New data shows only two browsers with more than 1 billion users

Safari on a Mac, displaying the Google Chrome website.

Enlarge / Safari on a Mac, displaying the Google Chrome website. (credit: Samuel Axon)

Apple’s Safari web browser has more than 1 billion users, according to an estimate by Atlas VPN. Only one other browser has more than a billion users, and that’s Google’s Chrome. But at nearly 3.4 billion, Chrome still leaves Safari in the dust.

It’s important to note that these numbers include mobile users, not just desktop users. Likely, Safari’s status as the default browser for both the iPhone and iPad plays a much bigger role than its usage on the Mac.

Still, it’s impressive given that Safari is the only major web browser not available on Android, which is the world’s most popular mobile operating system, or Windows, the most popular desktop OS.

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#apple, #browser, #chrome, #google, #google-chrome, #market-share, #safari, #tech, #web-browser

Mozilla releases Firefox version 100 this week

A special 100th-version splash page appears on the first launch of a new Firefox installation.

Enlarge / A special 100th-version splash page appears on the first launch of a new Firefox installation. (credit: Samuel Axon)

Firefox released its 100th update, and some fanfare accompanied the release on Mozilla’s blog about the web browser. Firefox 100 is available this week for both desktop and mobile versions.

To celebrate, Mozilla says it will be regularly sharing fan art inspired by Firefox throughout May. But while that 100 number carries some symbolic weight, the update itself isn’t particularly monumental.

On the desktop, subtitles and captions are now supported in Firefox’s picture-in-picture mode for videos. Three key websites officially support subtitles and captions in PIP: YouTube, Netflix, and Amazon Prime Video. Plus, the feature works on websites that support the WebVTT standard, like Twitter.

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#android, #browser, #firefox, #firefox-100, #https, #ios, #mozilla, #tech, #web-browser, #webvtt

Firefox 87 is out today, adds Smart Block for improved private browsing

You aren't trying to leak any data to third-party sites, are you? No? OK then. Carry on, friend.

Enlarge / You aren’t trying to leak any data to third-party sites, are you? No? OK then. Carry on, friend. (credit: Josh Blouin / US Fish and Wildlife Service)

Mozilla released Firefox 87.0 this morning, the latest version of its open source web browser. Following on the heels of December’s Firefox 85 and February’s Firefox 86, the new version’s most important features—Smart Block and improved referrer trimming—are privacy related.

Smart Block

Firefox has been blocking third-party tracking scripts by default for quite a while now. For the most part, this works pretty seamlessly—but in some cases, missing tracking scripts can interfere with a page’s rendering, either delaying it (as seen in the animated image above, on the left) or permanently breaking it.

Smart Block takes an additional step to improve the rendering on pages that embed third-party trackers—instead of just pulling the script and leaving a “hole” where it used to be, Smart Block replaces it with what Mozilla describes as “stand-in” scripts. These stand-in scripts function just enough like the original trackers to restore the intended page-rendering sequence and results without actually leaking data to third parties.

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#browser, #firefox, #privacy, #tech

Chrome 89 increases desktop memory efficiency with PartitionAlloc

This week's new Chrome build doesn't look any different, but it introduces plenty of under-the-hood performance and efficiency improvements.

Enlarge / This week’s new Chrome build doesn’t look any different, but it introduces plenty of under-the-hood performance and efficiency improvements. (credit: Jim Salter / Pixabay)

Google Chrome version 89 began rolling out to users in the stable channel on March 2 and should be on most people’s machines by now. The new build offers significant memory savings on 64-bit Windows platforms thanks to increased use of Google’s PartitionAlloc memory allocator. On macOS, Chrome 89 plays catch-up and gets closer to the performance of the flagship Windows builds.

Chrome on Windows

Google says use of RAM in 64-bit Windows is down up to 22 percent in the browser process, 8 percent in the renderer, and 3 percent in the GPU. The company also claims a 9 percent decrease in latency, meaning a more responsive browser. The improvements are largely due to intercepting malloc() calls with PartitionAlloc.

Chrome 89 has also gotten significantly more aggressive about discarding unused RAM. When you scroll resources such as large images off-screen in the foreground tab, Chrome discards the memory those resources used. The change impacts background tabs as well, resulting in a savings of as much as 100MiB per tab.

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#android, #android-browser, #apk, #browser, #chrome, #chrome-browser, #google-chrome, #play-store, #tech

Microsoft adds Startup Boost, Sleeping Tabs to Edge build 89

We're not sure why Chromium-based Edge's branding seems so thoroughly wet.

Enlarge / We’re not sure why Chromium-based Edge’s branding seems so thoroughly wet. (credit: Microsoft)

This week, Microsoft announced several more features trickling down to Edge Stable from its Beta insider channel. These features include Startup Boost, Sleeping Tabs, Vertical Tabs, and a more navigable History dialog. The company also announced some welcome interface tweaks to Bing—which Microsoft insists on categorizing as Edge features, but these items seem to apply equally to Bing in any browser so far.

If you’re not familiar with Microsoft Edge’s release and download system, there are three Insider channels (Canary, Dev, and Beta) that represent daily, weekly, and six-weekly updates in increasing order of stability. New features debut there before eventually making their way into Stable, where normal users will encounter them.

If you’re a Windows user, you can’t actually download new builds in the Stable channel directly. Instead, you must either look for them in Windows Update or navigate to edge://settings/help in-browser and ask Edge to check for updates to itself. If you’d also like to check out the Edge Insider builds, you can do so safely—they won’t replace your Edge Stable; they install side-by-side, with separate icons on your taskbar making them easy to distinguish.

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#browser, #chromium, #edge, #microsoft-edge, #tech

Firefox 86 brings multiple Picture-in-Picture, “Total Cookie Protection”

Mozilla released Firefox 86 yesterday, and the browser is now available for download and installation for all major operating systems, including Android. Along with the usual round of bug fixes and under-the-hood updates, the new build offers a couple of high-profile features—multiple Picture-in-Picture video-watching support, and (optional) stricter cookie separation, which Mozilla is branding Total Cookie Protection.

Taking Firefox 86 for a spin

Firefox 86 became the default download at on Tuesday—but as an Ubuntu 20.04 user, I didn’t want to leave the Canonical-managed repositories just to test the new version. This is one scenario in which snaps truly excel—providing you with a containerized version of an application, easily installed but guaranteed not to mess with your “real” operating system.

As it turns out, Firefox’s snap channel didn’t get the message about build 86 being the new default—the latest/default snap is still on build 85. In order to get the new version, I needed to snap refresh firefox --channel=latest/candidate.

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#browser, #firefox, #firefox-86, #privacy, #tech

Insight launches a customizable iOS browser with support for extensions

A new startup called Insight is bringing web browser extensions to the iPhone, with the goal of delivering a better web browsing experience by blocking ads and trackers, flagging fake reviews on Amazon, offering SEO-free search experiences, or even calling out media bias and misinformation, among other things.

These features are made available by way of Insight’s extensions, some of which are suggested during the app’s first launch. Others, meanwhile, can be browsed inside the app, where they’re organized into categories like Search, Shopping, Cooking & Dining, News, Health, and Reading. The browser can also make suggestions of extensions to try, based on your browsing behavior, if you opt into that experience.

One extension, for example, can block ads on Google, Amazon and in your social media feeds, like Twitter, Facebook, and Reddit. Another works with ReviewMeta to detect fake reviews on and lets you set price alerts with help from CamelCamelCamel’s price tracker. Others let you do things like enable dark mode experiences on sites that don’t offer the feature, check for bias in news via Media Bias Fact Check, or watch videos in picture-in-picture mode on YouTube and other video sites.

Image Credits: Insight

In total, the company has around one hundred extensions already created, but it offers tools that allow anyone — even non-developers — to create their own, too.

Using a simple interface similar to something like the iOS Shortcuts app, users can define the conditions for their extension using basic “if, then” logic. For example, “if I’m is on a page that matches this URL” or “is on this list of domains,” “then also show this other page.”

To make these sorts of features work on mobile took some creativity. Apple restricts what developers are able to do with WKWebView — which means a mobile browser can’t offer the same sort of extensions as you can find on the desktop web.

To work around this problem, Insight created a sort of “sub-tab” workflow where you navigate using swiping gestures. For example, when online shopping, you could view the product you’re interested in, then swipe over to see the available coupons, the trusted product reviews, or to comparison shop across other sites.

When looking for a recipe, you could limit searches to only a list of your favorite food blogs. And because you can use extensions together, you could also block the ads on the food blogs and then swipe over to view the site in a “reader mode.”

Image Credits: Insight

How this all works is up to you. It’s dependent on what extensions you have installed and enabled, and how they’re configured.

The idea for Insight actually arose from an earlier effort from a startup focused on building a custom search engine for doctors. The team had participated in Y Combinator’s winter 2019 session, where they developed a search engine that would filter out the junk medical content and other pages aimed at consumers from the web, in order to direct doctors to sources they could trust.

But things changed when the COVID-19 pandemic hit.

“A lot of the users we had been working with, up to that point, were medical students. And when the pandemic came to the U.S., medical students and medical schools were shut down and a lot of the students were sent home,” explains Insight co-founder and CEO Archa Jain. “Our user base disappeared overnight,” she said.

The team decided to refocus their efforts on another idea they had been tossing around internally for some time.

“We realized that the problem we were solving isn’t medicine-specific. The fundamental problem was that the internet is just not one-size-fits-all. So we thought, what if everyone could have this lability to customize their browser experience the way we’re doing for this one population? They could really mould their browser their own needs,” Jain said.

That’s how Insight came to life.

Insight was built by a small team, including Jain, whose engineering background includes time at Google, Uber and Calico, and fellow co-founders Abhinav Sharma, previously of Quora, Mozilla Labs, and Facebook, and Shubhi Nigam, previously a PM at Newgen Software.

The company is backed by a seed round of $1.5 million from Y Combinator, Heartcore Capital and Altair Capital.

Longer-term, Insight intends to layer on a pro version of the service on top of the existing offering available today. It also aims to bring the browser to the desktop, where it will work as an extension itself.

Since launching into beta testing in December 2020, the app’s top 10% most active users have been averaging over 1,000 pageviews on Insight per day, which indicates some loyal customers have perhaps shifted to using the app as their preferred mobile browser. Pre-launch, the app had also become the No. 1 most popular download for a time on Airport, an app store for beta products.

Insight is available today as a free download on the App Store.

#apps, #browser, #extensions, #insight, #ios-apps, #mobile, #mobile-browser, #search, #startups, #tc, #web-browser

Apple launches an iCloud Passwords extension for Chrome users on Windows

Apple has introduced an iCloud Passwords Chrome extension that will make life easier for those who use both Windows computers and other Apple devices, like a Macbook or an iPhone. The new browser extension lets you access the passwords you saved in Safari on your other Apple devices, then use them within Chrome when you’re on a Windows PC.

You can also save any new passwords you create in Chrome to your iCloud keychain, so it’s synced across your Apple devices.

Image Credits: Apple

Apple didn’t formally announce the new feature, but reports of an iCloud Passwords extension had already been referenced in the release notes of the new iCloud for Windows 10 (ver 12), which arrived at the end of January. After the update, a “Passwords” section appeared in the app designated by the iCloud Keychain logo. This directed users to download the new extension, but the link was broken, as the extension was not yet live.

That changed on Sunday, according a report from 9to5Google, which found the new Chrome add-on had been published to the Chrome Web Store late on Sunday evening. Now, when Windows users access the new Passwords section, the dialog box that prompts the download will properly function.

Once installed, Chrome users on Windows will be able to access any passwords they saved or allowed iCloud Keychain to securely generate for them within Safari for macOS or iOS. Meanwhile, as Windows users create new credentials, these, too, will be synced to their iCloud Keychain so they can later be pulled up on Mac, iPhone, and iPad devices, when needed.

This is the first Chrome extension to support iCloud Keychain on Windows, as before Apple had only offered an iCloud Bookmarks tool for older Windows 7 and 8 PCs, which reached over 7 million users.

Image Credits: Apple

Some users who have tried the extension are reporting problems, but it seems that’s related to their PCs not having been first updated to iCloud for Windows 12.0, which is a prerequisite for the new extension to work.

Though Apple typically locks users into its own platforms, it has slowly expanded some of its services to Windows and even Android, where it makes sense. Today, Apple offers its entertainment apps like Apple Music and Apple TV on other platforms, including Android, and has launched Apple TV on its media player rival, Amazon Fire TV, among others. And 9to5Mac notes that Apple appears to be working to bring Music and Podcasts to the Microsoft Store in the future, as well.

#apple, #browser, #chrome, #icloud, #icloud-keychain, #microsoft, #passwords, #safari, #security, #windows

Google fixes two more Chrome zerodays that were under active exploit

The word ZERO-DAY is hidden amidst a screen filled with ones and zeroes.

Enlarge (credit: Getty Images)

Google has patched two zeroday vulnerabilities in its Chrome browser, the third time in two weeks that the company has fixed a Chrome security flaw that’s under active exploit.

According to a Monday tweet from Ben Hawkes, the head of Google’s Project Zero vulnerability and exploit research arm, CVE-2020-16009, as the first vulnerability is tracked, is a remote code-execution bug in V8, Chrome’s open source JavaScript engine. A second security flaw, CVE-2020-16010, is a heap-based buffer overflow in Chrome for Android. Hawkes said it allows attackers to escape the Android sandbox, suggesting that hackers may have been using it in combination with a separate vulnerability.

Hawkes didn’t provide additional details, such as what desktop versions of Chrome were actively targeted, who the victims were, or how long the attacks had been going on. It also wasn’t clear if the same attack group was responsible for all three exploits. CVE-2020-16009 was in part discovered by a member of Google’s Threat Analysis Group, which focuses on government-backed hacking, suggesting that exploits of that vulnerability may be the work of a nation-state. Project Zero was involved in the discovery of all three of the zerodays.

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#biz-it, #browser, #chrome, #exploit, #vulnerability, #zeroday

Amazon Luna servers will run Windows games directly on Nvidia T4 GPUs

Amazon’s newly announced Luna streaming service will run games on a standard Amazon Web Services EC2 G4 instance, the company told Ars Technica in a roundtable discussion. Those server instances sport Nvidia T4 GPUs equipped with 320 Turing Tensor cores and support for Nvidia’s GRID virtualization drivers.

Luna’s server architecture is significantly different from that of Google’s Stadia, which uses Linux-based data servers and Vulkan’s open source graphics APIs. That means extra work for Stadia developers who have to port their existing games to Stadia’s environment, which can sometimes lead to apparent graphical snafus.

The precise amount of porting work needed for a Stadia port can vary. A game like Doom (2016), which already supported Vulkan graphics, reportedly took only three weeks of fulltime work by two developers to get running on Stadia. But Cyberpunk 2077 will be coming to Stadia after its Windows and console launches, according to publisher CD Projekt Red, likely due to the extra porting effort.

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#amazon, #browser, #gaming-culture, #luna, #streaming, #tech

Google Chrome update brings better tab management, QR codes, plus performance improvements

Google today will begin rolling out several updates to its Chrome web browser, with the goal of increasing user productivity and making the browsing experience faster. Specifically, Google is making Chrome’s tabs and its newer tab groups easier and quicker to use. Under-the-hood, it promises improvements that will deliver up to 10% faster page loads and those that will reduce the impact of having idle background tabs.

Together, the full set of new features address concerns of Chrome power users who tend to have many tabs open at once and work in their browser on a regular basis.

Google this May introduced tab groups, initially in beta. The feature allows users to add their open tabs to a group that they can then name and label, to keep their various projects, tasks, applications, and other online research organized. In this release, tab groups will roll out to all users.

Based on beta user feedback, Google is tweaking how tab groups work, as well.

Chrome will now users to collapse and expand their tab groups, so you can focus on the ones you need to access right now. Google says this was the most popular request it heard from those who were using tab groups, during tests. Also, Google is introducing a new touchscreen interface for tabs designed for laptops being used in tablet mode, coming to Chromebooks first. This will make it easier for users to flip through tabs.

On Android’s version of Chrome, if you start typing a page in the address bar, you’ll see a suggestion to switch to that tab if it’s already open. Android users will also gain simplified URL sharing to make it easier to copy links and share to other devices or send links through other apps.

In addition, they’ll be able to print the page or even generate a QR code to scan or download.

The new QR code feature will make its way to Chrome on the desktop, too, and will be accessible from a new QR code icon in the Chrome address bar.

Google will also begin to roll out what will likely be a very popular new feature in this latest release — the ability to fill out and save PDF forms directly from Chrome. You’ll even be able to re-open these files again and pick up where you left off. This feature, however, will slowly roll out over the next few weeks, Google says.

Meanwhile, the Beta version of the Chrome browser will introduce a feature that lets you hover over a tab to see a thumbnail preview of the page. This could be useful particularly for those times when you have many open tabs from the same domain, like Google Docs. 

To improve the overall experience of using many tabs in Chrome, this release (version M85) will deliver two improvements. The first is Profile Guided Optimization, which is a compiler optimization technique where the most performance-critical parts of the code can run faster, Google explains. It says this will bring up to 10% faster page loads by prioritizing the most common tasks. The improvement will roll out across Mac and Windows with Chrome M85. (The technique was actually first introduced in M53 using Microsoft Visual C++ [MSVC], Chrome’s previous build environment. Now it uses Clang and will reach both Mac and Windows).

In the Chrome Beta channel, Google is also introducing tab throttling which gives more resources to the tabs you’re currently using by taking the resources back from tabs that have been in the background for a long time. This change should bring improvements across loading speed, battery and memory saving.

Chrome has often been criticized for being slow and a resource hog on Mac. While user complaints can be attributed to a variety of problems, ultimately users will blame the software, not the OS it runs upon. That means Google has to make an effort to address the areas it’s able to fix by rolling out optimizations such as these. To what extent the improvements deliver the results Google promises, however, will have to be confirmed by third-party testing after they arrive.

#browser, #chrome, #google, #tc, #web-browser

Microsoft Edge gets a Pinterest integration, sidebar search and automatic profile switching

Microsoft’s Edge browser is getting a bunch of new features soon. Some of these are for casual users while others are aimed at business users, IT admins and developers, but they all demonstrate that after releasing the first stable version of the browser only recently, the team is now starting to build in new features that it surely hopes will set Edge apart from its competition.

One new feature for more casual users is an integration with Pinterest and Edge’s collections feature. There is an obvious overlap here, since both Pinterest and collections are about allowing people to save links to the research they’ve done online about virtually any topic. Now, Edge will feature a Pinterest-powered tool that will show suggestions from Pinterest at the bottom of a collection. Clicking on that, Microsoft says, will take users to a Pinterest board “of similar, trending Pins so users can quickly find and add ideas relevant to their collection.” Users will also be able to export collections to Pinterest. I’m sure this will prove useful to some, but I personally hope it’s something you can turn off, too.

In addition to the Pinterest integration, collections is also getting the ability to send items to Microsoft’s OneNote note-taking tool, which is in addition to its existing Word and Excel integrations.

These new features for collections are scheduled to launch in the Edge pre-release channels within the next few days.

Also new in Edge is Sidebar Search. This, as the name implies, will allow you to do your searches in the sidebar without having to open a new tab in your main browser window. That sidebar will also be persistent as you move between tabs, making this a nifty idea and something that others will surely emulate over time.

For those of us who often mix business and personal accounts on the same machine and in the same browser, Edge is now introducing automatic profile switching, which can automatically switch your browser profile to your work settings when it detects a link that needs your work credentials.

In a related announcement, Microsoft also said that Edge will now support Windows Information Protection on Windows 10, which separates personal and corporate data and includes audit reporting for compliance. Microsoft says this has been a “top ask by many customers.”

For developers, Microsoft is also launching a couple of new features and tools. One of these is Origin Trials, which will allow developers to test experimental web features on their websites for a set time period with Edge users. These are essentially “prototypes that we haven’t enabled for the general web yet will work on your site for a selection of your visitors in Microsoft Edge, enabling you to gather and provide early feedback which can influence the final API,” Microsoft explains.

Windows developers can also start testing the new WebView2 preview, which now also supports .NET and UWP apps, while it was previously restricted to Win32 programs.

In addition, progressive web apps in Windows are now getting a boost. Users will be able to manage these web apps, when installed from Edge, from the Windows settings, use them to share content and even receive content from other apps. They will also now be included in the Start Menu. For now, this feature is only available to users on the Windows Insider builds and the Edge Canary preview builds — and even then, users have to toggle the “Web Apps Identity Proxy” flag in the browser.

Overall, these are some interesting new additions to Edge’s feature set. Most importantly, though, they show that the team is now starting to release features that go beyond the core browser tools and looking to offer tools that differentiate Edge from its competitors — something it currently doesn’t really do, despite being a very competent Chromium-based browser.

#browser, #microsoft, #microsoft-build-2020, #microsoft-edge, #microsoft-windows, #pinterest, #software, #tc

Google Chrome will finally help you organize your tabs

Google Chrome is rolling out a new feature to help you better manage all your open tabs. The company announced today the launch of “tab groups” for the beta version of its web browser, which will allow you to organize, label, and even color-code your tabs for easy access. The feature will make its way to the stable release of Chrome starting next week.

To use the new feature, you can right-click on a tab and choose “Add tab to group.” You can then select an existing group to move the tab to or create a new one, which you’ll also name and label.

The company had been testing this solution for several months before today’s public release, as some had already spotted. Based on this early research, Google says it found that many people tended to organize their tabs by topic — like a project they’re working on or a set of shopping and review sites, for example.

Others, however, would organize tabs by urgency — labeling them things like “ASAP,” “this week,” or “later.” Google also suggests tab groups can be used to help keep you focused on task progress, by grouping them into areas like “in progress,” “need to follow up,” and “completed.”

And if you prefer a more minimalist look, tab groups also support the use of emoji in their labels,


The problem of having too many tabs open is one that’s common to anyone who spends time on the internet, whether for work, school, research, online shopping, or even just browsing for fun. Tabs start to stack up with all those things you need to come back to at some other time — unless, of course, they’re part of your permanent collection of pinned tabs that never get closed.

Despite the prevalence of the “too-many-tabs” problem, Google had yet to introduce a solution for Chrome users. That led to the creation of a cottage industry of tab management tools like OneTab, Workona, Toby, and many others.

Meanwhile, other browser makers tapped into consumer demand for better tab management solutions to make that a selling point for their own Chrome alternatives. For instance, Vivaldi offers automatic tab stacking to keep tab clutter down. And Opera earlier this year introduced a new version of its web browser that lets you organize tabs into various workspaces.

Google isn’t likely too worried about losing its majority market share to its rivals, given its near-complete dominance on the desktop. But Chrome has fallen from a 71.15% share of the desktop browser market in August 2019 to 67.15% as of April 2019, as other browsers made inroads. That could have been just enough of a push to get Google to focus on new features that will keep consumers in its ecosystem.

Tab Groups are available in Google Chrome Beta for preview as of today. The feature will also be available for Chrome on the desktop across Chrome OS, Windows, Mac and Linux when the updated version begins rolling out next week.

However, Google cautions tab groups will be slowly rolled out to ensure Chrome’s stability and performance aren’t impacted. So if you’re itching to use the new tab groups feature sooner, you may want to switch to the beta for the time being.


#browser, #chrome, #google, #google-chrome, #tc

Acht Netflix-Tipps – So verbrauchen Serien weniger Handy-Daten

Acht Netflix-Tipps: So verbrauchen Serien weniger Handy-Daten Von der Kindersicherung bis zum Kaminfeuer: Netflix kann mehr, als Sie denken. Acht coole Tricks für noch mehr Streaming-Spaß!
Foto: AFP/Getty Images

#audio-video-und-foto, #browser, #computer-bild, #live-stream, #multimedia, #netflix, #streamingdienste