Google issued a beta release of Chrome for Android last week. The port, which brings Chrome’s feature set and excellent support for Web standards to Android, is a major improvement over the mobile platform’s current default browser.
As we reported in our coverage of the beta, Android’s default browser has historically had difficulty handling sophisticated application-like Web experiences. The new port of Chrome has the potential to remedy that weakness and bring highly competitive HTML5 support to Android.
Sencha, the company behind the increasingly popular Sencha Touch mobile Web toolkit, has published a hands-on analysis of Chrome for Android in the latest installment of the company’s HTML5 Developer Scorecard series, which rates the advanced Web capabilities of new mobile devices and browsers.
The report is largely positive and highlights some important new Web features supported by Chrome for Android, such as the new
-webkit-overflow-scrolling: touch CSS property. The report concludes that Chrome for Android is “a big leap forward” for Android.
The launch of Chrome for Android was arguably the most important event in the world of Web browsers this week, but there are also a number of other noteworthy news items to round out our HTML5 bullet list:
Mozilla and other browser vendors have controversially decided to implement support for
-webkit-prefixed CSS attributes in their own browsers. Daniel Glazman, the cochairman of the W3C CSS Working Group, has raised concerns about how the decision will impact Web standards.
Mozilla is developing an improved New Tab page for Firefox that displays thumbnails of the user’s favorite pages, much like Chrome. The developers are asking for testers to try the new feature, which is present in the Firefox nightly build and will be enabled by default in the Aurora channel until February 16.
Opera has gained support for the Do Not Track (DNT) header, which allows users to indicate to websites that they want to opt out of behavioral tracking. The feature is included in a development snapshot of Opera 12, which is available for testing purposes. The build also introduces SSL performance improvements and a number of other features.
Internet Explorer graphics program manager Jennifer Yu wrote an entry in Microsoft’s official IE blog that discusses the implementation of CSS 3D transforms in Internet Explorer 10. The feature is available for testing in the Windows Developer Preview.
A group of designers at Teague Labs have developed a Web-based implementation of computing pioneer Douglas Engelbart’s chording keyboard. They have published an impressive demo that is intended for use on touchscreen devices. The full code, which is accessible by viewing the page source, is distributed under a Creative Commons license.