Mozilla has finally released the first Firefox 4 beta, and you can download it now. Firefox 4 is a major step up from the previous version, with a redesign of the user interface, greatly improved HTML5 support, hardware-accelerated HD video playback, better add-on support, and a bunch of other new features. Luckily, the Mozilla team has pulled everything together in a blog post to fill you in on all the fun. With Google Chrome gaining on Firefox marketshare, you can bet Mozilla is gonna be pushing the new hotness found in 4.0 hard. You can download Firefox 4 beta 1 now.
Earlier this morning at the Google I/O event, a major portion was dedicated to the announcement of Google TV. Google TV is basically a software layer that lets you find content to watch on your television. It’s build on Android, Chrome, and Flash, and lets you control things like live TV, as well as giving you the full power of the Internet. You can throw TV into a picture-in-picture box to fire up a web browser, search YouTube, pull up Hulu, or really just about anything else that you can do in a browser. Google Search sits on top of everything, and can be pulled up at any time. When you do a search, it will pull results from the web, as well as from TV listings, giving you the ability to find whatever you want to watch. If you like a show, channel, or search, you can save that as a bookmark for easy access later.
The interesting thing here is the integration with Android. Bluetooth and Wi-Fi are mandatory in the Google TV hardware, which will be built by partners. That means that you can use an Android handheld device, pull up a website, and just beam it right over to Google TV. You can also perform a voice search on the device, and have that search carried out on the TV. Eliminating the frustrating tap-typing that we are all so tired of when it comes to searching on a big screen like a television? That is fairly awesome. Oh, and since Google TV runs Android, that also means that it runs apps as well. You get complete access to the Android market.
Take a look at the video above for a simple explanation of what Google TV is all about. You can expect to see devices shipping, like a Logitech set-top box, that will give you Google TV capabilities, later this year in the fall.
Read More | Google TV
For all of you running the Google Chrome browser on Mac and Linux platforms, you’ll wanna update to the latest version of the beta, which includes support for extensions, as well as bookmark syncing. There are already over 2,200 extensions available in the Chrome Extensions Gallery, so you can get a bunch more functionality in your browser, dare we say, a more Firefox-like experience, just by updating. Seriously, go do it. Oh, and if you need to see how it all works visually, hit the demo video above that Google put together.
Read More | Google Chrome
YouTube has just launched a new experimental HTML5 video player, which would replace their Flash player for supported videos. Flash has long been seen (with good reason) as a resource hog, so switching to the HTML5 browser should show a dramatic performance increase. One user reported a resource drop of over 50% when using the HTML5 player when compared to the Flash version. You can get in on the action, as long as you are using either Google Chrome or Safari 4.0 or above (although we’ve heard that it also works with recent versions of Firefox.) The only catch here is that videos with ads, annotations, and captions will still play in the older Flash player, and you won’t get fullscreen support. Of course you can try it out, and if you don’t like it, you can just turn it off.
Read More | YouTube HTML5 Video Player
Google has finally taken the wraps off of Chrome OS, its new Linux-based operating system that is all Internet-centric, running the Google Chrome browser as its main application. Yeah, the whole point of the Google Chrome OS is that it is web-based, and you interact pretty much exclusively in a browser window. The way Google sees it, you spend 95% of the time you are on a computer living in your web browser anyway, so Chrome OS is built to optimize that experience. Nothing is actually stored on the computer itself, as everything is stored, instead, in the cloud. Hit up the video above for Google’s introduction to Chrome OS, and we’ve got another video after the break taking a look at the UI concept.
Google announced Monday that its Chrome browser’s 4th version has gone Beta. Most important feature in my eyes: Bookmark syncing.
Back when I was an Firefox fanboy, Delicious’ method of syncing bookmarks was magic to me, and was the epitome of the internet experience. When Chrome was released, its speed sang to me, and I willingly sacrificed my bookmark sync to Chrome’s seductive quickload times. Now, Google makes everything magical again as Google announced Monday that its Chrome browser’s 4th version has gone Beta, including with it Bookmark Sync.
According to the announcement, XMPP is used to keep your browser in touch with your Google Account, which will keep track and sync down your bookmarks.
In a side note: Google also claims to have increased performance by a brain-spanking 30%!
Read More | Google Chrome Blog
Google just announced Chrome OS, their entry into the operating system world. According to the Google Developer Blog, Chrome OS will be a lightweight, open source OS platform meant to “power computers ranging from small netbooks to full-zize desktop systems,” with the goal being a practically instant-on system that takes you right into the web. Chrome OS will be able to run on x86 and ARM chips, which means 32-bit computers, including Intel Atom machines, can play nice, along with mobile platforms. All-in-all, Google aims to make the Internet the bulk of the operating system, with Chrome OS just providing some supporting architecture. Offline mode will undoubtedly be supported, since it’s built in to the Google Apps suite of products. Google says they are already working with OEMs, and we should see devices that are running Chrome OS hit the market in the second half of 2010.
The competition in the OS space is heating up, and the biggest winner, from where we sit, is going to be the consumers. Game on.
Read More | Chrome OS
Google announced today that it is launching its new beta browser, named Chrome. Available in more than 100 countries supposedly tomorrow, so far it is only for those with Microsoft Windows. (The company says it is still working on the Mac and Linux versions.) Google’s official blog almost apologized for their comic that discussed the joys of their new browser, saying that they tend to “launch early and iterate” and that the mailroom was a bit hasty letting it out. Be that as it may, it took us long enough to get used to Firefox, so we think we will let the hardcores try it first.
Read More | MSNBC