While the root cause of the leak is being fixed, we are temporarily disabling some of Chrome’s GPU acceleration features on the affected hardware via an auto-updated release that went out this afternoon (Thursday June 28). We anticipate further fixes in the coming days which will re-enable many or all of these features on this hardware.”

The issue is affecting all systems using Intel HD 4000 graphics, all of Apple’s notebook models released earlier this month may have the issue and owners of the new MacBook Pro models are indeed also reporting the issue.

Google Releases Chrome and Google Drive app for iOS

Yesterday, Google announced that it has released a version of Google Chrome for iPhone and iPad. The app is available via the App Store for free. . Macquarie analyst Ben Schacter predicted last month that Google Chrome was coming to iOS. The Chrome browser for iOS offers an “incognito” private browsing mode as well as syncing with the desktop version of Chrome. It also offers Google’s own unique tabbed browsing interface. [Direct Link]

Apple’s App Store rules don’t allow third-party developers to offer their own rendering or JavaScript engines. This means that the iOS version of WebKit must be used by all browsers available in the App Store. But Google’s Chrome for iOS will add its own user interface over Apple’s technical browser rules. Google also released an iOS app for Google Drive.  [App Store]

So wait, you can use Google Chrome on more than 90% of existing iOS device, but only 7.1% Android devices? Who would have thought?

Chrome For Android Graduates From Beta

With Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and the Nexus 7 tablet, Google announced that it will be replacing the stock Ice Cream Sandwich browser with Chrome. Now, Google has already released a new update for Chrome for Android without the ‘beta’ tag. Yes, Chrome for Android is finally out of beta.

While there is no official change-log available for the update, the new version definitely feels a lot faster than the beta version along with reduced RAM usage on my Galaxy Nexus. Apart from this, I found no other changes in the final version compared to the previous beta version. Chrome for Android can be downloaded for free from the Google Play store.

With Chrome for Android becoming the default browser in Jelly Bean, Google has effectively killed Flash Mobile for Android. Time for web developers to shift to HTML5 based websites now.

Chrome Starts Blocking Extensions, Apps and Greasemonkey Scripts Outside Chrome Store

When Google launched the Store, it was one a good step ahead to provide users with Extensions and apps from a centralized location. However, Chrome still allowed users to install extensions and user scripts from any website making it a little insecure.

Chrome Blocking Extensions

However, it looks like Google is now beefing up on security and disallowing users from installing extensions, apps and user scripts from outside the . Users will now be prompted with a message saying “Extensions, apps and user scripts can only be added from the Chrome Web Store” when they try to install something which is not part of the Chrome Web Store.

While this is a good thing, it means that and Stylish scripts will stop working out of the box now unless a users changes Chrome’s settings or till they are included as a part of the Chrome Web Store.

So will users be able to still install extensions and scripts that are not part of Chrome Web Store? Well, the answer is Yes. Earlier this month, Martin from GHacks had posted about this problem and the potential fix. The fix is listed in a Chrome bug report which says:

You are no longer supposed to be able to install extensions off-store in Chrome. See  bug 55584  for details.

In order to install off-store extensions, the user must download them to a directory and drag them onto chrome://extensions/.

I intend to polish this UI a bit to hide the download bar so that people don’t click on it. I’d also like to add some UI that tells users that extension install is disabled off store or something, but we still haven’t figured out what that will look like.`

The bug referred in the above fix was a feature request which will allow enterprise users to disable users from installing extensions outside the Chrome Store while providing them with an option to whitelist other sources through an admin interface.

So dragging and dropping those extensions and user scripts to the extension page should currently allow you to install those extensions. You can also completely disable this feature by loading Chrome with the “–enable-easy-off-store-extension-install” flag. However, this is not recommended.

*Please note that the blocking currently does not happen in stable builds of Google Chrome.

Chrome Tries to Slim Down by Unloading Inactive Extensions from Memory

Google-ChromeWhen Google released Chrome browser, it promised a bloat-free and light-weight browsing experience. However, over the years, Chrome has put on a fair amount of weight. I still wouldn’t call it bloated, but I have consistently found Chrome to be the most demanding of all the browsers that I use. One of the major contributors to Chrome’s overhead is extensions. Now, Google is trying to do something about it.

Google has announced a new feature called “Event Pages” that will enable extension developers to put their Chrome extensions on a diet. All current generation Chrome extensions continue running in the background, even if they aren’t being actively used. Event Pages will allow developers to create extensions that will automatically be unloaded from the memory, if the user is not interacting with it.

Chrome has always been resource hungry due to its architecture. All plug-ins, extensions, and tabs have their own process. This means that on the whole Chrome require mores CPU cycles and memory than other browsers. Modern day computers do have sufficient memory to handle a browser, even a resource hungry one. Still, it’s still heartening to see Chrome developers trying to keep the extension overhead under control, as Chrome will also have to run on devices like the Chromebook.

This feature is currently available in the Chrome Dev Channel, and will be incorporated in Chrome Beta and Stable channels over the summer.

HP’s WebOS Enyo Team is Joining Google

Earlier this year, HP released the Enyo framework source code as open source software under the Apache 2.0 license. This was done as part of HP’s bigger plan of open sourcing the entire WebOS platform. The WebOS open sourcing effort will reach a closure in August. WebOS was an excellent mobile platform and its UX has been appreciated widely. Popular mobile platforms like Android and Blackberry borrow heavily from it and this open sourcing would have helped HP create a competitive mobile platform. However, HPs plans have been disrupted with some latest development.

hp-webosThe Verge writes in an exclusive report saying that the entire WebOS Enyo team will leave HP to start working at Google shortly. This strikes a serious blow to the future of WebOS. It is not known what the awesome people in the Enyo team will do at Google. One of the best comments on the post was perhaps:

Google buys Palm for zero billion dollars.

Android took a major UX leap with design ideas from Matias Duarte and it showed in Honeycomb. Now, with the entire Enyo team and Matias Duarte under its belt, Android might just rock the mobile segment.

Google can either borrow their mobile expertise for improving the Android user experience, or leverage their HTML5 expertise to create a better ecosystem for Google Chrome and Chrome OS. Looking at the technology stack that the Enyo team worked on, the latter seems more probable. Either way, Google has gotten hold of a golden goose, which will lay golden eggs. What remains to be seen, is which way the eggs roll.

Chrome Surpasses Internet Explorer to Become the World’s Most Popular Web Browser

It’s been over several months since I last used Internet Explorer. Perhaps it could be the same case with you as well. Over the last two years, Internet Explorer has not only lost momentum, but the number of IE users have drastically dropped. Right from the first day of Chrome’s release, it has been a serious threat to the future of Internet Explorer, and today we see the fate of once-upon-a-time popular browser — Internet Explorer, going down the drain.

According to the latest figures from StatCounter, for the first time ever, Google Chrome has become one of the most popular Web browsers worldwide, surpassing Microsoft’s Internet Explorer. Chrome has taken an overall lead with 32.76 percent share, while IE has drastically dipped to 31.94 percent.

Chrome Become's World's Most Popular Web Browser

Back in March this year, Chrome had surpassed IE, however, that was just for one single day over the weekend. The browser reached 32.7 percent of the global rankings on March 18. Chrome was pushed back behind, as IE continued to dominate in the market.

Exactly a year back, IE dominated the Web browser market with a 43 percent share, which was followed by Mozilla Firefox with 29 percent share. Chrome, which was picking its pace slowly, was at the third position with just 19 percent share. Today, IE has lost almost 12 percent market share while Google’s Chrome has grown by 13 percent to the dominate IE and Firefox.

StatCounter’s data is based on over 15 billion page views per month (4 billion from the US; 850 million from the UK) to the StatCounter network of more than three million websites. StatCounter’s statistics are prominently considered to be reliable, however, stats shared by NetMarketShare are quite radical and differ widely. NetMarketShare’s stats show that Internet Explorer had 54.09 percent share this month followed by Firefox with 20 percent share, and Chrome placed in the third position with 18.85 percent.

Browser Market Share

It is known that most of Chrome’s traffic share is from Asia and South America, however, IE and Firefox are still dominating in North America and Europe. In India, Chrome has already achieved the number one spot with 8 percent lead over Firefox. On the other hand, IE continues to rule in Japan, China and South Korea with nearly 50 percent of traffic share.