Tag Archives: Safari

Chrome and Safari Steal Users from Internet Explorer

Based on the 2010 reports from Netmarketshare.com, the web browsers from Google and Apple have slowly been stealing users from Microsoft’s Internet Explorer. In the chart below, we can see the trends over the last year. (chart by CNET)

This may be partly due to the new browser ballot in Windows 7 that is required in Europe. However, even if that’s true, Microsoft still has no excuse for it’s falling browser marketshare. When the beta version of IE9 was released in February, no affect was seen on the marketshare. We’ll have to wait to see what happens when the finished version is released.

The gains by Chrome and Safari came at the expense of Internet Explorer‘s dropping percentage, which ended the year at 57%, after starting above 60%. Google’s Chrome browser gained almost 5 points in 2010 and ended with 10% of the market. Safari gained about 1.5 points and ended at about 6%. Firefox and Opera remained about the same at 23% and 2%.

The question that we think most interesting is What browsers do Techie Buzz readers use?. Here’s a chart from Keith showing our data.

The Techie Buzz chart shows more readers using Firefox than Internet Explorer. Chrome users are in third place, followed by Safari and Opera. If we can assume that most technology sites have similar stats, this doesn’t look good for Microsoft.

It appears that the more people know, the less they use Internet Explorer. Many people feel that the crucial advantage to using Firefox and Chrome is that they are more easily customized by using Addons and Extensions. Do you think Opera’s adoption of extensions will help them steal share from Microsoft?


Shareaholic – a Simple Way to Share Web Pages

shareaholic-iconThe name of this web browser addon tells you who it helps. If you are addicted to sharing cool links or awesome images in Twitter, Facebook or any other social web service, Shareaholic could help.

I tried it out, and it’s helped my sharing output already. Shareaholic supports sending content to over 100 different services.

Services

It’s easy to install and use. Just point your web browser to the Shareaholic home page, and install the plugin. They support Firefox, Chrome, IE, Safari, Opera, Flock and Songbird.

Mozilla Firefox Google Chrome Internet Explorer 8 Safari Opera Flock Songbird Music Player

Once installed, you’ll be prompted to customize it, so that it shows only the services that you use. Clicking on he Shareaholic icon in your browser will bring up the sharing menu.

shareaholic-menu

You might have noticed from the image above, that you can assign keyboard shortcut keys for each service. You can also use it to shorten long URLs. That’s really handy. I also like the simple posts it creates.

shareaholic-post

If you need more details, watch this video about Shareaholic.

If you have a sharing habit, Shareaholic is an addon you need to try. It’s a lot easier than going through a twelve step program to cure your addiction.

arrow-down-double-3Install the Shareaholic Addon/Extension

Note: We previously wrote about Shareaholic almost a year ago. You may also want to check out a similar addon called AddToAny.


Find When People Unfriend You On Facebook

and are both great social networks to find friends and communicate with them. However, both these networks do not notify users when someone unfollows or unfriends them.

Facebook Unfriend Alert Notifications

Twitter does have several options to know when users unfollow you, however, what about Facebook? How do you figure out when someone unfriends you on Facebook? Turns out there is a way to do that too.

Unfriend Finder for Facebook is a script which tracks your Facebook friends and then notifies you whenever someone decides to unfriend you on Facebook.

Facebook Unfriend Menu Notification

The script tightly integrates within Facebook and sends you notifications whenever someone removes you from your list. It also alerts you when someone ignores your friend request.

The only problem of the script is that it is browser specific and only works on , , Safari and right now. There is no support for Internet Explorer yet, but you can read up some tips on running Greasemonkey scripts in IE.

You can download the script or add-on for your browser from here.

This post answered a question our reader asked us, if you want to get your questions answered use the contact us form or post it on our forums.

Find When People Unfriend You On Facebook

and are both great social networks to find friends and communicate with them. However, both these networks do not notify users when someone unfollows or unfriends them.

Facebook Unfriend Alert Notifications

Twitter does have several options to know when users unfollow you, however, what about Facebook? How do you figure out when someone unfriends you on Facebook? Turns out there is a way to do that too.

Unfriend Finder for Facebook is a script which tracks your Facebook friends and then notifies you whenever someone decides to unfriend you on Facebook.

Facebook Unfriend Menu Notification

The script tightly integrates within Facebook and sends you notifications whenever someone removes you from your list. It also alerts you when someone ignores your friend request.

The only problem of the script is that it is browser specific and only works on , , Safari and right now. There is no support for Internet Explorer yet, but you can read up some tips on running Greasemonkey scripts in IE.

This post answered a question our reader asked us, if you want to get your questions answered use the contact us form or post it on our forums.

Download Unfriend Finder

Safari, Internet Explorer, Firefox and Chrome Leak Sensitive User Information to Websites

Black-Hat-Conference Most of us don’t think twice before saving sensitive information in our browser’s auto-fill database. After all, browsers are desktop applications that reside on our system. So, any data we store in our browser should remain private, right? Wrong.

Jeremiah Grossman, CTO of White Hat Security, has managed to uncover security holes in each of the major browsers that can be exploited by booby trapped websites to gain access to sensitive information.

“Right at the moment a Safari user visits a website, even if they’ve never been there before or entered any personal information, a malicious website can uncover their first name, last name, work place, city, state, and email address”, revealed Grossman in a blog post. According to the proof of concept demonstrated by him, it is possible to fool Safari (v4 and v5) into giving up stored form auto-fill information without user intervention using JavaScript. Apple, which was notified about this vulnerability back in June, has yet to respond.

Internet Explorer 6 and 7 can also be exploited in a similar fashion. However, Internet Explorer 8 appears to be safe for the moment. If you are using the any of the affected browsers, it’s highly recommended that you disable the in-built AutoFill functionality for the time being.

The Register is also reporting that Grossman has discovered critical XSS (cross-site scripting) vulnerabilities in Firefox and Chrome, which can be exploited to gain access to stored website passwords. Grossman is expected to reveal more at the Black Hat Security Conference, which is going to be held next week.

BlackBerry OS6 WebKit Browser Video Preview And Benchmarks

BlackBerry, like Nokia have been unable to catch up with the touchevolution in mobile phones. The BlackBerry Storm and the Storm 2 were a major failure, thanks to the out-dated BlackBerry OS. Now all the BlackBerry fans have pinned their hopes on the next generation BlackBerry OS, and it looks like they won’t be disappointed. Salomondrin have posted a video of the new browser in the upcoming BlackBerry OS in action.

The new browser on the BlackBerry OS 6 is based on the same webkit code used by Apple’s Safari web-browser and the Android web-browser. In the Acid3 benchmark, the new BlackBerry browser outperformed both the iPhone 4 and HTC Incredible. However, users should keep in mind that the HTC Incredible was running on Android 2.1, and not on Android 2.2 (Froyo).

Here is the video I am talking about :

The HTML5 score of the webkit browser is impressive as well. Looks like RIM has been working hard behind the scene to make sure BlackBerry OS 6 and its future devices meet the expectations of the general public. Kudos to RIM for this!

Google Uses Browser Sniffing To Prevent Safari and Opera Users From Getting Background Image Option

Google-Background-Image You have probably heard by now that Google has rolled out a new background image option. You can personalize your Google Search experience by using your own background image or by choosing one from the hundreds available in public galleries.

Unfortunately, due to some unknown reason, Google is using browser sniffing to prevent Opera and Safari users from accessing these options. It’s hard to believe that Google couldn’t find a way to make the image selection pane work in Opera or Safari. What makes this even more bewildering is the fact that Chrome also uses the Webkit rendering engine that powers Safari.

Guardian’s Charles Arthur suggests that Google may be blocking Safari due to the bad blood between Apple and Google. Arthur also suggests that the fact that Opera and Safari are popular mobile web browsers may have had a hand in Google’s decision. Of course, his explanation doesn’t stand to reason, since it’s easy to distinguish between the desktop version and mobile version of Safari as well as Opera.

My feeling is that it’s just plain old laziness on the part of Google and that is indeed a shame.

Apple Misleads Users Once Again with Half Truths and Outright Lies

Recently, I took Apple to task for misleading the general population with its deceptive HTML5 and Web Standards demos. Of course, that was not the first time Apple used questionable tactics and it won’t be the last time either.

On Monday, Apple unveiled iPhone 4 and Safari 5 – both of which are impressive products in their own way. Yet, Apple felt the need to twist the facts to grab eyeballs.

Let me start off with Safari. In its press release, Apple claims, “Safari 5 on the Mac runs JavaScript 30 percent faster than Safari 4, three percent faster than Chrome 5.0, and over twice as fast as Firefox 3.6″. Intrigued by Apple’s claim, several bloggers and journalists performed their own tests. Needless to say, the results achieved by them didn’t quite hold up to Apple’s claims.

Safari-Speed-Benchmark
Safari5 gets beaten by Chrome 5 and Opera 10.53 (via Gavin M. Roy)

Gavin M. Roy found that Safari was comprehensively outperformed by both Chrome 5 and Opera 10.53. Safari’s performance looks even more ordinary when compared with Chrome 6 and Opera 10.60.

Safari-Speed-Benchmark
Safari5 gets beaten by Chrome 6 and Opera 10.6 (via DownloadSquad)

If this wasn’t bad enough, Apple also misrepresented the clarity offered by Retina Display during Steve Job’s keynote. Don’t get me wrong. IPhone 4’s display is indeed stunning. In fact, it’s most probably better than anything its competitors have to offer. However, as pointed out by George Ou, the slides used during the presentation depicted a PPI (pixels per inch) of 815. That is almost three times more than what is actually offered by the iPhone. Even iPhone advertisements exaggerate the clarity improvement achieved by the retina display.

Retina-Display-False-Claims
Retina Display: Apple’s Claims vs Truth

It’s not uncommon for companies to exaggerate their product’s capabilities. However, Apple seems to have almost made it an habit and an art.

Apple Tries To Be Open: Launches HTML5 Showcase That Doesn’t Use a Lot of HTML5

In the recent past, Apple has been vilified for acting like a big brother. Regular Techie Buzz readers are probably familiar with Apple’s battle against Flash and their stance against open technologies like Theora and WebM. Perhaps stung by the criticism, Apple has launched a new HTML5 showcase demonstrating what’s possible with Safari.

The message is loud and clear – Flash isn’t the only way to deliver rich web applications. If developers don’t want to write Apple product-specific code, they can always opt for open web standards.

HTML5-Safari-Showcase

The HTML5 Technology demo gallery has some spectacular samples, which showcase video, audio, typography, transitions and more. Each and every one of these demos have Apple’s hallmark. They are simple, yet stunning enough to wow you.

Unfortunately, they also bear Apple’s other signature – a lot of half-truths. According to Opera developer, Haavard K. Moen, “The only things that are HTML5 on that page are HTML5 <audio> and <video>”.

Worse still, Apple is using browser sniffing to artificially block other browsers. So, although Chrome – another WebKit based browser, does significantly better than Safari in HTML5Test.com, it stumbles while rendering Apple’s HTML5 showcase. Opera is another browser with an impressive HTML5 support that is not allowed to render Safari’s technology demos.

It is obviously well within Apple’s rights to create stunning demos showcasing its browser’s capabilities. However, dubbing its technology demos as HTML5 and Web Standards showcase, when they are clearly not, is despicable.

Apple deserves credit for encouraging and promoting HTML5. In fact, their focus on HTML5 will probably lead to an overall faster rate of adoption among both browser makers and developers. However, as Haavard points out, Apple is also trying to use HTML5 and open, as a buzzword, to its advantage.

And yeah, if you thought Microsoft fares better, here is a hilarious take on Internet Explorer’s HTML5 Testing Center.

Update: As pointed out by Sathya, Mozilla’s Robert Sayre has responded to Apple’s HTML5 Demos in his own eloquent manner.

Browser Saturday: Browser Security Woes, Firefox Account Manager, Opera Mini for Android and More

Welcome to another edition of Browser Saturday – the weekly roundup of all major browser related news. Without further ado let us get started.

Internet Explorer

This was a particularly rough week for Internet Explorer users. Early in the week, Microsoft released a security advisory warning users about a critical vulnerability in Internet Explorer 6 and 7, which could result in the execution of malicious code. Soon, multiple security product vendors confirmed that the vulnerability was indeed being exploited by hackers to attack unsuspecting users. To make matters worse Israeli researcher Moshe Ben Abu published the exploit code. Check out our original article to learn more about this issue.

Microsoft also tweaked the browser ballot screen – which has already given a boost to alternate browsers, to remove any inherent bias.

Firefox

Rock-Your-FirefoxMozilla publically launched RockYourFirefox – a central repository for users looking to enhance their browsing experience. RockYourFirefox would regularly feature some of the best Firefox extensions along with reviews, feedback and insights from Firefox users around the web.

However, the most exciting development of the week was the announcement of Mozilla Account Manager. It is a new Mozilla Labs project, which aims to make managing accounts on different websites simpler by allowing users to sign-in/sign-out from the toolbar itself. Check out our in-depth coverage to get an idea about this possibly revolutionary product.

Mozilla also started pushing Firefox 3.6 more proactively to users, while continuing impressive work on the latest development builds.

Chrome

This was a comparatively quiet week for Google Chrome. The most significant development was Google deciding to do away with the unique client ID present in all installations of the browser. In the future, Chrome will be getting rid of the unique identifier after the first automatic update check.

Although there weren’t a lot of new stuff from Google, there were plenty of new extensions. If you are a cricket fan, go ahead and install the IPL on YouTube extension for Chrome to get lives scores, commentary and match reminders.

Opera

OperaOpera Software had a fairly dramatic week thanks to all the hoopla about the malformed Content-Length header security issue. The initial proof of concept code turned out to be non-exploitable. However, a modified scenario presented by Secunia was (at least theoretically) revealed to be a security risk.

However, things were not all gloomy for Opera. Carakan JavaScript engine continued its impressive showing – it proved itself to be not only the fastest but also the best behaved.

Meanwhile, Opera Software kept churning out releases for various platforms. UNIX and MAC users received new 10.50 snapshots while Windows users got a chance to try out a 10.51 build. Opera Mini 5 beta for Android was also released this week.

Safari

Apple pushed through as many as 16 security updates for Safari, ahead of the Pwn2Own hacking contest.