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Samsung’s adblock toting browser now compatible with older Galaxy devices

Samsung Internet Browser

Samsung Internet Browser

The Samsung Internet 4.0 app is now compatible with devices that are running Android 5.0 Lollipop as well. This is major news as the browser was only supported by Samsung’s Marshmallow smartphones/tablets before. This update brings support for older devices like the Galaxy S4, Galaxy S4 Active, Galaxy S5 and so on. Basically, if you have a Samsung Galaxy handset that’s running the company’s official Android ROM, then the Samsung Internet 4.0 app should be compatible with your device.

One of the benefits of having this app installed on your device is that it lets you block out annoying advertisements that might pop up during browsing. This is all thanks to adblocking which is integrated within the browser. It will be interesting to see if Google will have anything to say about this as Adblock apps have significantly eaten into Google’s ad revenue. Google even removed the Adblock app from the Play Store, only to have it back after widespread public ire.

Unfortunately, Samsung Internet 4.0 is an exclusive to the company’s Galaxy devices, so non-Samsung device owners won’t be able to take the browser for a spin. But if you have a compatible device, make sure you hit the Play Store link below to download the app on your smartphone.

Source: Google Play Store

Via: Pocketnow

Google reportedly testing a new look mobile web app of YouTube

YouTube Mobile Web

YouTube Mobile Web

The YouTube app is already available on all major smartphone/tablet platforms from a very long time. But there are quite a lot of users who rely on the mobile web version of the service for their daily dose of videos. Google is now revealed to be working on a revamped version of the YouTube mobile web app, which is to be accessed through the stock mobile browser.

The screenshots reveal the inclusion of the hamburger style menu and several other visible tweaks. These screenshots were taken from an Android smartphone, so the new mobile web version of YouTube isn’t exclusive to just low end devices. The differences are clearly visible when we compare the current iteration of the YouTube app for mobile browsers, so it’s clear that a lot of work has gone into the making of this revamped web app. We expect these changes to be made available in the coming days with no ETA provided as of now.

YouTube Mobile Web App

Source: Nedas Petravičius – Google+

Via: Android Police

Google adds Notifications to Chrome OS and Web apps

Google Chrome

Google has now added the ability to add push notification to developers web apps for Chrome the browser and Chrome OS, Google’s Cloud Messaging for Chrome will allow web developers to send messages to Google’s servers; the message will then be transferred to the browser in real time.

Push Notifications Finally Available on Chrome Browser and Chrome OS

This will mean that third party developers to send information to users of Android, Chrome and Chrome OS. This will allow the users to be updated on the latest sports, stocks and weather; this will depend on the users preferences whether they get prompted about everything or just very important breaking news.

The Cloud Messaging system was announced at Google I/O at year for Android, the feature has trickled down from Android to the Chrome operating systems and the extensions for the browser.

The Benefits to Users and Developers

The current model that developers have to use until the Cloud Messaging service is ready to be rolled out, had the apps constantly checking back to their own servers to see if an update is ready; this is a terrible waste of bandwidth and battery life. The new system will lift the burden from the developers shoulders and will improve the users battery life.

The only catch to this new push notification service is that the users of Chrome and Chrome OS will have to be signed into their Google accounts for the service to work correctly.

The notification in Chrome won’t be in your face as to distract you from what you’re doing, they’ll be presented in the nice Google design fashion. For Android users this will be a very normal thing to see in Chrome, but for iPhone users who also use Chrome this may be a little alien to them.

Source – TechRadar

Opera Seals Deal With Skyfire for $155 Million

Opera

Internet browsers are a key medium to access information in the modern era. The emergence of internet is such that, we cannot imagine our lives today without these browsers. Browsers like Internet Explorer, Safari, Firefox, Google Chrome, Opera among others have been the most preferred desktop browsers in the world. Each user will have his/her preference with regards to browsers, and that’s the beauty about choice. Another key area for browsers today is mobile. Smartphones and tablet adoption is growing at a quicker rate than expected. This is why we have mobile Chrome, mobile Firefox, mobile IE and mobile Safari in the wild (no pun intended). And one of the popular among mobile browsers is Skyfire which brings the ability to load flash loaded pages on Android and iOS. If you might recall, Android ditched support for flash player while iOS never had it to begin with. Despite this, the mobile browser is able to load flash content while rendering webpages. Skyfire also comes with the ability to cut down on data eaten up while streaming videos by up to 60%. Skyfire is able to provide these cool features as it handles its content on the cloud. Its mobile video optimization is something which all the competitors have keenly observed and envied.

However, this cool little browser will now come under the wing of Opera, which has decided to buy out Skyfire for a reported $155 million. We’re not sure if this means that Skyfire is dead, but we can certainly expect some heavy improvements coming to the Opera browser. It is believed that the folks at Opera will pay $50 million initially and the remaining amount will be given in the form of cash and stock after a few months of assessment of the browser. The deal will be finalized by March 15th, it is said. We’re yet to know if Opera will bring Skyfire to mobile devices only or to desktops as well. The acquisition means that plenty of other Skyfire features will make its way to Opera in some form. So for all those who have been loyal fans of the Opera browser, it seems like exciting things are coming towards you. The folks at Opera are pretty pumped up about joining forces with Skyfire. And we hope new things come to the fore after the acquisition.

The CEO of Opera Lars Boilesen said in an official statement – “Opera and Skyfire are a natural fit. Both companies have evolved far beyond their browser roots. Skyfire adds capabilities to our portfolio around video, app optimization, smartphones and tablets, and strength in North America. With video expected to consume over two-thirds of global mobile bandwidth by 2015, and as time spent on Android and iOS apps explodes, we are excited to extend Opera’s solutions for operators

Source: Opera
Via: Phone Arena

Firefox Beta For Desktop And Mobile Get Updated

The release notes for the latest version of Firefox Beta for desktop announce that the browser now comes with a built-in PDF viewer.

Firefox-Beta

According to Mozilla, it included the PDF viewer to allow users to refrain from downloading plugins that may expose them to security risks.

The new beta version also proposes to reset the Awesomebar search settings, “if it has been changed by third-party software or through about:config.”

Other changes include the following:

Canvas elements can export their content as an image blob using canvas.toBlob()
Startup performance improvements (bugs 715402 and 756313)
Debugger now supports pausing on exceptions and hiding non-enumerable properties
Remote Web Console is available for connecting to Firefox on Android or Firefox OS (experimental, set devtools.debugger.remote-enabled to true)
There is now a Browser Debugger available for add-on and browser developers (experimental, set devtools.chrome.enabled to true)
Web Console CSS links now open in the Style Editor
CSS @page is now supported
CSS viewport-percentage length units implemented (vh, vw, vmin and vmax)
CSS text-transform now supports full-width
Starting Firefox with -private flag incorrectly claims you are not in Private Browsing mode (802274)

Firefox beta may now be downloaded by users of Firefox 19 Beta, Windows, Mac, and Linux.

Firefox for Android beta was likewise updated. It introduces more support for ARMv6, which means that an estimated 15 million phones can now enjoy the browser. There is now a lower minimum CPU requirement of 600MHz. Other requirements include 512MB, HVGA. These cover handsets such as the T-Mobile myTouch 3G slide, HTC Wildfire S, LG Optimus One, and ZTE R750.

The other features for the mobile browser also include the following:

Added theme support
Support for Traditional Chinese and Simplified Chinese localizations
Canvas elements can export their content as an image blob using canvas.toBlob()
CSS @page is now supported
CSS viewport-percentage length units implemented (vh, vw, vmin and vmax)
CSS text-transform now supports full-width
Holding backspace may delete text both in front of and behind the cursor (770291)
Firefox Integration in the Google Search Widget

via thenextweb

Baidu releases a new browser for mobile devices

Baidu Inc. is a Chinese web services company. Baidu currently offers range of services, including a Chinese language search engine for websites, audio files, and images. Baidu also offers a 57 search and community services including Baidu Baike, an online collaboratively built encyclopedia, and a searchable keyword-based discussion forum. Baidu is like a Google alternative for the Chinese market, and it’s very popular. To testify that statement, Baidu ranked 6th overall in the Alexa Internet rankings in September, 2011.

More and more people across the world are starting to use internet on mobile. In China, the number of people going online from mobile devices has risen to 388 million, which is a big number to take the market seriously. In order to cash in on the smartphone users from China, Baidu has launched its own mobile web browser in order to secure its share in a mobile market which has more users than the whole US population in totality. Baidu’s mobile browser highlights shift to mobile, cloud computing. Baidu, being a very popular search engine in China, is aiming to go against Apple’s Safari and Google’s Chrome with its own browser.

According to the company, Baidu Mobile Browser is about 20% faster than its rivals. Baidu has considered Google Chrome’s approach to load webpages and ability to view HD videos. Like the Chrome, even Baidu Mobile Browser will be able to access web-based mobile apps and play HD videos without having to download or install any additional apps.

Currently, Baidu makes money from users searching from laptops and desktops, however, customers are switching to mobile devices, which also poses as a threat to the company if it doesn’t find a way to monetize from mobile search traffic. The search engine giant expects to make money from mobile users through advertising, apps and content of course. Monetizing is however a medium-term concern as its advertising clients will still have to create mobile versions of their websites.

Baidu’s goal is for 80 percent of China’s Android handsets to have downloaded the Baidu Mobile Browser by the end of 2012, Li said.

Baidu still has ties with Yahoo and has been actively researching methods to monetize search engine traffic. Of course, the company won’t be relying just on a browser to generate significant part of the revenue. For instance, Mozilla relies on Google along for its revenue, so Baidu has to treat its browser as a part of a much wider revenue generation system.

Baidu aims to have the browser running on 80% of Chinese Android smartphones, which is really ambitious. May be it will tie up with manufacturers henceforth to have the browser pre-installed on their smartphones. The firm’s CFO, Jennifer Li also said that the company will be spending as much as $1.6 billion (10 billion yuan) to build a cloud computing centre, another market where Baidu hopes to make some cash in the near future.

It’s great that Baidu is looking forward into the future. A Chinese anti-virus software firm called Qihoo 360 Technology entered into the search engine business last month and apparently managed to tumble Baidu’s share by over 17 percent.

What are your thoughts on Baidu’s mobile browser moves? Let us know using the comment form below.

Opera Mini Releases Top 10 List With High Usage In Russia

Opera’s mobile web browsing software has been a staple with smartphones since before the days of iOS and Android. Today Opera boasts 144 million users around the world. They’ve released their list of top 10 sites visited on Opera Mini in 2011. Russian sites did surprisingly well on Opera Mini.

At the top of the list are search sites, social media sites and of course video sites. Opera measured the data from November 2010 to November 2011.

Here is their top 10 list:

10. Twitter
9.  Yahoo
8. my.opera.com
7. wikipedia
6. yandex.ru
5. odnoklassniki.ru
4. vkontakte.ru
3. youtube.com
2. facebook.com
1. google.com

Of course none of the top 3 are surprising. Facebook is the number one most used app on Android by a large margin.

While Opera reports that they saw the most growth in Latin America, 3 of the top 10 sites have Russian origin so it seems that many of Opera Mini’s users must be Russian.

source: Opera via Phonearena

Could The End Of Mozilla’s Google Contract Mean The End Of Firefox?

Lately, to the end user, Firefox has looked great. They’ve rapidly sped up the development of both Firefox for pcs and Firefox for mobile. It seems like every month (if not more) we’re reporting on some new features and enhancements to Firefox for Android.

That may all soon change as a search contract with Google expired last month.  According to ZDNet the contract was over 85% of Mozilla’s (Firefox parent) funding. Ed Bott reports in this article that in 2010 84% of Mozilla’s $123 million in revenue came from that search partnership with Google. That accounted for $100 million dollars.

More after the break
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App Battle: Android 2.1 Browsers

Intro

Welcome back to the battlefield, Droidguy readers.  Today we’ve got a real doozy on our hands as we attempt to pit the best Android 2.1 browsers against each other and find out which one deserves to be your web workhorse of choice.  As we all know, the browser wars on the desktop are always going to be ugly because each alternative browser is struggling to become the one with the largest installed base.  The Android browsers wars may even be more frantic based on the fact that android users are used to having a choice, and unlike the average pc user, they are more likely to go out and download an alternative browser for their device.  With that being said, lets prepare for battle, but keep in mind, that the war will continue to rage long after you read this article.

The Reviews

Stock Android Browser

The stock Android browser is just that, the default browser that comes pre-installed on just about every Android device.  Be advised that although this browser may be stock, it is no slouch when it comes to features.  This browser sets the bar high for any alternate browser released for Android.  This browser offers the pinch-to-zoom interface for zooming in on portions of a page, tabbed browsing for browsing multiple pages at the same time, bookmarks and history, page sharing for posting your interests to email or your favorite social networking site, and pop-up blocking.  This handy browser can also manage your passwords for log-ins, and works with phones that have motion sensing technology to display the page right-side up based on the orientation of the device.  Not too shabby for free right out of the box.

SkyFire

The first alternative browser on the scene for this battle is Skyfire, a.k.a. “the one that does flash”.  Now, for those of us who have a non-Froyo device like me, having the ability to watch online flash video is just not yet possible.  We are all going to be stuck waiting for our carriers to get their approved builds of Android 2.2 out the door before we can take advantage of the full online flash experience.  Enter Skyfire.  While Skyfire may not be able to play ANY flash video out there, it does manage to play quite a few, and that’s saying a lot because there are no other browsers capable of playing flash video for Android devices that are not running 2.2.  SkyFire is able to stream flash video because it is built on technology that takes each page you visit, and renders it on a remote server before sending that to your cell phone.  Because of this, Skyfire is able to optimize the returned content for the device based on the device’s specifications and the current available network bandwidth.  The software behind this streaming even manages to compress videos slightly when optimal streaming conditions cannot be gained.  Currently, SkyFire is capable of streaming flash videos for flash players up to version 9.1.122.

The Skyfire Browser has a really nice default homepage in my opinion.  The page opens with the days top searches and a list of featured mobile sites, and a google search box.  Searching for any term or clicking on a search term will reveal the SkyFire search results just below the navigation bar.  These results include the Google web results, a list of related videos about the subject, the latest news trends, tweets about your search term, and Amazon.com results for items matching the user’s search.  Also, no matter what page you visit, if there is a supported video on that page, the video will pop-up in the SkyBar at the bottom of the page.  The SkyBar is a second navigation bar that gives users information about available videos on the page, suggested search terms matching the content of the current page, and the ability to share that page via the user’s method of choice.

Last but not least, SkyFire offers up a handy way of switching the user agent.  For those of you not familiar with the term “user agent”, think of is as a costume for your browser.  You can disguise your browser’s type as another type.  This trick the server into showing you the version of a webpage that is meant for another type of device.  In SkyFire, a simple click on the Android/Desktop button (highlighted in green in the image below) will let you switch your browsers from Android or Desktop to the other.  One reason you might want to do this is because often, when browsing a site for news, you may just want the mobile version of the site because those sites are quick to load, and require little bandwidth.  However, if you are looking for video content, the desktop version of the site is more likely to load up videos because desktop clients are less likely to have the bandwidth constraints of most mobile devices.

Opera Mini

One of the most seasoned veterans in the battle would have to be the Opera Mini Browser.  Opera Mini runs on just about every device with a network connection.  Anyone who has used an Opera browser on their PC or non-android mobile device will instantly recognize the standard Opera Speed Dial Homepage.  Your top nine sites, right there at your fingertips.  The Opera browser can do all the things that the stock browser can do, but it does it all extremely fast!  This browser is able to move pages in a hurry using the same sort of server technology that SkyFire does to boost page load performance.

Dolphin HD

When you go to battle, being able to do all things well can be a real advantage.  Dolphin HD is what I could consider to be a browser utility knife.  Sure, it browses the web, but it can also replace a large number of installed apps on your device, if you wanted to do so.  The Dolphin HD browser covers all of the stock browser’s features, and it adds on quite a few other features.  The Dolphin HD browser gives users the ability to sort their bookmarks. It give users the option to view their pages in full-screen mode (sans tabs and navigation bar).  It allows users to assign actions to their volume rocker like scrolling up or down, or switching tabs. It allows users to choose from four different user agents including Android, Desktop, iPhone, and iPad. The Dolphin browser has an extensive support of gesture shortcuts, and even lets you record your own gestures.  But, most importantly, the Dolphin Browser supports themes and, wait for it…Add-ons!

I don’t know about you guys, but if you are anything like me you have played around with FireFox, and had a chance to installed some add-ons.  Once I figured out how useful add-ons were, I switched my browser of choice to FireFox and never looked back. No lie, have 30 add-ons installed on the computer I am using right now, and I love them.  Add-ons, for those of you who are not familiar, are tiny apps that actually run in your browser.  There are add-ons to send tweets to your twitter account,  manage bookmarks, save sites for reading later, creating QR scan code links, and all kinds of other stuff.  Gestures can be real time savers.

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The Dolphin Browser HD comes in a lite version and a full version ($4.99).  The full version does not have any ads, the Lite version has some advertising  in the bookmarks, add-ons, and pages.

xScope

Finally, the last contender in this browser battle is xScope.  xScope handles all of the duties that the stock browser does.  It supports user agent switching between all four types that Dolphin does, and it adds an Android 1.6 user agent.  It allows users to do neat things like share screenshots, and view files stored on their device.  xScope even has a built-in task manager to view and modify tasks currently running on the phone.  xScope offers up a very clean, uncluttered user interface that utilizes a single navigation bar that slides left and right to reveal all of the options.  The xScope browser supports the usual pinch-to-zoom interface, and something that they call pin zoom, or as I like to call it, “one-finger-zoom”.  Simply double tap on any spot on the page, and drag your finger left or right to zoom in or out.

xScope is available in a free or paid version ($2.99).  The paid version adds the ability to save more favorites on the opening page, enhance file management, and file zip compression.

Conclusion

Well, the time has now come for a winner to claim victory.  The battle is over, the dust has settled, and a one browser app has emerged as the winner.  It’s not easy to choose a winner for this battle because each browser seems to have it’s own unique strong-point.  Each browser will appeal to different individuals based on their preferences and needs, and thus, that is the reason why this battle cannot decide who will win this browser war that is sure to continue indefinitely.  As these browsers continue to mature and add new features, making a choice among them will only become more difficult.

Today, I have chosen to declare Dolphin HD as the winner based on it’s flexibility, and wealth of different options.  There are quite a few thing that this browser has available to it through add ons that really make it versatile, and useful.  I for one found the Read-it-later add on to be quite useful as a way to share links between my Android phone and my desktop browser today, without having to have Froyo installed.  I feel that the other four browsers would all serve well as a main browser depending on the user.  For those who are minimalists, and not looking for lots of flash, or bells and whistles, the stock browser might appeal to you.  If you are all about flash right here, right now, you need to install SkyFire.  If you want a fast browser with a clean interface, you really need to give Opera Mini a try.  And finally, if you are interested in a browser that offers interesting things like file and task management, have a look at xScope.

Thank you all for reading, and as always. Let me what your take is on the battle this week?  Have you got an idea for an upcoming app battle?  Know of an App you want reviewed, or just want to tell us how we’re doin’?  Feel free to comment below, or send me an email at [email protected], and be sure to follow theDroidGuy on twitter to add your input on future app battles!

App of the Week: Dolphin Browser HD

Since the beginning of time…or at least Android, browsing the web is one of the most used features on the OS. I mean, come on, it’s a Google phone. When taking this into consideration, it is pretty easy to gather that you need a good browsing app. Every Android phone comes with a stock browser app, and they differ between manufacturers. HTC has theirs, as does Motorola, Samsung, and many others. Android as it comes right from Google even has a stock browser, so everyone’s will be a little different. A lot of Android fans that do some heavy browsing can delve into every feature and find their favorite things, but the average user might not care or understand why they need a different browser app. I mean, mine works fine. Why do I need a different one, right? In my opinion, there are many reasons, and that is why I have made Dolphin Browser HD the App of the Week.

snap20100920_211435.png picture by jibjab227

Dolphin Browser HD is one of the top downloaded alternate browsers, and personally it is my favorite. One of the main reasons that this app is awesome is tabbed browsing. Tabbed browsing is something we have become used to so why not take that feature with you onto your mobile phone. Dolphin makes this simple and easy and all you have to do is scroll to the top and you tabs are there waiting for you.

snap20100920_211442.png picture by jibjab227

One of the other big features is the option to do gestures. There is a little gesture button in the corner and you can tap it and do gestures. Now they didn’t set you up with only their gestures, and you can go into the setting and make a gesture for just about anything you want. This is a super cool feature and it makes the Android browsing experience completely different and much more intuitive.

Dolphin Browser HD also has a Firefox-like idea with add-ons. This can set this browser apart completely. In the Android Market there are all kinds of add-ons that you can use on Dolphin Browser HD. There are things that let you tweet the page that you are on, they can let you take screenshots, and there are many other add-ons that make the experience a lot better. Add-ons is something that Dolphin has that other browsers don’t, and that can give it a serious edge against its competitors.

One of the other major features, and the last I will mention today, is the scrolling feature. This is more of a convenient and pretty UI thing, but it still stands out as a hit for me. If you scroll left and scroll right you will get one of two things. When you scroll left, you get a page with all of your bookmarks. This is very handy and can save a lot of time. When you scroll right you get to a page that has all of your add-ons. That is another great idea on the developer’s part.

When you take all of these features and compare them with stock browsers, there is really no reason not to go Dolphin. The tabbed browsing and the scroll to bookmarks alone can shave some serious time off of your browsing. This app is awesome and that is why I choose Dolphin Browser HD to be the App of the Week.