Google's very hot on the whole web apps topic, with it promoting things like Chrome Apps on both Chrome OS and Android, as well as things like Instant Apps, introduced earlier this year at I/O. Well, it seems like Google is preparing another assault, this time with 'Progressive Web Apps,' a way to make web apps more powerful and useful to end users, plus make it easier for developers to put them together.
A Progressive Web App is a powerful web application that can be used anywhere, on any OS. As you use the app more and more, it gradually will get more powerful. Read More
Remember Gello, that neat Android browser based on Chromium code that was teased by the CyanogenMod developer team a little less than a year ago? It looks like the app is finally finished, or at least ready to make a version 1.0 debut. Joey Rizzoli, the CM developer who teased Gello last July, says that it's ready to go and that managers can begin to incorporate Gello into nightly builds. The browser will be added by the individuals or teams of developers responsible for upkeep on each CyanogenMod device build, so Gello may or may not be immediately on your device's nightly release. Read More
A dedicated app typically provides a better experience than a mobile site, but there are still plenty of instances where we end up inside the Android version of Chrome. Heck, that's one of the major benefits of owning a smartphone—the entire web is accessible to you throughout most of the day.
Despite its current tough situation, Opera keeps on forging forward with its software and applications, adding features and improving on existing ones. Case in point: in the Android app's beta channel's latest update, there's a slew of small new options and enhancements all across the board.
The change you may like the most is the addition of pull to refresh, which is a much easier way to reload the page than haunting for a small refresh button to tap. While your page loads, you may also notice that the progress bar blue line animation has been improved with a pulsing rhythm. Read More
There is no shortage of third-party browsers available on Android. While most of us use Chrome, there are plenty of worthy alternatives and valid reasons to choose them. The CyanogenMod team (notably distinct from, but connected to, the Cyanogen Inc. company) is throwing its hat into this crowded ring. The new project is called Gello, it's based on Chromium's open-source code... and that's about all we know for sure at this point. Read More
In March we covered work the Chromium team has been up to that changes the way most visited websites appear on Chrome's new tab page. Instead of a grid of (largely blank) thumbnails, the browser can display large icons instead. At the time, users had to force the feature while running Chrome Canary. Now you just have to toggle "Enable large icons on the New Tab page" at chrome://flags/#enable-icon-ntp.
The feature is still in development, but it's stable enough to use. Right now Chrome only displays icons for websites that have images large enough not to look blurry. Those that don't pass this bar show a gray block containing the first letter of the domain. Read More
About three weeks ago the beta version of Opera for Android added a handful of new features. Today most of them graduate to the standard version, marked as v30.0.1856 on my phone. The biggest change (at least according to Opera's official blog) is that the sites saved to the "speed dial" homepage will sync across Android and desktop versions of Opera. That's provided, of course, that you're logged into your Opera account on all devices. If you prefer different Speed Dial options for mobile and desktop, that's an option too.
Perhaps more notable from a technical standpoint is an upgrade to the Chromium 43 rendering engine. Read More
The code behind Google's Chrome browser has always been open source—it's known as the Chromium project. The Android port has thus far been more locked down, but that changes today with a big commit from the development team. Chrome for Android is now almost entirely open source, and that could mean some cool new browsers are on the way. Read More
It's easy to forget that Opera is still out there with all the talk of Chrome and Firefox, but it's still a capable browser. Even more so after it switched to a Chromium base a while back. The beta version of Opera is getting an update today, and it's based on a new version of Chromium with a few added features.
Chrome may be one of the most popular web browsers out there, but its new tab page still manages to look like an unfinished product much of time. That's because the browser takes screenshots of your most visited webpages and lists them in a 4 x 2 grid, only sometimes it doesn't have a screenshot to work with. In those cases, it leaves the square blank.
The Chromium team is currently working on a way to pretty things up. It has an experimental new tab page in the works that replaces these largely blank squares with high-quality icons. Here we see the feature on desktop, but presumably it will take effect on Android as well. Read More