Google Chrome 4.0.249.43 Released for Mac

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Date: Friday, December 18th, 2009, 05:50
Category: News

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Google Chrome, Google’s new web browser, just reached version 4.0.249.43 for the Mac. The new version, a 17.7 megabyte download, offers the following fixes and changes in the beta:

- Fixed several common crashes.
- Added a notification says “xxx is synched.” if you are already synced and click that button.
- Known issue: You’ll get an error when checking for updates using the About Google Chrome dialog. ‘Update server not available’ (error : 12). Regardless of the error message, the update is successful.

Google Chrome requires Mac OS X 10.5 or later and an Intel-based Mac to install and run.

If you’ve played with it and have an opinion, let us know what you think in the comments.

Google Chrome Beta Arrives for the Mac

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Date: Tuesday, December 8th, 2009, 11:05
Category: Software

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At long last, the official beta of the Mac version of Google Chrome has arrived. The beta, a 17.6 megabyte download, is the current version of Google’s speedy, home-brewed web browser, which until now has been available only for the Windows operating systems.

The beta requires Mac OS X 10.5 or later to install and run.

If you’ve played with it and have an opinion, let us know what you think in the comments.

Google Chrome Beta Nearing, Some Features on Hold

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Date: Tuesday, December 1st, 2009, 08:04
Category: News, Software

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If you’re waiting for Google’s Chrome browser for the Mac, a stable beta may not be that far away.

Yesterday, TechCrunch pointed to to a Twitter posting from Mike Pinkerton of the Chrome for Mac team noting that there were only eight bugs remaining to be addressed before the Mac beta of Chrome is ready for its launch expected for some time in the next month.

“8 remaining M4 Mac beta blockers! Go team! #chrome”

This means that there are only 8 things standing in the way of Chrome for Mac going beta. “M4″ stands for “milestone 4,” which is how they phrase “version 4,” which the Mac beta build of Chrome will be (the current dev channel version is 4.0.249.12, for example).

So far, the following features have been pushed out to the next beta version in order to allow Google to meet its goal of releasing the initial beta before the end of the year:

- Bookmark Manager

- App Mode (allows Chrome to run Web apps in their own simplified windows)

- Task Manager

- Gears (offline support for Web apps; apparently being scrapped entirely in favor of HTML5)

- Bookmark syncing

- Multi-touch gestures

- 64-bit support

- Full support for extensions

- Full screen mode (possibly)

Developer builds of Chrome for Mac have been available for several months, but the move to a beta version suggests that users can expect to see a fairly stable browser with a number of significant features included. Work will continue on Chrome with additional Developer Preview releases occurring on a regular basis. Refined versions will then periodically be released as new additions to Chrome’s Beta channel. Releases will eventually make their way to Chrome’s “Stable” channel, which will offer “rock solid” performance without the inclusion of features still under development and testing.

Rumor: Apple Working on Next-Gen iPhone, Expanding Maps Application with New Hire

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Date: Monday, November 30th, 2009, 10:39
Category: iPhone, Rumor

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Hints as to a new iPhone hardware model have emerged online with a handset identifying itself as “iPhone 3,1″ was tracked by PinchMedia in its application iBART for San Francisco public transportation. Per MacRumors, iPhone 3,1 appeared in its usage logs during November.

The reference could signify a new iPhone model with major hardware changes, as Apple only changes the first number in a product’s identifier string when a significant upgrade is en route. The current iPhone 3GS carries the identifier iPhone 2,1 while the original iPhone identifies itself as iPhone 1,1, and the iPhone 3G (which featured minor architectural changes from its predecessor) is iPhone 1,2.

Apple’s use of the 3,1 indicator could imply major and distinct changes, a practice that it also uses with its Mac lineup. References in software to an iPhone 3,1 have existed for some time, but the alleged use of the unreleased hardware would be a first.

Early this year, signs of iPhone 2,1 began appearing online. That hardware was eventually released months later, in June, as the iPhone 3GS.

Apple has released all of its iPhone updates in the summer. Recent rumors have suggested that the company could release a Verizon-capable phone in 2010.

Also revealed this weekend was a new job listing from Apple for a software engineer to work on the iPhone Maps application. The listing seeks a full-time employee to work in Cupertino, Calif., on the software:

“The iPhone has revolutionized the mobile industry and has changed people’s lives and we want to continue to do so,” the listing reads. “We want to take Maps to the next level, rethink how users use Maps and change the way people find things. We want to do this in a seamless, highly interactive and enjoyable way. We’ve only just started.”

The description is particularly interesting given that Apple quietly purchased a Google Maps competitor, Placebase, this summer. The worldwide mapping company offered products that would aggregate data on subjects such as demographics, home sales, crime, mortgage lending, school performance and more.

In addition, the existing Maps application has also served as a point of contention between Apple and Google. Apple rejected the Google Latitude app because it was reportedly thought the software would only be confused with the default Maps application. Google instead released a Web-based version of the software.

Google has added additional functionality to its own Android-powered handsets with Google Maps Navigation, a free turn-by-turn voice guidance system part of the new Motorola Droid. Google has stated its intent to bring the software to the iPhone, if Apple approves.

Google Earth 5.1.3533.1731 Released

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Date: Thursday, November 19th, 2009, 05:34
Category: Software

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Late Wednesday, software giant Google released version 5.1.3533.1731 of its popular Google Earth program. The new version, a 15.9 megabyte download, adds the following new features:

- Improved Startup Time. The improvement is most noticeable when users launch the Earth application multiple times.
- Improved overall rendering performance. Changes include faster atmosphere rendering and using compressed textures whenever possible.
- Improved Road rendering Performance: Frame rate at places with dense road networks is three times faster than in previous releases.
- Improved memory utilization in the application.
- Significantly smoother frame-rate and less stuttering in the application compared to previous releases.
- Improved performance with large region based network link KML documents. Some of large KML documents are now processed and rendered at more than twice the speed of earlier releases.
- Improved KML document handling performance. Large regionated KML Image overlays are up to 80% faster than previous releases.
- Support for KML hint = moon or mars to switch to moon or mars based on kml document.
- Availability of one installer that installs both the Google Earth application and browser plugin.
- Desktop Application now works on Windows 7.
- Users can set the memory cache size up to 1024 MB now.

The new version requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to install and run.

Google Earth iPhone App Reaches Version 2.0

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Date: Tuesday, November 17th, 2009, 05:56
Category: iPhone, Software

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Late Monday, Google released version 2.0 of its Google Earth for iPhone app. The new version lets you add user-created maps from your Mac or PC to your iPhone, adds visual feedback when you select certain locations, provides easier browsing and adds new language support.

The application is available for free and requires iPhone OS 2.0 or later to install and run.

Adium Updated to 1.3.8

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Date: Thursday, November 5th, 2009, 04:36
Category: Software

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Adium, the open source instant message chat client with support for multiple programs (including AOL Instant Messenger, ICQ, Jabber, MSN, Yahoo! Google Talk, Bonjour, etc.) has been updated to version 1.3.8.

The new version, a 21.4 megabyte download, offers the following fixes and changes:

- Updated pidgin-facebook chat, fixing login.
- Corrected the Events preferences not displaying the correct list on Snow Leopard.

Adium X is available for free and requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later to run. The program functions as a Universal Binary and runs at native speeds on both PowerPC and Intel-based hardware.

Google Chrome Web Browser Could Hit the Mac by Christmas

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Date: Friday, October 9th, 2009, 07:00
Category: Software

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A Mac OS X version of Google Chrome could arrive as early as Christmas. According to Macworld UK, Google CEO Eric Schmidt broke the news at a New York press conference responding to a question about Chrome’s market share, which some have claimed is disappointing.

“I see a lot of Macs in this room, and a lot of very sophisticated people are using Macs now and we need to get a version of Chrome out for that, which we’ll have in a couple of months. The key to browser strength is speed.”

Google Chrome is billed as a browser that combines minimal design with sophisticated technology to make the web faster, safer and easier.

The Mac version was expected sometime in 2010.

Google Voice to Hit iPhone as Web-Based App

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Date: Tuesday, August 11th, 2009, 04:42
Category: iPhone, Software

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In spite of recent drama between Google and Apple, Google Voice will soon be available for the iPhone, though as a web-based application according to the New York Times.

The all-things-phone-management application (which was widely speculated to have been rejected for threatening AT&T profits on calling plans) will be rewritten as a stylized Web site that offers everything the rejected app would have.

It’s currently unclear as to whether Apple would reject a repurposed Google Voice app, though considering that Apple’s recent decision to reject the app managed to draw attention from a wide range of people, including some at the FCC, the company probably thought it best to allow a Google Voice variant slide.

Web-based apps can be bookmarked on the iPhone interface and appear like an app purchased from the App Store.
A text-heavy version of Google Voice can currently be tested on your iPhone by pointing Safari to google.com/voice/m.

Rumor: Netflix May Bring Streaming Service to iPhone, Other Handsets

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Date: Tuesday, August 4th, 2009, 05:16
Category: iPhone 3GS, Rumor

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Citing an unnamed source described as “an industry executive familiar with Netflix’s plans,” an article in Multichannel News is claiming that Netflix will soon offer its Watch Instantly streaming video service on the iPhone, iPod touch and the Nintendo Wii.

The brief reportdescribes the move as the next step for Netflix’ content, which currently streams to Windows PCs, Macs, the Xbox 360, TiVo DVRs, the Roku, and certain TV and Blu-Ray players built to support video downloads.

Unlike its DVDs-by-mail service, Netflix’ Watch Instantly library offers much less variety, with limited popular content such as recent movies and TV series. Older titles and oddball independent films are also available for immediate viewing and the Watch Instantly service is also included for viewing at no extra cost over the base Netflix subscription, in contrast to iTunes’ pay per view pricing.

Unlike media purchased or rented from iTunes, Netflix’ streaming content plays back directly with no download. This requires no local storage on the playback device, but results in playback quality that is dependent upon the available network bandwidth. With iTunes and the Apple TV, content is progressively downloaded, enabling users to obtain HD content even with a slower connection, albeit with a longer wait.

The advantage of Netflix’ instantly streaming video is that little or no storage is required. If the iPhone and Wii are powerful enough to decode the live stream, this could add a new customer segment for Netflix, the users not having to worry about their devices storing the downloaded content.

Whether the iPhone or Wii could decode quality video only using software may be an issue, as Netflix playback on the more powerful Apple TV has been cited by some as not practical due to its lack of any Windows Media codec hardware acceleration.

Video playback over AT&T’s mobile network would likely also be prohibited by any Netflix streaming player app, making any iPhone version Wi-Fi only, in line with other video streaming apps such as SlingPlayer Mobile.

As a workaround to the iPhone’s intentionally missing support for Windows DRM, Netflix could also take a page from Google and utilize the native support in iPhone OS 3.0 for HTTP Live Streaming, which plays streaming video to the iPhone and iPod Touch using standard MPEG AAC/H.264 codecs over familiar web-based protocols.

At the launch of the iPhone, Google shifted its Flash-based YouTube service to also support H.264 at Apple’s behest, allowing the iPhone to work around the need for Flash playback while also delivering hardware accelerated video playback using open protocols.

Support for HTTP Live Streaming will also be built into QuickTime X playback for Snow Leopard, and appears to be slated for adoption in the next revision of Apple TV. Third parties will also be able to implement HTTP Live Streaming on their own devices.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.