Google's no stranger to using web technologies to do cool, innovative things. In fact, some would say that over the last few years the company has pushed (or broken) the barriers of what a web browser is, and can be – just look at ChromeOS, for example. It's an entire OS based on the idea that you can live your digital life inside of a web browser. The thought itself is bold, but the execution could be game-changing as the OS grows and becomes more polished.
There have been a few items in the rumor mill about Google either investigating or planning retail stores, not unlike the Apple stores that famously dot malls and upper-class shopping areas around the world. 9to5 Google reported a tip from "an extremely reliable source" citing a 2013 rollout schedule for a Google store. Then the Wall street Journal, itself a pretty reliable reporter of the inner workings of Google, reported the same thing.
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.
I hope you like Google Now, because it looks like this product is here to stay for a long time. As we speak, Chrome developers are working on bringing Popular Science's Innovation of the Year to the desktop, instead of keeping it trapped just on your phone or tablet. As it turns out, a "skeleton" framework is already in place for the search product to move in.
Google's not being shy about the existence of this product, but also isn't in a hurry to announce it, either:
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.
Well would you look at that. Seems our favorite - but admittedly still flawed - browser just got itself a little update. No, it's not the developer update we mentioned yesterday (that would be fast) - it's actually just a little bug fixer.
This version update includes a number of stability fixes and performance improvements.
The early reports seem to be pretty good - we're already hearing that there's a noticeable performance boost.
Chrome for Android is expected to start aligning with desktop releases of the browser by "early next year," according to a post by the Chrome team on Google+.
Q. Chrome for Android is still at v18, while regular Chrome is at v23. When will Chrome for Android catch up?
A. Soon! We expect an update to Chrome for Android starting with a developer update to happen before the end of the year, and we’re actively working towards aligning releases across all platforms, including Android, starting early next year.
The Play Store's web market has come quite a long way since it was first announced back in February of 2011. Still, that doesn't mean it's perfect - among others, there are quite a few filter options still on the request list. For example, many users want to separate their free and paid apps in the My Apps interface. Thanks to a Greasemonkey script Artem just stumbled across, now you can.
If you plan on jumping aboard the Medfield bandwagon and scooping up the new Intel-powered Motorola RAZR i when it hits the streets next month, then the newest update to Chrome for Android is just for you. This small bump adds support for Intel x86 chips - like the ones found in the RAZR i, ZTE Orange San Diego, and ZTE Grand X IN.
This is definitely good news, as lack of Chrome support was one of the last hurdles to jump for x86 phones.