Opera 10: Impressive!

Opera took version 10 out of beta and now has launched it officially. I’m blogging this post using Opera 10 and it has been impressive. So impressive that I’ve since been using three browsers since its release. (The other two I’m using are Firefox and Chrome)

First, Opera seems to operate faster than Chrome and Firefox. Opera 10 definitely trumps Chrome in the Javascript execution department (at least from the sites I’m visiting). I also like the visual tabs feature where the tabs actually show a preview of the web page it’s showing. This is a big help for someone like me who doesn’t like to keep that many tabs open (around 10-12 tabs). I do wish you can change the font size of the address bar though.

On a final note, web designers may want to get this update as to have design get tested on as Opera is one of the browsers that is the most standards-compliant. :)

Mozilla Labs Design Challenge Summer 09 Best in Class

A couple of months ago, I blogged about the Mozilla Labs Design Challenge Summer 09. This was Mozilla Labs’ sponsored competition that aimed to reinvent and reimagine the tabs in browsers.

The competition raised the question : Reinventing Tabs in the Browser – How can we create, navigate and manage multiple web sites within the same browser instance?” And several groups heeded the call and proposed solutions. Here are the very interesting design submissions that got the Best in Class:

There was also a People’s Choice award and it was given to CubeZilla.

Among the Best in Class awardees, I personally like the Wave Concept. Here’s the video of the presentation of the Wave Concept:

Wave Concept from Darby Thomas on Vimeo.

Looks very interesting and I like the preview aspect of it. It’s like a remix version of tabs and the “Speed Dial” feature in Chrome and Opera. 😀

The One Thing about Google Chrome I’m Annoyed With…

…Is the way it keeps on insisting on the Google search engine that’s associated with my geographic location.

I’ve been using Google Chrome as my default browser and I’ve been observing that whenever I search for something via the address bar, it will go to Google.com.ph, the Google search engine that’s geared for the Philippines.

The thing is, I’ve set my preferences time and time again to switch to the default Google.com page with my preferred number of returned search results.

Is this a bug or Google’s way of “doing what’s best” for my search. 😡

Google Launches Chrome, Web Browser

Well I’ll be a monkey’s uncle! Google finally launches its own web browser.

Dubbed as Google Chrome, the web browser is the long-anticipated software that will go up against Microsoft‘s Internet Explorer, Mozilla‘s Firefox and Opera‘s web browser. (I can hear the collective groans from those respective camps)

According to the Google Blog, Google decided to launch the browser because they “believe [they] can add value for users and, at the same time, help drive innovation on the web.” Google also launched a comic book to highlight the features of Google Chrome as well as educate the general public on the philosophies behind the design of the application.

I’m all for a browser that will release IE’s chokehold on the browser market, but this move gives Mozilla and Opera the impetus to really come up with nice value added features in order to keep their market share. Google will be happy to launch the product in Beta then gradually lure users into their fold, while creating improvements on Google Chrome of course. From my analysis, the biggest eventual losers of market share will be Internet Explorer and Firefox.

Mozilla Ubiquity: Hacking the Web User Experience

Mozilla Labs announced the alpha prototype launch of Ubiquity, a plugin that essentially adds some depth to the user experience in using the web. Here’s the video of the demo for Mozilla Labs’ Ubiquity:


Ubiquity for Firefox from Aza Raskin on Vimeo.

If you watched the video, you see that the Mozilla firefox plugin is introducing a novel way of interacting with Web 2.0 applications. It links together a pseudo-programming langauge based on natural human language in creating little mashups in your email, calendar, or even with Twitter and Wikipedia.

I see the potential of this new way of interaction because it will pave the way for voice commands in browsing. Imagine, if I find something inersting on the web, I could just select the URL utter “Twitter this!” and the url will be converted into a TinyURL URL and, Voila!, that’s my new Twitter status.

I mentioned before that participation will be a success factor websites, and this plugin will help websites “talk” to the Web 2.0 apps.

Mozilla to help Internet Explorer?

I saw this over at Slashdot (yep, I still visit this site):

An article on Ars Technica reveals Mozilla’s intention to create and release a plugin for Internet Explorer that would allow the often-criticized IE to utilize some of the cooler rendering code developed for Firefox.

I then scoot over to the Ars Technica article to see what was the Mozilla initiative all about. I learn that there’s a project for a plug-in for the Internet Explorer browser that “fixes” the rendering of the oft-maligned browser. The article describes it further:

This Canvas plugin is only the first step toward bringing standards-based web technologies to Internet Explorer. Mozilla is working on a much more ambitious initiative called Screaming Monkey that will make it possible to plug Mozilla’s entire next-generation JavaScript engine directly into Microsoft’s web browser. If these plugins gain widespread acceptance, it will empower web developers and give them the ability to target web standards and not have to compensate as much for Internet Explorer’s broken behavior.

Wow, I really like the sound of that. But from a strategy point of view, why would Mozilla just let users download a plug-in? Will this harm the momentum Mozilla Firefox has gathered in getting market share from Internet explorer?

One More Round: Opera Vs. Firefox

I came upon this post from CNET on a review of Opera 9.5 versus Firefox 3. Pretty interesting if you have been following the browsers’ updates the past month.

I’ve used both browsers and it’s pretty obvious that Firefox pulled out the stops for the jump from Version 2 to Version 3. Opera, while very solid, still offers more of the same from its offering in 9.5. It’salso intersting to note that the author of the CNET review pointed out that browsers are becoming more and more personalized, similar to what is happening to the mobile phone. Yes people do still care about Javascript parsing, web standards and XHTML rendering, but they seem to be more like threshold features nowadays. Issues pertaining to user satisfaction are becoming the new prominent battlefield.