Man, WebKit cannot catch a break today, can it? After Samsung announced that it would be teaming up with Mozilla to build their own mobile browser engine called Servo, Google says its planning to fork WebKit to create a new project called Blink. Unlike Servo, this one will still be based on WebKit, but this new fork actually seems to be aimed not at competing with whatever Samsung is putting out, but rather at gaining freedom from another browser: Safari.
Yeah, we know – it doesn't run Android, and really, it has nothing to do with Android. But it is a Google product, so by default it's at least tangentially related - call it Android's cousin. It's also Google's statement that ChromeOS is important, that it's not just some side project. It's saying that we should all pay attention. That ChromeOS is the real deal, and the Chromebook Pixel is the best experience that ChromeOS has to offer.
Get those fingers ready, Opera fans: the biggest thing to happen to your favorite mobile browser in years has arrived. Opera Software announced a new and retooled version of their browser in February, and demonstrated it during Mobile World Congress. The Opera browser beta (no Mini or Mobile here, it's the "full" version a la Chrome) is live in the Play Store. It's a free download for just about any Android device, so get to it.
Since the dawn of time, people have been using the internet to share images of cats and food (and maybe some other stuff). Then something called Instagram came along that changed the way people share said images. As a social network based on pictures, everything from your bff's lunch to what your Aunt Cindy is making for dinner was only a tap, flick, and touch away. There was only one problem: Instagram was only available in the mobile space.
The browser wars have seen a strange resurgence in the mobile world, as each platform brings its own-branded browser (Safari for iOS, Chrome for Android, IE for Windows Phone), and competitors see this as a new opportunity to gain more relevance after the desktop arena begins to settle. Mozilla certainly seems to think so as it starts to tease some new features it's currently working on for its Android-based Firefox app.
Much like keyboards (which we covered last week), browsers are a dime a dozen. Google ships one browser with Android (in more recent versions, that's been Chrome), which most manufacturers then replace with their own proprietary version. And then there are the dozens (if not hundreds) of third-party browsers available on the Play Store.
One of the most popular third-party browsers in the Play Store, Dolphin Browser, received a fairly major bump today up to version 9.0. This brings a handful of worthwhile enhancements, including support for the HTML5 rendering engine from Dolphin Beta. In this case, however, the Dolphin team has made the engine an optional addon called Jetpack instead of making it the default. So, basically, making the browser faster on HTML5 sites is optional, for whatever reason.
Google just pushed a small update to its Chrome browser that brings a handful of tweaks and fixes, as well as a couple of enhancements:
- Location preference now integrated to system level Google apps location setting.
- Youtube videos controls now work in full screen mode; videos continue playing after a screen lock/unlock
- Fixes to make third-party IMEs work better with Chrome
It's all pretty much straightforward, but you may be wondering what an IME is.
At the beginning of the month, the Dolphin team released a new version of their popular browser to the Play Store. It featured the normal UI and performance enhancements, but apparently that just wasn't good enough for the Dolphin crew. Today, they have released a public beta of Dolphin Browser that brings some pretty impressive numbers where HTML5 rendering speed is concerned:
The browser wars wage on in the mobile space just as it does on the desktop. Today, Mozilla fires another shot across Chrome's bow with Firefox 14 beta. The update, available in the Play Store, comes complete with a new UI, Flash support, and a bunch of other little improvements.
The new version comes with an updated minimum requirement of Android 2.2 or higher. The new UI shows its Froyo-y heritage, too.