Tag Archives: apple
Making comparisons is always difficult, especially when one tries to compare apples-to-apples something complex like and operating system. But here goes anyway.
Ladies and gentlemen, on the left corner, please welcome one of the most anticipated operating systems, the 10 second-to-launch, fully browser operated Google Chrome OS! On the right corner, ladies and gentlemen, the outsider no one knew before its release except true geeks , the prince who wants to be king before the king has the crown, the black-wallpapered and not-that-clouded Jolicloud!
Everyone should have noticed: we’re dealing with a very much alpha preview version of Chrome OS and a fully functional one in Jolicloud. Unfair to compare? Not really, since I have also alpha tested Jolicloud. I promise, I’ll try to keep that in mind during the comparison.
One billion devices are a legitimate possibility for Android; at least that’s what Google CEO Eric Schmidt believes.
The dev channel of Chrome browser has been updated; the release includes some UI tweaks and stability fixes.
Apple has released an extensions gallery for its Safari browser creatively called – Safari extensions.
You can’t just throw out an OS like Windows because people are connected to the local applications says GigOM’s Sam Dean.
Is Facebook Questions a legitimate contender in the search market or will it just simply be an annoyance?
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the advent of the tablet. Sure, much has already been written about the subject, so I’d like to stay away from the normal conversation. I would, of course, like to reference some articles before I delve deeper here, including Devin Coldewey’s article about the coming onslaught of Android slates, as well as Christopher Dawson’s take on the amount of changes he’s seen in a month’s time of more people relying on tablets and smartphones.
I currently use a Dell v13, an $899 ultra light laptop that is loaded with Windows 7 for all of the work I do on this site. Notwithstanding the fact that I had a Dell tech replace the faulty touchpad within a month of purchase and the fact that the graphics capabilities are tethered to the Intel-based chipset, I’m happy with it. But a nagging feeling remains that my current setup is just not optimal. If there were a middle ground between smartphone and laptop that is not Apple based and could give me what I get from the v13, I would happily switch.
The problem with my current laptop is that even though it is light and very mobile, it lacks the “easy-on” that I need. It runs Windows 7, a behemoth that seems to be better suited for desktops or bulky replacements for such. I don’t need all the junk that comes with a Windows OS; I just need something that works. This is not to say I don’t want to tinker, but I would prefer everything be configured from the start, and I’ll mess with what I want to much later on.
I want a tablet; I just don’t want an Apple one. I also am not interested in one that runs Android because that’s for phones, not for computers. Do I need a keyboard? That’s a subjective question, since I do type a lot as a writer but if there is a badass alternative to this antiquated set of Chiclets that I use to communicate then I would be all for it.
What do you think? Is the time for grappling with Windows over? Where is the cloud-based Windows killer we’ve all been looking for?
Senior Vice President of Product Management Jonathan Rosenberg said on Google’s Q2 conference call today something that certainly bodes well for webapps, and maybe a different way of looking at mobile technology. The most popular application on the Android platform is, of course, the browser.
Is that true on Apple’s platform? Maybe, maybe not, I don’t know the answer (I did look), but without Flash, it makes one wonder how Apple plans on moving forward with apps. Do they want it to be the browser, or is it more profitable for them to keep all content (apps, music and movies) in their own Store?
Here is a graph provided by Business Insider from Nielsen, showing the top downloaded apps by smartphone. Where do you think the browser fits in on this graph for these phones? Is it the browser, as it is on Android? Also, note the amount of Google services (Maps, YouTube, Search) that comprises this graph.
Silicon Alley Insider’s recent chart showing the amount of time spent on major sites displays a strong push for both Google and Facebook, while the previous (shocking) champ Yahoo is experiencing a steady overall drop.
Yahoo and AOL are in steep decline, while Microsoft is simply staying afloat, most likely bolstered by spending hundreds of millions on marketing their Bing search engine. Apple, which is rumored to be preparing for a more cloud-based approach, isn’t even on this list.
Facebook has really pulled up close with Google, but co-founder Sergey Brin recently said the company is unfazed by Facebook’s growth.
“The indications that we have show that when Internet users become Facebook users they actually do significantly more searches on Google,” Brin told Reuters in Sun Valley, Idaho last week.
But Google isn’t resting on their laurels in regards to competing with Facebook. That would explain this recent release of a huge 216 slide presentation by Google UX researcher Paul Adams on the problems and opportunities of social networking.
Yesterday’s launch of the new YouTube Mobile site (just go to m.youtube.com) further reiterates something that has been in my thoughts ever since the explosive growth in mobile apps started. This has really led to another way for large technology companies to wall off their users, much like Microsoft has done over the years. Even though it’s great that you can have a mobile application for virtually anything that you want in your pocket, there are some inherent limitations to these native applications.
TechCrunch’s Jason Kincaid makes a good point in his look at YouTube Mobile that the video quality is fantastic – better, he says than the native application that came with Apple’s iOS for the iPhone and iPad. That may have something to do with the fact that the webapp is built in HTML5 and optimized for the current wireless networks that devices use.
“Video on the HTML5 app looked much better, and was snappier to boot”, remarks Kincaid in his write-up.
All the more proof that giving browsers the ability to use the web as a platform to utilize applications is the future of computing, whether it be via a smartphone or a laptop. The idea of Chrome OS or other web operating system simply doesn’t seem so far-fetched.
One of the reasons that web applications have a clear benefit over native ones is interoperability. On the web, diverse applications are able to access and communicate data between one another in order to provide a seamless ecosystem. Think about Twitter, where users allow web applications such as HootSuite access to their accounts to better understand the underlying data. Or, as Kincaid remarks, the simplistic convenience of auto-fill in the YouTube Mobile app.
But what’s wrong with the way things are done now? We’ve seen both Apple and Google take take direct control of users’ devices. Even Amazon has removed books from its Kindle e-reader, citing copyright problems with a publisher. With the new browser technologies like HTML5, a third party cannot take away something that is on the web; and no developer or group of developers is dependent on an outside partner for its applications.
Sure, there are motives behind the decisions above in the face of security and potential lawsuits. Possible hurdles abound with what could happen in a world where applications are easily installed with one click. But Microsoft led a tech space for years that allowed people to put whatever they want on their computers, and despite their flagging performance, they’ve been around for over thirty years.
It has been big news recently that Chrome has overtaken Safari as the third most used browser in the U.S. While this statistic is one that’s skewed towards the United States since Chrome and Safari have been neck and neck, the reality is that Chrome took third place worldwide over Safari back in September.
The main reason that America has lagged in this regard is probably the fact that Apple sells so many computers in the United States, coming with the well regarded WebKit-based Safari.
But the point of this post is to understand how Chrome got this far in a period of two years. When I first tried Chrome as an early adopter-type in the beginning of 2009, I liked the design interface and the idea of “sandboxing” where every tab was its own process. The problem with Chrome at that time was one of compatibility: there were sites that did not function correctly with Chrome, a surprise to me because of its WebKit roots.
Over time, which really isn’t long by Google’s measurement, Chrome evolved. Many sites needed to adapt some functionality to Chrome, but for the most part it was the folks at Google working fervently to make the best browser available. Perhaps they knew that they were making the foundations of an operating system at the time, who knows?
In December 2009, Google launched the Chrome Extensions web site, an opportunity for the company to better compete with Firefox’s vaunted library of add-ins. Not only did they take an existing idea, they improved on it by putting security limits around extensions at their site, making sure that proper measures are taken to make sure that personal data and important computer processes cannot be compromised through the browser. Clicking around at the Extensions site the other day it appears that there are over five thousand now available.
In the beginning, Google offered an extension that you could install into Chrome and translate different languages of the web. Then they started adding it into the development Chromium builds, and finally it was released with the launch Chrome 5 to users a few months ago embedded in the browser itself. This feature is so easy to use, and it unlocks the web for everyone to read no matter their language. Google took an existing service they had and put it right into the browser where it’s the most useful.
No Messing With Flash
Maybe Google sees something in Flash that Apple doesn’t, but they decided to take a very different approach to handling Adobe Flash than Cupertino. Instead of eschewing it completely, Google has embraced the technology. Flash is used in YouTube videos, for some streaming music sites and I’ve recently noticed it needs to be installed to use Google Analytics. So, unlike other browsers that require you to install it and then update to newer revisions manually, Google preempts any inconvienence and risk by making it a part of Chrome.
In the End
Relentless innovation has gotten Chrome browser this far. This is due to Chromium as an open source resource as well as the amount of manpower that Google has thrown towards it in anticipation of Chrome OS. I didn’t even get to talk here about interesting features like the omnibox, bookmark sync and geolocation, but they are an aside to these three major developments that are propelling this browser’s growth. How much market share can this browser take from Internet Explorer and Firefox in the months and years to come?
It was brought to my attention recently an article talking about overall dollar amounts that developers make for their applications that are sold in top mobile marketplaces. Basically, a huge amount of money has been paid out to developers for Apple’s iOS, while Android has seen very little in revenues to those who create for that platform.
The fact that so little apps have been sold in the marketplace, coupled with the fact that there are more Android phones now being outsold by iPhones, brings up a few thoughts.
One is a recent report that says developers are indeed interested in making apps for Android tablets and smartphones; the problem is that this may be true, interest is not turning into solid numbers for the Android Market. For whatever reason, the overall amount of money that is going to app developers for Android is still small despite the interest. That’s a problem. Is it possible that Android users expect all of their apps to be available for free? That is indeed a possibility.
That brings the Chrome Web Store into the picture here. Expected to be the way that users will be able to buy apps when Chrome OS comes to market, one has to wonder whether it will be a boon for developers or not.
One way to prevent the same problems that Android is now experiencing is to launch an incentive-laden paid advertising model for the Chrome Web Store, one perhaps not unlike AdSense for websites. This way, developers can see that they need to create applications that captivate a large audience. This way, popular apps are created for the mass market, and creators make money for doing so.
It may not work for all applications, but it is a great way to launch an app market until there is a diverse set of people using the platform, which may be the underlying problem that currently plagues the Android Market. Too many people with the same interests, and for whatever reason not willing to pay up for apps like those who use the iPhone do.
Viacom sued YouTube for $1 billion dollars back in 2007 over copyrighted content in the form of video clips that were hosted on the video sharing site. Today, it was announced that Viacom has lost their suit against YouTube. A primary reason for this was that the content on YouTube has been declared as protected under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).
This is a big deal, since it allows for people on the web to be able to share things that in the past could have proved to violate possible copyright laws. The problem up until now is that bloggers, user-generated content sites and social media mavens were in a gray area in regards to the legality of sharing certain things with other people on the internet. With this precedent today, we now have something to rely on that cements the web as a place to share thoughts and ideas about anything, as long as it is not outright stealing.
This also helps out in terms of cloud computing, as not only users were at risk previously, but also the datacenters that hold information. These massive structures full of servers are generally operated by large companies such as Google, Amazon and Apple – and I would assume that in the future possible legal disputes about user information stored in the cloud (whatever it may be) would have certain protections as well.
Content sharing and social media, along with cloud computing are starting to come out of the “Wild West” era, so to speak and it is further apparent that there is legitimacy for those who are involved in this space.
I say this because when I was at Taiwan’s Computex 2010 conference less than a month ago there were some formidable competitors in terms of hardware, but the leading manufactures for these devices didn’t really offer a whole lot in terms of software.
Sure, the Acer tablet that allows one to flip the netbook-style form factor over to a table was impressive, but the touch functionality of Windows 7 for it was quite lackluster: I asked a product rep to reboot the device because there seemed to be a problem with the touch software, only to have the same problems crop up again once it started up.
Asus offered up a beautiful tablet design that had potential to compete with Apple, but they kept a product manager closely hovering over the device running a new version of Windows CE that looked surprisingly Android-like, but because of the people and Asus employees holding a close grip on the tablet, no one was really able to test the paces of Microsoft’s UI.
MSI had a winged version of a tablet running Android that seemed surprisingly comfortable in my hands, but we all know that Google’s smartphone operating system isn’t really meant for tablets – it just seemed like a supersized stock version of the OS. An MSI product manager also told me that the MSI Wind tablet was just a concept for now.
This is problematic. The reason why I say this is because since Apple has taken the world by storm plugging an already existing operating system with the iOS to a tablet form factor, that have essentially beaten the entire computer manufacturing market with the iPad. There is no one else that has an operating system that is fully compatible with touch on a tablet.
That’s not to say Android is far behind Apple’s touch-based operating system, but it is clear that unlike the iOS, there was no plan for tablets in its future. We’ve seen early on Google’s Chrome OS tablet concept, and we can only hope that Chrome OS will offer a stylishly-designed slate from the likes of HP, Dell or Acer in the coming months, hopefully something that is just as functional, open source for app developers and creatively designed mobile gadget that can compete with the iPad.
I hold out hope on this, because only one successful tablet in the market does not bode well for innovation. What do you think? Which one of these PC manufacturers has the best chance of offering a tablet running Chrome OS that can compete with Apple?
How will Apple combat the PDF on the web? They have already said that they won’t support Flash, and Adobe has since slowly backed away from support for anything related to Apple. It’s a smart move on Adobe’s part, and gives Google a chance to move in on the vacant space.
The Chromium Blog has just posted a bit about PDF files now being integrated into the browser. This is something I had expected to happen with the advent of Adobe’s Flash player being baked into Chrome, and this is a logical step forward since these files are ubiquitous on the web. At the forefront of this move are issues with security. There have been problems (and McAfee has pointed them out) with suspect PDF files causing havoc on machines.
In the Computerworld article linked above, a McAfee security specialist recommended sandboxing Adobe Reader files, something that is now being done by the Chromium team to further enhance Chrome’s overall security in the future.
With Google supporting Adobe’s formats (OK, two of them) they legitimize them on the web. There’s nothing wrong with that, other than the fact that they are tacking a stance that further differentiates them from Apple. It seems only logical to think that with Flash already being in the fold that supporting Adobe Reader’s PDF file format to be complementary to what has already been done with integration. Despite Apple’s concern everyone uses Flash and Reader so instead of chucking it out, why not find ways to solve the problem at hand?
At the same time, what is wrong with simply integrating PDF files into the web the way it’s done with Srcibd? This may just be another move for Google to pre-empt that company, just like purchasing YouTube gave them the defacto platform for video. Integrating PDF files gives Google the platform for enabling documentation that may have all sorts of importance to people that want to publish on the web yet still retain some degree of control.
This is starting in Chromium with the dev build, and surely will soon move to the beta and stable releases of Chrome.