A Google spokesperson confirmed to Mashable that the search giant is working on a Metro-style version of Chrome for Windows 8. The Metro version will be based on the company’s standard desktop browser, rather than Google’s mobile Android version. “Our goal is to be able to offer our users a speedy, simple, secure Chrome experience across all platforms, which includes both the desktop and Metro versions of Windows 8,” the spokesperson said. “To that end we’re in the process of building a Metro version of Chrome along with improving desktop Chrome in Windows 8 such as adding enhanced touch support.” The company’s confirmation comes a month after Mozilla announced plans for a Metro-style Firefox browser for Windows 8. Microsoft’s Windows 8 operating system is slated to be released later this year. More →
A coalition of Internet giants has agreed to support a “do-not-track” button that can be embedded in most Web browsers. The Digital Advertising Alliance, which includes Internet heavy weight Google, represents over 400 companies and will work to begin adopting and honoring the system within nine months, reports The Wall Street Journal. The feature, which is already implemented in Firefox, Internet Explorer and Safari, will restrict the data that websites can collect about a user through cookies when activated. Even people who clicked on the button within FireFox, IE or Safari, were still being tracked, however, because advertisers and tracking companies hadn’t agreed to honor the system. Google is expected to update its Chrome Web browser by the end of the year to include a do-not-track button. More →
On Tuesday AT&T officially announced that its customers can now sign up for a $50 unlimited GoPhone plan that includes unlimited text, talk, and web for $50 per month. AT&T’s GoPhone option does not require a contract and it also allows customers to text Mexico, Canada, and 100 other countries at no additional cost. AT&T’s new pricing is a considerable drop from the original $60 per month GoPhone option, which just provided unlimited talk and text.Read on for the full release. More →
A survey conducted recently by Google-owned AdMob found that tablets are eating into the quality time U.S. consumers spend with their desktop and laptop PCs — and the majority of tablet owners might not use their devices the way many pundits believe. A survey of 1,430 tablet owners in the U.S. conducted March of this year suggests that the most popular use for tablets at this point could be gaming. An overwhelming 84% of respondents said they use their tablets for playing games of some type, while 78% said they searched for information on their tablets and 74% said they used email. Another indication tablets could be as disruptive as many analysts believe is the fact that 43% of those surveyed said they use their tablets more than than their desktop or laptop computers, and 33% said they spent more time with their tablet than they spend watching television. 77% of respondents said their use of traditional computers has decreased since buying a tablet, and 28% said the tablet is now their primary computer. More →
We promised a hands on demo video of the BlackBerry PlayBook, and that’s what you’re going to get from us — almost 10 minutes of 1080p joy. As we said previously, we were pretty impressed seeing the PlayBook demo’d in person right in front of us, and well, we could go on for days. Check out the video after the break and let us know what you think in the comments section. More →
Verizon Wireless just sent us a statement on its brief 3G network glitch that happened last night and early this morning — our devices seemed to act fine, but apparently the glitch had to do with Internet browsing on devices. Full service has been completely restored at this point, but here’s the full statement for those who are interested:
Last night, during routine maintenance of our 3G network, a technical glitch hampered the ability of customers to reach the Internet through web browsers on their phones. This technical glitch lasted from approximately 1:40 am – 5 am ET, and covered a large proportion of our regular network. 3G network coverage was never out, just this one particular service. Full capabilities were fully restored at approximately 5 am ET. We apologize to any and all affected customers.
Quantacast has released their mobile web consumption numbers for August 2010, and Android continues to perform extremely well. The study shows that the Android web market-share grew 2.0% from July to August and has grown 5.5% on the quarter. The jump gives Android a 25% share of all mobile web consumption. Apple’s iOS dropped 0.3% from July to August, however, iOS is still the front-runner with 56% of all mobile web consumption. BlackBerry maker Research In Motion registered 10% of the mobile web pie; a pie that will continue to grow as more and more people adopt and use smartphones.
A freshly minted post on the official BlackBerry Blog is giving all those interested a more in-depth look at the redesigned BlackBerry 6 browser. As you may or may not have heard, the new BlackBerry browser is based on the WebKit rendering engine and should dramatically improve the browsing experience on BB6 equipped devices. Images and descriptions of the new start page, tabbed browsing, social feed integration, options menu, and browser viewing are all included. Hit the read link to have a look, and let us know what you think. More →
Nokia N900 owners are now the envy of the mobile world having been given the privilege of being the first group of people to use the official finalized version of Firefox Mobile. Firefox Mobile will run on the Maemo 5 platform and incorporates many features seen in the desktop version of Firefox including the Awesome Bar, add-ons, tabbed browsing, location-aware browsing, and safe browsing which provides you with an instant web ID and allows you to your easily customize your security settings. Mozilla also introduced Weave Sync, a feature which allows you to sync your tabs, history, bookmarks, and passwords between your desktop and mobile device. Anyone rocking a N900 want to share your first impressions with us? More →
AdMob, a leading mobile ad service provider, issues mobile metrics and analysis each month and today it has released April data. Key points from AdMob’s press release:
- While Gartner estimated global smartphone sales represented 12 percent of total device sales in 2008, 35 percent of AdMob’s worldwide ad requests in April 2009 came from smartphones. This means that smartphones accounted for nearly 3 times more usage than their relative market share.
- The iPhone OS had 8 percent of the smartphone market, but generated 43 percent of mobile Web requests and 65 percent of HTML usage.
- The Android OS share of the smartphone market was less than 1 percent, but generated 3 percent of mobile Web requests and 9 percent of HTML usage.
- The Symbian OS had 52 percent of the smartphone market, but generated only 36 percent of mobile Web usage and 7 percent of HTML usage.
- Usage of mobile Web sites greatly out paces usage of HTML sites on smartphones running the Symbian and RIM Operating System (OS).
- 24 percent of US requests were made over a Wi-Fi network. The top five Wi-Fi devices in terms of usage were the iPhone, iPod touch, Sony PSP, HTC Dream (G1), and HTC Dash.
There are definitely some interesting takeaways here — the most interesting to us is actually the Symbian stat. Symbian has 52 percent of the market but generated only 7 percent of HTML usage. 7 percent! Conversely, the iPhone holds about 8 percent of the smartphone market but accounts for 65 percent of mobile HTML usage. Even Android, which accounts for 1 percent of smartphones worldwide, topped Symbian with 9 percent of HTML traffic.
The Webkit-based S60 browser is certainly capable of displaying HTML but as we’ve commented on numerous occasions, it’s clunky and slow. We really (REALLY) hope this will be a particular area of focus as the Symbian Foundation continues work on Symbian^2 because S60 5th Edition hardly addresses the issue. Oh and RIM, your browser is even worse… But you know this.
Likely taking some cues from the upcoming Internet Explorer revamp equipped with what we affectionately refer to as porn mode, Mozilla is getting ready to release a heathen-friendly update of its own. The latest pre-release version of Firefox 3.1 comes packing a new menu item labeled “Private Browsing” and when active, Private Browsing will wipe all traces of your online escapades from your computer. History, cache, cookies and all the other little puzzle pieces that can be assembled if someone were to want to see what you’ve been up to on the internet. Enabling stealth browsing is as simple as selecting the option from a menu and sitting back while foxy does its thing. Any current sessions will be ended and Private Browsing will be enabled. When you’re done being sneaky, disabling it is just as simple. So, anyone afraid of having your boss catch you looking for a new gig while at work will soon be able to rely on Firefox to keep your secret safe. Granted, there’s still nothing that will save you if your boss sneaks up behind you…