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Posts tagged with "browser"

Opera 11.5 Released, Features Streamlined UI, Live Speed Dials And Password Sync

Opera has today released Opera 11.5, a fairly major upgrade on Opera 11, which was released six months ago. The update’s most obvious feature to users will be its new and improved “featherweight” UI that has been significantly streamlined – shredding a number of buttons and increasing the display area. According to Jan Standal, VP of Desktop Products at Opera, a major reason for the change was that users were reporting that Opera was slower than the other browsers. In 11.5, Opera is now around 10-15% faster in SVG rendering.

Opera’s Speed Dial is another feature that has received some big improvements in 11.5, and now touts a new ‘Live Speed Dial’ feature. The feature allows a new type of extension that lets developers create live content for a Speed Dial box. Some examples of this include a stock ticker, weather information and a Twitter box.

As all web browsers have been doing, Opera 11.5 continues to improve support for web standards and in particular HTML5. Another nice new feature is that passwords can now be kept in sync on multiple computers with Opera Link in 11.5 – but Opera makes special note that they have focused on improving security to enable this feature and have also introduced features to help users create secure passwords. The final new feature of note in Opera 11.5 is simplified installation of missing plug-ins, whether it be Flash, Java or some other plug-in, it can be installed with a few clicks and users do not have to restart the browser to start using them.

You can download Opera 11.5 for Mac and Windows directly from their website, the Mac App Store version has not yet been approved. Jump the break for some screenshots of Opera 11.5.

[Via TechCrunch]

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Send2Mac: An Easy Way To Send Webpages To A Mac Browser

Over the past few weeks I’ve mentioned on Twitter and in a couple of articles a service I’ve started using on my Macs and iOS devices, a simple tool that has contributed to making the process of sending webpages to remote computers incredibly easy. Send2Mac, a free service by developer Bastian Woelfle, installs as an app on your Mac and a bookmarklet in your browser to enable you to instantly send a webpage from any device or computer, to another Mac. It doesn’t matter where the target Mac is, or what kind of Internet connection you’re using on your iPhone, iPad, or office PC: as long as you can run a web browser and the remote Mac is connected to the Internet, the webpage will magically open in a few seconds.

In the past months, I’ve actually been busy trying to find the best way to remotely send webpages from a device to another. First, I came up with a Dropbox tweak to email links to myself, and watch them open in my desktop browser. Then I stumbled upon Push Browser, an iOS app and Chrome extension that enables you to send webpages back and forth between devices and desktop computers. I love Push Browser, but it’s got one major downside: on a Mac, it’s limited to Google Chrome, and I haven’t heard back from the developer about a possible Safari or system-wide integration. That’s why I thought of giving Send2Mac a try: rather than having a dedicated extension for each browser, this app directly plugs into a Mac’s default browser, whatever it is, and can send webpages to it. Simple. On the other end, Send2Mac generates a unique bookmarklet for each of your target machines, based on an API key thet you’re given randomly every time you visit to set up a new computer.

It works like this: I have two Macs, and both of them run the Send2Mac utility in the background. My MacBook Pro and iMac, however, have been assigned different API keys: they’re different, because they correspond to two different bookmarklets that let me send webpages from my iOS devices – or other computers I might happen to have. So when I’m on my iPhone and I find a webpage I’d like to check out later on my iMac, I hit the “Send2iMac” bookmarklet and it goes straight to the iMac, in a couple of seconds. If I want the page to open on my MacBook Pro, I hit the bookmarklet for that computer. If I want the page to open on my iMac, but while running Lion, I have another bookmarklet. It’s really simple: each target machine and OS has its own key and bookmarklet. No menus to navigate and no interface, you hit a button and the webpage travels from a browser to another.

I’d pay for Send2Mac if it were a premium service, but it’s surprisingly free and “might be really buggy”, as the developer writes on the app’s website. In my tests, I’ve found Send2Mac to work reliably as it’s even capable of launching a closed browser with the new webpage I sent because it’s a process that runs in the background all the time, alongside the default browser of your Mac. You can configure Send2Mac on iOS and Mac browsers, send webpages from Mac to Mac, iOS to Mac and even Windows to Mac as long as you have the bookmarklet installed.

You can start using Send2Mac by heading over here with your device, and generating a new API key for your Mac.

Financial Times Doesn’t Implement iOS Subscriptions, Launches HTML5 Web App

In spite of earlier reports claiming that the Financial Times was still negotiating with Apple over the implementation of app subscriptions for newspapers, the publication has announced today the availability of a new HTML5 web app built to fully take advantage of the iPhone and iPad unique capabilities. As Apple has started requiring developers and publishers to use subscriptions in their apps with recurring payments, asking to give away a 30% cut off every transaction, the Financial Times stated multiple times in the past a deal couldn’t be negotiated with Apple unless the company changed its terms. The Financial Times said the app “could go somewhere else” hinting at a native application for Android devices, though in today’s press release the FT clearly states the browser-based app was developed with iOS Safari in mind, with optimized versions for other Android devices and BlackBerry PlayBook coming in the next months. FT has even posted a lengthy FAQ on the difference between native apps and HTML5 here.

As for the app itself, it’s pretty slick and can be accessed for free during launch week, but a subscription will be required to read more than 10 articles a month once the promo is over. For as much as the web app comes with its perks like automatic updates and browser access, when using it on my iPhone 4 I noticed performances were far from “fast”, even after increasing the database size like the app suggested. Text takes a while to render sharply on the iPhone’s screen, images are slow to download and scrolling isn’t of course as smooth as a native app. I’m sure some of these problems are related to the fact that the web app just went live and perhaps the FT needs to re-optimize everything, but I wonder if the average reader will notice the aforementioned issues when comparing the web-based FT with any app from Apple’s iOS 5 Newsstand. However, I’m impressed by the design of the app on the iPad, the menus and buttons implemented by the developers, and the rich content made of photos and videos available through a web browser. Performance problems aside, the FT surely has dropped a well-design app that doesn’t require Apple’s approval.

This is our best app yet, and it is an important step in our strategy of providing multi-channel access to our global journalism quickly and simply,” said John Ridding, CEO of the Financial Times. “The FT Web App offers our customers flexibility and freedom of choice with access to our global journalism anytime, anywhere, with a single login or subscription. In a world of increasingly digital complexity we want to keep our service simple, easy to use and efficient to offer our customers the best possible experience of FT journalism.

Other features include:

  • Reading offline – saving a shortcut to your home screen so you can read it offline, at any time, just like one of our existing apps
  • Web browser access – no download needed
  • All access – one registration or subscription will offer customers access to FT content through a range of devices or on a PC
  • Speed – the new app offers improved performance
  • Automatic updates – instant product improvements with no need to download new versions of the app
  • Specific to smartphones – a completely new and improved design, inclusion of images and FT video content, a new currency converter
  • Specific to tablets – new content from FT Blogs

The new Financial Times web app is available here. Check out the official promo video below.

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Opera Mini 6 for iPad Reviewed

There isn’t any stiff competition on the iPad when it comes to third party browsers, but one could arguably assert that Opera has a widely recognizable name when it comes to the mobile browser space; we’re sure the Opera community would enjoy additional exposure on iOS alongside the dominant focus on Android. Unfortunately, Opera’s attention to Android has tended to be a problem when it comes to curating its iOS app. When Opera for the iPhone launched to the surprise of many in 2010, the app fell by the wayside with a lack of enthusiasm and was seemingly forgotten about as Opera for the iPhone never updated to take advantage of the Retina Display. Opera had seemingly lost interest in supporting iOS, that is until an updated Opera Mini 6 landed on the App Store as a universal app, bringing an updated interface and some extra polish to their mobile app. It remains to be seen whether Opera will continue to provide consistent updates to their mobile browser on iOS, but that doesn’t mean we won’t provide our take on the current “red O”.

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iChromy Wants To Bring The Chrome Experience To The iPad

Released earlier today for free on the App Store and developed by the same folks behind web-based bookmarking service Diigo, iChromy is a new third-party iPad browser that aims at bringing the Google Chrome experience on the tablet, obviously without using Chrome’s underlying Chromium open-source project, which can’t be implemented by developers due to Apple’s restrictions. From the name of the app to the iTunes description, the developers of iChromy don’t hide their intentions of developing a heavily Chrome-inspired browser for the iPad; while it still might not look as beautiful as this mockup, I took the app for a quick spin to see whether Chrome (which I love and use on my Mac desktop) could have a proper, unofficial, lightweight counterpart on the iPad.

iChromy is free and the developers will likely introduce a Pro version with more features and deeper Diigo integration in the future, but right now what we have is a simple iPad browser that lacks several must-have functionalities (most of them also available in Safari and not necessarily in powerful alternatives like iCab Mobile) but it’s got tabs on top, a Lion-like Reading List (with the same eyeglasses icon) and decent memory management. More importantly, iChromy has an Omnibox that allows you to search and type addresses in the same bar, like Chrome. So while tabs on top and the Omnibox make for a nice Chrome-like experience that reminded me why it’s still possible to innovate in web browsers on any device, iChromy falls short in the details: you can’t re-arrange tabs, you can’t tap on the status bar to scroll a webpage to the top, you can’t pin tabs. The Omnibox is really, really nice, but the app’s keyboard doesn’t have a .com button and there’s no way to get search suggestions or modify the default search engine. Bookmarks and history are displayed in the Omnibox, but the lack of the .com button on the iPad’s soft keyboard is annoying. Similarly, you can create bookmarks by hitting the “star” button in the Omnibox, but you can’t organize these bookmarks in folders, sync them back to the cloud or import / export them. The Reading List, however, works fairly well in the way it makes entire webpages available offline. Too bad it doesn’t sync anywhere else either, which comes as a surprise considering Diigo’s cloud-oriented nature.

In spite of its missing features, I can’t say iChromy isn’t “nice” in how it mimics Chrome for Mac. The browser is very lightweight, it never crashed on me with multiple pages open in the background and, personally, I think it’s always great to see a browser with tabs on top (I was a huge fan of Safari 4 beta, until Apple killed that magnificent tab implementation). Overall, I see Chromy as an interesting experiment that a) needs some obvious adjustments like the .com button, top scrolling and search suggestions and b) with an upcoming Pro version could have a chance to become a Chrome-inspired, powerful competitor to my personal favorite iCab. We’ll see. In the meantime, go download the app here.

Evernote Revamps Chrome Extension, Announces Developer Conference

Evernote, the digital capture tool that allows you to save anything from the web and access it from a variety of devices and computers including iPhones and Macs, announced earlier today an updated version of the popular Chrome extension that, following the recent interface changes to the iPhone app, offers a more elegant way to clip content from webpages and have it synchronized with your Evernote account.

The new extension, available here, packs a whole new UI with slick buttons and text entry fields for quick tag and note input, but more importantly adds a new Article Clip feature that, with just one click on the browser’s toolbar, automatically selects the main content of an article to save it as full-text in Evernote. The extension worked perfectly with all the blogs I’ve visited today, and the new extension window makes it easy to edit the title, tags, notes and notebook. If you feel like you don’t want to clip the whole article, but only a portion, the extension is also capable of recognizing a selection and enable you to switch between that and the full article from a dropdown menu. The same menu is also being used to only clip a page’s direct URL, if you prefer to bookmark stuff, rather than archive it as a text document. Read more

Opera Mini for iPad Now Available

A few months after the first teaser shots and previews that confirmed Opera was working on an iPad version of its alternative browser featuring visual tabs and updated sharing options for the larger screen, the Norwegian company has finally released an update to its Opera Mini web browser this morning, bringing new features and an updated interface to the iPhone 4’s Retina Display, but most of all a native version to the iPad. You can find Opera for iPad now in the App Store.

We’ll have a full review of Opera for iPad later this week on MacStories, but in the meantime we’ve taken the app for a quick spin and we’re positively impressed with it. Visual tabs play an important role on the iPad, as they allow you to keep multiple pages open at once and actually see their previews concurrently on screen to quickly switch between them. Animations of the tab drawer at the top seem very smooth, though I’ve noticed that Opera Mini for iPad sometimes opens web pages in their iPhone mobile web view, rather than the desktop one as Safari for iPad does by default. This might be related to the server-side compression Opera does to speed up browsing, but we’ll make sure to further look into the Settings to resolve this issue. As for other features, a big Opera logo in the upper left corner allows you to access a popup menu with Bookmarks, History, Settings, and Sharing options, which include Facebook, Twitter and My Opera. Pages can be opened in background tabs, and overall the interface has been polished to look great on the iPhone 4 with minor tweaks here and there as well.

From the changelog:

  • Updated design with a fresh new look and feel
  • Super smooth pinch-to-zoom and panning
  • Support for iPhone 4 retina display, iPad, and iPad 2 devices
  • Direct share on Facebook, Twitter, and My Opera
  • Open new page in background tab
  • Improved international font support for Arabic, Chinese, Vietnamese, and other non-latin languages

Opera Mini for iPad can be downloaded here for free. Check out more screenshots and the promo video below. Read more

Tweet It Makes Tweeting from iOS Simple and Integrated

There’s no shortage of Twitter clients with embedded web views on the iPhone and iPad: most Twitter apps nowadays allow you to check out a webpage inline without leaving the timeline and jumping to Safari, thus making it easy to follow links from people you follow and go back to the main view in seconds. However, most of the time I still find myself discovering articles and stuff I want to tweet when browsing the Internet using Safari or iCab mobile: whether it’s a new post by Ben Brooks or Shawn Blanc, or a cool video I stumble upon on YouTube, I want to be able to easily send a webpage from the browser to my Twitter client of choice. But that’s usually not possible, as Twitter clients typically don’t offer integration with the system browser in the way I want – that is, being able to send both the webpage title and URL from Safari to the client. And those apps that do offer bookmarklets to send a link from the browser straight to the app are often limited to the link itself and not the title, which I always have to copy and paste manually.

Tweet It, a new $1.99 universal app released today, provides a sweet solution to tweet links to webpages including the title of the original source, also allowing you to set up a custom URL shortening service for a bit of personalization, and other options to make tweeting super simple. Tweet It is solely focused on enabling you to tweet links: the app supports multiple Twitter accounts but there’s so timeline at all – it’s an app to tweet links you found interesting. Sure you can send regular status updates too, but the focus on browser integration is made obvious by buttons to shorten a link using CloudApp, and, or an embedded web view that, through another button, lets you open webpages within Tweet It and choose to insert a title, URL or title+URL in the message. Alternatively, if you’ve copied a link from Safari and you launch Tweet It, the app will detect the link in your clipboard and offer you the possibility to fire it off to Twitter. There’s more: with the installation of a bookmarklet, you’ll be able to send a webpage title and URL from Safari to Tweet It in seconds. In any way you want to share a page, Tweet It has you covered.

Tweet It is minimal, simple and powered by a delicious UI. It runs both on the iPhone and iPad, and it’s got some clever ideas to make tweeting links a real pleasure. You can download Tweet It at $1.99 from the App Store.

Google News Goes Local on Mobile Browsers

With an official post on Google News’ blog, Google has announced that starting today in the United States, Google News will be able of displaying location-based content on iOS and Android mobile browsers. By giving access to your location information in iOS Safari, Google News will find news relevant to where you are in the US with a new section called “News near you.”

To use this feature, visit Google News from the browser of your Android smartphone or iPhone. If this is the first time you are visiting Google News on your phone since this feature became available, a pop-up will ask you if you want to share your location. If you say yes, news relevant to your location will appear in a new section called “News near you” which will be added at the bottom of the homepage. You can reorganize the sections later via the personalization page.

The updated section is available now on, but it’s restricted to the United States. Remember you’ll have to grant Safari access to your location, otherwise the feature won’t work.