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 →
Late last summer, I wrote an article titled Dear tablet makers: You’re doing it wrong in which I shared my view on what I believe to be one of the biggest problems currently facing tablet vendors. In this article, I postulated that most Android tablets failed to make a splash because, in a nutshell, they bring nothing new to the table. Of course Android offers a vastly different user interface and user experience as compared to Apple’s market-leading iPad, but in terms of true differentiation — unique and desirable features offered to tablet buyers that cannot be found on the iPad — Android tablets have historically been lacking. More →
Mozilla announced on Monday that it will release a Metro-specific version of Firefox for Microsoft’s upcoming Windows 8 platform. The browser will require “a new Firefox front end and system integration points” and be based on the Gecko layout engine. “The feature goal here is a new Gecko-based browser built for and integrated with the Metro environment,” said the company’s planning document. “Firefox on Metro, like all other Metro apps will be full screen, focused on touch interactions, and connected to the rest of the Metro environment through Windows 8 contracts.” The company may also produce a live tile that would display updates on the home screen. Mozilla hopes to unveil its new browser in the second quarter of 2012. More →
Contrary to a number of reports that have suggested otherwise, ARM-powered Windows 8 devices will likely be able to run full desktop applications. Microsoft had failed for some time to provide a straight answer as to whether or not ARM-powered devices would be limited to simply running Metro-style applications. However, ZDNet‘s Mary Jo Foley noticed a Microsoft post that specifically discussed power states on Windows 8 ARM devices for “both desktop and Metro style apps,” which clearly suggests that support for desktop applications will be included. Microsoft still hasn’t officially confirmed this, but as Mary Jo Foley points out, we suspect that Microsoft was diligent with its writing and that it didn’t just drop in a reference to desktop support accidentally. We’ll likely have to wait just a little longer until the official word drops, but for now it appears full desktop applications will be supported on Windows 8-powered ARM devices. More →
We’ve already seen an 11-minute walk-through video comparing a new Windows 8 beta tablet to an iPad 2 running iOS 5, but there are plenty of features Microsoft is cooking up that didn’t make it into the beta release of the OS. In a new video, Microsoft highlights a handful of currently unavailable applications that make use of the oft-praised Metro user interface Windows 8 borrowed from the Windows Phone platform. In the video, Microsoft shows off several apps including Mail, Calendar, People, Messaging and Photos, which features seamless Facebook and Flickr integration. The People application also features Facebook integration, pulling Facebook friends and address book contacts into a single stream. Microsoft’s full demo video follows below. More →
The rumor mill has gone back and forth regarding whether or not Microsoft’s next-generation operating system — Windows 8 — might include a tile UI similar to the “Metro UI” found in the company’s Windows Phone 7 platform. The coming operating system, which will seemingly be designed for tablets as much as it will be designed for desktop and laptop computers, will likely stray from Microsoft’s current Windows UI, but exactly how it might stray is unknown. Tech blog GeekSmack claims to have uncovered several hints in a very early build of Microsoft’s Windows 8 that points to the possibility of an alternate tile-based UI of some kind. References to an “Immersive shell,” “tiles,” a dock of some kind and a notification system all suggest that Microsoft is indeed cooking up a revamped tile-based UI for tablets. While it is not currently believed that the tile UI will be Windows 8’s main interface, a secondary UI for tablet devices is certainly plausible. Hit the break for a few more screen grabs of GeekSmack’s findings. More →
So much for that MetroPCS tagline “Unlimit Yourself.” It turns out that the carrier’s unlimited international add-on, which sounded like a great deal for just $5 a month, excludes many countries and regions like Israel and the UK. Now MetroPCS has been hit with a class-action lawsuit over the issue. The lawsuit accuses MetroPCS of false advertising and deceptive business practices because details aren’t disclosed and people are wrongly baited to sign up. Apparently, many people signed up for MetroPCS’ “Ultimate Unlimited” plan to qualify for the $5 add-on and found that their ability to place certain international calls were very limited. Before you sign up for this calling plan and add-on, make sure to check the fine print and be sure that countries you plan on calling are included.