Chrome 18 Stable Release Arrived, Brings Faster and Better Graphics, Even on Old Computers

Google just released Chrome version 18 stable release for Mac, Linux, Windows and Chrome Frame (a plug-in that brings Chrome technology to Intenet Explorer).  Apart from bug and security fixes, this version of Chrome brings faster and better graphics rendering.

For computers with compatible hardware, Chrome will now by default enable Canvas2D that supports hardware acceleration.  This means that the graphics on web pages could be rendered and displayed faster.

For old computers, Chrome can render 3D graphics using WebGL even if there is no hardware support, because Chrome will use a technology called SwiftShader to simulate the hardware.  In other words, even if you use old computers you can enjoy using 3D applications and games (certainly the results depends on how good/poor the hardware spec is).  This is how Google described these new features:

“We’ve enabled GPU-accelerated Canvas2D on capable Windows and Mac computers, which should make web applications like games perform even better than a pure software implementation. GPU-accelerated Canvas2D has previously been enabled in the Beta channel for quite some time, so hopefully developers have had a chance to try it out…

WebGL enables compelling 3D content on the web, so we want to ensure that as many users as possible have access to this technology. That’s why we’ve enabled SwiftShader, a software rasterizer licensed from our friends at TransGaming, for users with older configurations.”

Chrome 18 Release - 3D Rendering - WebGL Globe

If you want to test the 3D performance of your old computer in Chrome, try the following web site:

http://workshop.chromeexperiments.com/globe-search

 

Source: Google Chrome Releases Blog, Chromium Blog

 

Chrome for Android Beta Released, Use Your Favorite Browser in Moble Devices!

Google just released Chrome for Android beta (requires Android 4.0), which brings the popular web browser to the mobile platform.

Chrome for Android beta

Download here: https://market.android.com/details?id=com.android.chrome

 

So what does it bring to users?  Here is a brief list of features according to the download page:

  • Browse fast with accelerated page loading, scrolling, and zooming
  • Search and navigate directly from the omnibox
  • Open and switch between unlimited tabs in an easy-to-view stack
  • Sign in to Chrome to sync your bookmarks and view tabs you have open on your computer
  • Send pages from desktop Chrome to your smartphone or tablet with one click and read them on the go, even if you’re offline
  • Browse privately in Incognito mode

 

Basically you can treat Chrome for Android beta as a copy of the desktop browser to the Android platform.  Many of the killer features of Chrome are included in the Android version.

What I liked the most is the simplicity of this browser.  Besides, the bookmark synchronization and send to phone features makes uninterrupted web experience between desktop computer and mobile devices possible.  By using Chrome to Mobile extension for Chrome (requires Android 4.0), you can send the current URL you are viewing to your Android device instantly and directly.

Currently Chrome for Android is only available for users in the following countries according to this page:

  • United States
  • Canada
  • United Kingdom
  • France
  • Germany
  • Spain
  • Australia
  • Japan
  • Korea
  • Mexico
  • Argentina
  • Brazil

 

Learn more from the official page of Chrome for Android here: http://www.google.com/intl/en/chrome/android/

Firefox 9 Officially Released, 30% Faster Javascript, Finger Swipe Support for Mac

Firefox 9 is officially released!  This new version brings Type Inference to enhance Javascript performance by 20% to 30%.  Mac users can enjoy theme integration and two-finger swipe navigation (on Mac OS X Lion).  A summary changes is here, according to Mozilla:

Browsing Javascript intensive web sites, such as Google+, Gmail and Facebook, should now be faster in Firefox.  You can find a full (and long) list of changes here.

Firefox 9 released, faster Javascript and Mac integration

Grab the new Firefox from the official site: http://www.mozilla.org/firefox/new/

Boomerang: Send and Receive Emails at Scheduled Time

Every Monday I review web apps and share tips of productivity and work management. SUBSCRIBE to RSS feed or email updates to know more!

Today’s featured productivity web app is Boomerang.  It is not precisely a web app, but a browser add-on that modifies how you send and receive emails in GMail.  With it, you can schedule the delivery time of your emails, no matter sending and receiving.

 

Boomerang: Scheduled Email Delivery

You can download the browser extension of Boomerang from is official web site.  It supports Chrome and Firefox.  After installing it, you can find the logo of Boomerang next to your email address in Gmail’s screen.

Boomerang for Gmail

Now, if you draft an email, you can find a new “Send Later” button to the right of “Send”.  You can choose to send out this email at your specified time.  You can also choose a pre-defined delay time such as 1, 2, or 4 hours.

Boomerang Send Later

On the other hand, in every received email there is a button to specify a time when you re-receive this email.  What does it mean by re-receiving an email?  Well, when the time comes the email will return to the Inbox and retain unread status.  It looks like a fresh email you just received.

Boomerang Receive Later

Have a look at this video for how it works:

 

Summary

How can you use Boomerang?  For sending, you can use it to schedule emails to be sent to others.  This is quite useful if you can only draft email when you are free but want to send it out later.  Besides, you can also create email reminders by sending emails to yourself (despite you can do so by using Google Calendar as well).

For receiving emails, this browser add-on can help you with avoiding information over-load.  Every day I receive over 50 emails but could only read about 20.  The other 30 emails are not useless, they are simply less urgent.  I tried to put them in folders but for most of the time they just stay there without me touching them.  By putting them again in the inbox, I have another chance of seeing them in front of me.

If you have similar email delivery needs as mine, Boomerang is a browser add-on you should try.

Official Site: http://www.boomeranggmail.com/

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