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Archive for March, 2009

Chrome for Mac OS X: progress is slow, but steady

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When Google launched its heavily-buzzed Chrome browser for Windows back in September, the company promised that Mac and Linux versions were coming soon. In the six months since, Google has kept relatively quiet about the non-Windows versions while making steady progress behind the scenes.

In a long, in-depth article, Ars Technica’s Erica Sadun gives an overview of the current state of Chromium, the open-source software project on which the commercial version of Chrome is based. Besides providing a lengthy technical overview of the project and several videos of the code in action, Sadun interviews several key Googlers involved in the project to get a sense of the company’s philosophy and approach to Mac development.

One thing that comes through in the article is that the Chromium team’s approach to cross-platform development is distinctly different than the Firefox team’s. They are seeking to integrate the browser as deeply as possible with each target OS, rather than build an app that is easily ported to multiple platforms by being a good citizen of none. Chrome for Mac will utilize native widgets as well as core technologies like Keychain, the system address book, and Spotlight.

Sadun also reports that Google is working very closely with the WebKit project to make improvements. Since WebKit is used by Nokia, KDE, and Google’s own Android OS, these changes and bug fixes will extend well beyond Chromium. Indeed, Senior Software Engineer Amanda Walker told Ars Technica that the company’s “longterm goal is to help make all WebKit projects better.”

The article also contains Sadun’s instructions for downloading and compiling a copy of the pre-alpha Chromium source code. Anyone adventurous enough to do so might get a preview of the most advanced Mac browser coming in the next year. The rest of us will just need to wait — a beta release is rumored to be coming this fall. Then the face of Mac browsing will change once again.

iPhone Free App Of The Day – SnapTell


Today’s app is just as useful as it is cool, and interesting. Simply take a picture of a book, DVD, game, and you’ll get back a description and links to numerous sites where the item is featured. I’ve tested it on numerous items, and it works really well. I’ve had to get really obscure to find something that it wouldn’t return a listing for.

SnapTell App Page

iPhones Available Without Contracts

As of yesterday, Apple has made iPhones available at their stores to customers not wanting to sign a contract. The 8 GB version will run you $599, and the 16GB is $699. To activate your iPhone, you can do so through iTunes.

Much of the speculation is that Apple is trying to dump all the stock they have in time for the release of their new iPhone. I don’t think the price points help that matter any, but that’s just my opinion.

Apple Insider

iPhone App Of The Day – Light

Light App

I’ve been on a photo manipulation kick these past couple of days. Earlier in the week, I posted ColorSplash as app of the day. Today’s app acts as a good supplement, and combined with ColorSplash brings you one step closer to have Photoshop on your iPhone. With Light you can add a large number of lighting effects to your photos. Change the brightness, blurring, light position, and many other settings.

Light App Page

New streaming opens up Mac gaming to the world

It’s true that dual-booting Windows is always a possibility – and every once in a while, some kind publisher such as Blizzard will release a title for PCs and Macs simultaneously. But let’s face the reality. Despite years of hype from Apple, Mac gaming still sucks.

Thankfully, that’s all about to change. Thanks to a new video game on demand service called OnLive, Mac users will soon be able to stream high quality, GPU-intensive Windows games straight to their lowly MacBooks, Eee PCs, or even their television.

As GameSpot reports from the 2009 Game Developers Conference, the new service (which is set to go live in 2009), will allow Mac (and PC) users to stream high-quality games to their home computers, so long as they have at least a 1.5 Mbps internet connection.

The games themselves will be hosted on OnLive’s servers and served up via the magic of cloud computing. Users can use their keyboards and mice or plugin controllers to play. OnLive plans on upgrading their servers seamlessly behind the scenes, so gamers will always be able to play the latest and greatest games years into the future.

For those worried about latency, Kotaku has a hands-on report, and they seem excited. OnLive has the potential to change not just Mac gaming, but the PC gaming community as a whole.

And watch out, Nintendo — OnLive will also sell a minimal box that connects to a television set, meaning that the service may make home consoles obselete. With commitments from EA, Ubisoft, Take-Two, and others, OnLive is definitely a company to watch.

Rumor: You Can Look Forward To A New iPhone, and a Plentiful Summer

You’ve got to love the rumor mill. A ‘source’ has talked to someone who’s gotten in contact with someone else. Then all of a sudden the internet world is thrown into hysteria. The two platforms that I’ve noticed are huge when it comes to rumors is Apple products, and video games.

The latest rumor comes from BoyGeniusReport, who apparently has leaked information from someone high up in the world of AT&T. Here are some of the possible things to watch out for in the future…

* New iPhone announcement around mid-June
* New iPhone will be faster and have a more seamless experience unmatched by any device (could be just talking about 3.0, but we think it’s also a new iPhone)
* U-Verse iPhone application; will allow control of your home DVR (play, pause, rewind, etc.)
* The annual iPhone launch is “becoming a tradition.”
* Nothing official is being confirmed, but they said that people should prep for an exciting time this summer.
* AT&T is said to be working with Apple to create a unified product with an unparalleled experience across all their products and services.
* Apple’s 3.0 software should tell us where the iPhone platform is going… uh, k?
* They said customers shouldn’t need to choose from AT&T’s high-end devices because of features, they should choose based on preferences. The gap in capability should be filled with the new iPhone. Ok, bets on slide out QWERTY, autofocus camera, video sharing, blah blah?
* Seems like the higher speed HSDPA (7.2Mbps) is being hinted at too which should confirm the earlier rumors of the new Infineon chipset.
* The $99 3G netbook will start selling this summer, and the first one won’t be a Windows OS.