Google Chrome 12 Released to Dev Channel; Adds Experimental New Tab Page, Multi-Tab Select

Google Chrome 12 (v12.0.712.0) has made it to the development channel from the Canary Build. The new version adds a few new features to the browser and contains more behind the scenes updates and code refactoring.

One of the new features in 12 is called multi-tab select (Windows only). This feature allows you to select multiple tabs using the Ctrl button and perform actions on them like reloading all webpages or closing tabs among other things. I tried working with this feature but could not use it very well.

chrome_12_new_tab_page_experimental

Another new feature available in this build is an experimental new tab page (through about:flags). The new experimental tab page adds a paged navigation for apps which will allow users to scroll through all the installed apps. It looks like it is more geared towards touch interfaces. However, this experimental new tab page is in its infancy stage and does not do much as of now.

Chrome 12 also has a new experimental feature called FPS counter which will display a page’s actual frame rate (FPS) when hardware acceleration is active. Other than that, the V8 engine has been updated to 3.2.3.1 in all versions of the browser.

Update: Google Chrome 12 also reverts back the new logo that was introduced earlier and switches back to the older one.

Google Looks to Curb Chrome’s Ballooning Installer Size, Constitutes Task Force to Reverse the Bloat

Three years ago, Google shook up the browser world by announcing Chrome. Since then, it has gone on to redefine what we expect from a modern web browser. Even if you are not a Chrome user, you are probably reaping the benefits of the innovations introduced by Google. Almost all browsers, including Internet Explorer, Firefox, Opera and Safari, have adopted the minimalistic appearance introduced by Chrome.

Chrome, which started off as a bare-bones browser, has added a significant number of features to its repertoire over the past few years. However, the new features have come at a cost. As pointed out by Shankland, it has gone from being approximately 9 MB in version 1.0 to more than 26 MB in version 10.0.

Google-Chrome-Installer-Size
Google Chrome Installer Size (Chart by Shankland)

Chrome is currently smaller than Safari, which is a 34 MB download, but is doing a lot worse than Firefox and Opera. Firefox 4 is a 12 MB download, while Opera 11.10 Beta measures in at just 9 MB.

The increase in broadband penetration around the world means that download size is less of an issue than it was three years back. However, it’s still an issue. Opera recently changed its installer, and stopped bundling Unite extensions to reduce the download size. The chief disadvantages of having a large binary size pointed out by Chrome Developer Ian Fette are:

1. We do distribution deals with Chrome, where we bundle Chrome with other products. These get difficult when our binary grows.
2. We see increased download failures / install dropoffs as the binary grows, especially in countries with poor bandwidth like India. India also happens to be a very good market for Chrome (we have good market share there and growing), so that’s also very problematic.

One way to tackle the problem of failed installations would be to provide an offline installer, instead of the web-installer that Google currently serves by default. The other way is, of course, to reduce the download size. Google has decided to take the second route. It has launched a new task force that will aggressively look at options to reduce the installation size. While the Windows edition of Chrome is the primary focus of attention, Chrome for other platforms should also benefit from this move.

It would be irresponsible to dub Chrome as a bloat. Nevertheless, it’s true that the installer is larger than I would have preferred. It’s heartening to see that Google jumping in before the ballooning binary size became a serious issue. What is your thought on Chrome? Has it become too bloated? Don’t forget to let us know.

Firefox 4 Officially Released, Crosses One Million Downloads Within Hours

After a dozen betas, and two release candidates, Mozilla has finally released the public build of Firefox 4. It took nearly a year to come, but now that it’s here, expect it to break all records. With well over five thousand downloads per minute, at the moment, Firefox seems well poised to go past the ten million mark. You can tack Firefox 4 downloads in realtime from glow.mozilla.org.

Firefox Although, several planned features were dropped from Firefox 4, as it struggled to stay on schedule, Firefox 4 is a meaty update, which boasts of some pretty significant enhancements.

The user interface has been refined to give the website higher priority. Tabs are now on top (as they should be), and the menu bar has been replaced with a single “Firefox” button.

Firefox 4 is significantly faster than its predecessors, courtesy of the new JagerMonkey JavaScript engine, and should be able to hold its own against the likes of Opera 11, Chrome 10 and Internet Explorer 9. Also new to this build is hardware (GPU) acceleration and WebGL support. Unfortunately, hardware acceleration is currently not supported in Linux. WebGL compatibility means that Firefox is ready to meet the demands of the new age, graphics intensive web-applications and games.

Other new features in Firefox 4 include in-built synchronization option, “Panaroma” tab organization, app tabs, multi-touch support, DNT (Do Not Track) header support, WebM video playback, crash protection for popular plug-ins (Flash, QuickTime, Silverlight etc.), HTML 5 parser, and open type fonts support. The full changelog for Firefox 4 is available here.

Firefox-4-Download-Count

Firefox 4 for Windows, Mac and Linux is available in more than seventy languages from firefox.com.

Opera Mini 6 and Opera Mobile 11 Released for Java, Symbian, Android, BlackBerry, Windows 7 and Meego

Is today a big day, or what! Amazon’s Android App Store will be released today. The much-delayed Firefox 4 is also slated to officially arrive soon. And now, Opera Software has made what is possibly the biggest product launch in its history. Opera Mini 6 and Opera Mobile 11 have been released for as many as six different platforms. Here’s a quick summary of the new stuff from the Norwegian browser vendor:

  • Opera Mini 6 for Java
  • Opera Mini 6 for Android
  • Opera Mini 6 for Symbian
  • Opera Mini 6 for legacy Symbian (S60 v2)
  • Opera Mini 6 for Blackberry
  • Opera Mobile 11 for Android
  • Opera Mobile 11 for Symbian
  • Opera Mobile 11 for Windows 7 (tablets and touch-screen devices)
  • Opera Mobile 11 for Meego

While Opera might be the little guy in the desktop segment, it is the king of mobile browsers. It already has more than 100 million users worldwide, and the number just keeps on increasing. Opera Mobile is Opera Software’s full-fledged mobile browser, which uses the same rendering engine (Presto) as Opera for desktop, and brings a desktop-like browsing experience to mobile devices. Opera Mini was originally developed for budget phones, which didn’t meet the hardware and software requirements of Opera Mobile. In Opera Mini, the webpage is routed through Opera’s servers, where all the rendering is done, and a static and highly compressed representation of the page is sent to the browser.

Opera-Mobile-11-Android

There are quite a few exciting improvements in both the products. The first thing that will catch your attention is the new skin. The bright shades of red, which have been a part of Opera’s mobile offerings for a long long time, have been replaced by a sleek black gradient.

Opera-Mobile-11-Android-Sharing-Options

Also new is the “Share” option, which enable you to quickly share a link through Twitter, Facebook and other social networks. The lack of sharing options was one of my major grievances with Opera Mobile 10 for Android, and I am glad that Opera Software has rectified this rather quickly.

Opera-Mobile-11-Windows-7-Tablets

Unsurprisingly, Opera’s mobile offerings are now optimized for high-resolution devices like tablets. This bit was already demoed at SXSW and MWC, and now you can try it yourself. Scrolling, panning, and zooming should be a lot smoother than before, and pinch-to-zoom support is included in all devices that are capable of supporting it.

All versions of Opera Mini and Opera Mobile can be downloaded directly on your mobile phone from m.opera.com.

Get Back Old Facebook Comment Button – Fix Enter to Comment On Facebook

recently rolled out a new change to their user interface where they got rid of the Comment button and allowed users to comment by hitting the Enter key. However, this was a bit annoying to users who did not know about it and innocently hit enter to add a new line to their comment. When they did this, the comment was automatically posted. (Hint: use Shift + Enter to add a new line)

Facebook Comment Button

If you are someone who has been annoyed by this problem, there is a quick and easy fix to get back the old comment button on Facebook through a script.

To get the old comment button back in Facebook, head over to http://www.crypticide.com/alecm/chrome/ and click on the FixSillyFacebook.user.js to install the Greasemonkey script in and (you will need the Greasemonkey add-on). If you are using or Internet Explorer or Safari follow our earlier post on Installing Greasemonkey scripts in Opera, IE and Safari.

P.S. The above script was a modification of another script created by Daniel Wood because it lacked the ability to work on the www subdomain in Facebook.

Ultimate List Of Tips And Tricks For Internet Explorer 9

Internet Explorer 9, Microsoft’s latest browser which was launched on 14th March 2011 has quite a few improvements when compared to it’s previous versions. IE9 has a sleek new interface which is less cluttered and provides rich browsing experience.

IE9 Ultimate List of Tips and Tricks

There are no intrusive toolbars, unnecessary navigation buttons and other eye tiringbuttons or graphical elements. Moreover, Internet Explorer 9 is way faster, has improved performance standards and hardware acceleration support. And yes, Internet Explorer 9 is the latest version of the browser that’s supports HTML5 technology.

We tipped you with a list of tips and tricks for Internet Explorer 8, now here is another comprehensive list of tips and tricks for Internet Explorer 9 which is worth bookmarking. Don’t forget to visit our section to find more such useful and comprehensive lists for different software and browsers.

Note: This list will be regularly updated as we come across new posts.

Download, Installation And Getting Started With IE9

Download Internet Explorer 9

If you haven’t tried the newer Internet Explorer 9 yet, we suggest you download Internet Explorer 9 final version or try the RC download here. There are separate download links for Windows7, Windows Vista and Windows Server, so make sure you download the right setup installer.

You might also want to check out IE9’s brand new website at beautyoftheweb.com

ie9-download

Prerequisites For Installing Internet Explorer 9

When you install Internet Explorer 9, additional prerequisite software and components are also installed. The prerequisites vary, depending on the operating system you use.

Microsoft has put together a support and FAQ page for installation compatibility fixes for Internet Explorer 9, so if you’re having problems installing IE9 on your computer, head over to this support page to learn more about the required software and components required for Internet Explorer 9 installation.

2.3 Million IE9 Downloads in 24 Hours

Looks like Internet Explorer 9 is getting quite a lot of love. Since the release of Internet Explorer 9 on March 14, IE9 has already been downloaded 2.35 million times in the first 24 hours.

Internet Explorer 9

This averages to 27 downloads every second or around 250 download every 10-11 seconds. Internet Explorer 9 is the latest browser from Microsoft for and which includes several new and exciting features such as in-built Do not track options, site lists .

Overall IE9 has been downloaded over 40 million times in the past year. The record downloads for the final version of IE9 was more than double the downloads for IE9 beta and 4 times that of IE9 RC.

You can download Internet Explorer 9 for your PC by visiting http://beautyoftheweb.com or through the direct download links for IE9.

Google Chrome Gets A New Logo

Looks like Google is rebranding the logo for to look a little bit different in the latest development build. As you can see from the screenshot below which is from the latest development version, Chrome sports a new logo as compare to earlier versions.

New Google Chrome Logo

The screenshot below is from an earlier version of Google Chrome

google_chrome_10

The newer logo is more flatter than the earlier one and does not have any spaces between the different colors and the ball in the middle. The grey delimiter has been replaced except for a circle around the blue ball.

I am not sure when this design change came through, but I would definitely prefer to see the older logo. What do you think? Which Chrome logo do you like among these two?

WOT Can Keep You Safe in Facebook and Twitter?

Yes, WOT, not what. It stands for Web Of Trust. WOT is an addon for Firefox, Chrome, Opera and IE. Once installed, it can scan links in search engine results and web email. When it finds dangerous links, it lets you know with red and yellow symbols, as shown in this video below.

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As you can see, it’s not safe to search for screensavers. That is, it’s not safe unless you are using WOT or a service like it. You’ll see similar results in your online email, such as Yahoo, Hotmail or Gmail. I’d say it’s a must have addon for those new to the internet.

Today, I received a notice from WOT telling about the addition of social networking sites to their link scanning. What does this mean? Take a look at Facebook with the new WOT addon for Firefox.

Download Internet Explorer 9 Final

Microsoft has just made the final release of Internet Explorer 9 available for download. The beta of IE 9 has been downloaded over 40 million times already. The final version was supposed to launch on March 14, at 9 am PM PST, and it has.

Internet Explorer 9

Internet Explorer has been one of the most abused browsers of all time, especially IE 6. With IE 9, Microsoft has promised to make good with web developers and has embraced most open web standards.

Internet Explorer 8 was quite well received, and even though I use Opera as my primary browser, I still use IE 8 for sites which just don’t work with Opera. I will now be upgrading that with Internet Explorer 9.

To download Internet Explorer 9, just go to this link – Internet Explorer 9 Download

Select the version of IE9 (32-bit or 64-bit) and click on Download Now.

IE 9 offers a much better browsing experience than previous versions, and is also much faster. Here’s a list of the new features IE 9 brings to the table.

Update: Here are some direct download links (Courtesy Win Rumors)