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22 Dec 12 Flipboard Proves — Again — That Android Tablet Apps Don’t Have to Suck


Flipboard’s new tablet-optimized Android app proves, yet again, that Android tablet apps don’t have to be lousy. Photo: Ariel Zambelich/Wired

Flipboard’s tablet-optimized version of its Android app is everything you expect if you’ve ever used Flipboard on another gadget, which is to say it’s awesome. And it’s exactly what other big-time app makers should be doing, but too many aren’t.

The elegant app puts Twitter, Facebook, Rdio, Spotify, Instagram, Dropbox, eBay, Yelp, Foursquare and everyone else on notice: Your Android tablet apps don’t have to suck, and if they do, it’s because you’re lazy. It isn’t that these companies can’t make apps that look as great as they work, it’s just that they chose not to.

Flipboard’s app looks and works fantastically on both 7-inch and 10-inch slates. The stiff board turns seen in Flipboard’s other apps are just as responsive on the Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 tablets we tested the app on. My Twitter, Google+, YouTube, Flickr, SoundCloud, Tumblr and Facebook feeds appeared without a hitch. So did articles and videos pulled from dozens of sources around the web. Everything was laid out in Flipboard’s lovely magazine-like user interface — exactly as expected.

The app responds to the various screen sizes found in Android tablets, taking full advantage of the platform’s widescreen displays and perfectly scaling as needed. Flipboard said it spent more than a year working with Samsung to ensure its app works seamlessly on the Galaxy Tab and Galaxy Note tablets, but you can also run it on any other Android tablet, including Amazon’s Kindle Fire and Barnes Noble’s Nook.

Flipboard isn’t alone in making a slick Android tablet app. Netflix, Hulu, Plume, Mint, Instapaper and Tiny Co. offer tablet-optimized apps that rock. Google has released plenty of design tools for tablet-optimized Android apps and practically begged developers to get on board. And of course Google builds fantastic tablet apps, providing many examples for others to follow.

But Flipboard remains remarkable. The app that Steve Jobs loved on his iPad has lost nothing in its translation to Android tablets and makes full use of their different form factors. This is significant, because it proves once again that good Android tablet apps are possible and gives users the great experience they deserve.

Article source: http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2012/12/flipboard-tablet-optimized-android-app/

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02 Jun 12 Jobs’ vow to destroy Android fair game at Motorola trial


Steve Jobs’ incendiary comments about Android  in his biography have been ruled fair game for Motorola’s lawyers in its upcoming trial versus Apple. The presiding judge laid out some of the ground rules for the case this week, many of which were not in Apple’s favor.

On Thursday, federal Judge Richard Posner, who’s assigned to the trial set to begin later this month over a series of alleged smartphone patent violations, refused a request by Apple’s legal team to exclude quotes from Walter Isaacson’s Steve Jobs biography accusing Google of stealing from Apple. Some examples:

  • “I will spend my last dying breath if I need to, and I will spend every penny of Apple’s $40 billion in the bank, to right this wrong.”
  • “I’m going to destroy Android, because it’s a stolen product. I’m willing to go thermonuclear war on this.”

Reuters reports that on Thursday Posner “rejected Apple’s request without explanation.”

Then a day later the judge essentially instructed Apple not to try to win points with jurors based on sentimentality over the late Apple founder, his popularity, or that of Apple. FOSS Patents records Posner’s words from Friday:

“More broadly, I forbid Apple to insinuate to the jury that this case is a popularity contest and jurors should be predisposed to render a verdict for Apple if they like Apple products or the Apple company or admire Steve Jobs, or if they dislike Motorola or Google.”

The trial is scheduled to start on June 11 in the U.S. District Court for Northern Illinois. That’s not to be confused with the other trial involving Apple and Samsung, which is set for July 30. It’s going to be an interesting summer for Apple’s legal team.

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Article source: http://gigaom.com/apple/jobs-vow-to-destroy-android-fair-game-at-motorola-trial/

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26 May 12 Looking At Android’s Vulnerabilities


Looking At Androids Vulnerabilities

No matter what kind of wild-eyed iOS fan you may be, there’s no denying that Android’s spike goes deep into the tech industry’s soil. But can it ever be removed by the competition? Steve Jobs declared thermonuclear war on Android during his tenure as Apple’s CEO, but did not manage to keep Google’s little green robot from flowing through the veins of most of the mobile industry. The proliferation of handsets makes battle Android feel like a fist-fight against a swarm of gnats, and the rock-bottom prices for Android phones makes them hard to ignore no matter what non-Android devices have to offer. What, then, could be done to break Android’s chokehold on the tech world and open up more space for competitors?

ReadWriteWeb has some opinions about the ways in which Android can be taken out of the equation. Predictably, they cite Android’s fragmentation (the proliferation of handsets is as much a curse as it is a blessing), and how carriers are reluctant and sometimes unwilling to make operating system updates available to users. As an iOS user, it’s nearly inconceivable to picture a world in which you wouldn’t have access to your updates, but adoption of the latest version of Android (Ice Cream Sandwich) has still barely crested 4 percent of Android users (whereas more than 60 percent of iOS users are updated to the latest version).

Only a handful of desirable Ice Cream Sandwich devices are available right now. The newly released HTC One series is probably the best, but that may not last long with a new Samsung flagship (Galaxy S III) in the pipeline. ATT did not have an Ice Cream Sandwich device on its shelves in any form until the Samsung Galaxy Note was released. Verizon was not much better, with the Android flagship Galaxy Nexus as the only decent Ice Cream Sandwich phone on the market (from any carrier) for a good portion of 2012. Simply put, for most of the year, there have not been a lot of exciting high-end Android phones. It’s hard to see how the latest version of Android can achieve mass adoption while it’s so hard to obtain.

Pointing out fragmentation and issues with OS adoption is no new revelation for critics, but those two issues remain very serious vulnerabilities and bear repeating. One need only look at the rise of Windows in the 90s: Cheaper than the Mac and included on almost all cheap PCs when you buy them off the shelf. Again, a lot of fragmentation in that the company that made the operating system (Microsoft) was not the company that made the hardware. Instead, hundreds of PCs in thousands of configurations were in the wild, each needing their own unique code subset to have the components talk to the OS. Over time, people ended up moving away from Windows due to vulnerability to malware, insecurity, and crashing. While Android certainly is riding a very profitable wave in the mobile market, its similarities to Windows are not something Google should ignore.

Source: ReadWriteWeb


Article source: http://www.macgasm.net/2012/05/25/looking-at-androids-vulnerabilities/

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16 May 12 Apple Scores an Android Hit: HTC One X, EVO 4G LTE Held Up at Customs


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Dan Lyons is technology editor at Newsweek and the creator of Fake Steve Jobs, the persona behind the notorious tech blog The Secret Diary of Steve Jobs. Before joining Newsweek, Lyons spent 10 years at Forbes.

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Article source: http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/05/15/apple-scores-an-android-hit-htc-one-x-evo-4g-lte-held-up-at-customs.html

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12 May 12 Android Payback: Apple to Cut Google Out of Stunning New 3D Maps App in iOS6


New Apple maps image based on C3 3D technology

New Apple maps image based on C3 3D technology

One of the most immediate effects of Steve Jobs’ legacy on Apple is an animosity towards Google fueled by what Jobs saw as the outright copying of iOS by Android. Big tech companies will always be battling titans, but this is more. This is personal.

Still, the two companies have been bound by the mutual dependence since Google’s services are bundled into iOS. And iMore reports that Google may make four times the ad revenue off of their use in iOS than they do from their own Android platform. Apple wants to change that. Apple has already begun intermediating search queries though Siri, effectively cutting Google out of the valuable identity information associated with those searches. Next up is that other large data components on iOS, maps.

It was widely reported yesterday that Apple will likely announce at its WWDC in June that the new version of the built-in maps app in iOS6 will not be fed by Google maps. Instead, Apple has developed its own, in-house 3-D mapping database, based on the acquisition of three mapping software companies between 2009 and 2011, PlacebaseC3 Technologies, and Poly9. The stunning 3D image above is from C3, which, according to the company, uses “previously classified image processing technology… automated software and advanced algorithms… to rapidly assemble extremely precise 3D models, and seamlessly integrate them with traditional 2D maps, satellite images, street level photography and user generated images.” The video below shows a flyover of Oslo using C3′s technology.

So if this report is true, Apple will have a new maps app with much more highly-detailed imagery than Google, collected through military-style reconnaissance without the (ahem) gathering of any personal information. It is a good bet that Apple will finesse the transitions between the different map modes far better than Google’s wonky shift from “map view” to “street view.” What could go wrong? Although Apple now owns the source and can engineer accordingly, the new app likely runs more image data through the pipe, so performance on mobile devices—where it’s most critical—is going to be an issue. Apple may have to build in detection of the processor speed of the requesting iOS device and send a thinner stream to older iPhones than to the new quad-core iPads.

There is obviously an interesting business story here about how Apple and other tech companies are trying to chip away at Google’s dominance of web services. But even more interesting, to me, is the end-user’s story. The bloody competition between Apple and Google is leading Apple to create more innovative user experiences for its customers, and that is a good thing. An operating system is just a container for content, and recreating content is much more difficult than just knocking off its container. By creating a new source for the content of maps on iOS, Apple is making their platform more distinct from Android, as if to say, “You can only copy so much.” Although Apple is always improving user experience, this particular effort might have not happened had Steve Jobs not threatened to go “thermonuclear.”

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Article source: http://www.forbes.com/sites/anthonykosner/2012/05/12/android-payback-apple-to-cut-google-out-of-stunning-new-3d-maps-app-in-ios6/

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30 Apr 12 Windows Phone Is ‘Beautiful’, Better Than Android: Steve Wozniak


Steve WozniakSteve WozniakSteve Wozniak prefers his Windows Phone to Android, but the iPhone is still his favourite. The Apple co-founder believes that Microsoft has hired a former Apple employee to work on the Windows Phone user interface. Either that, or Steve Jobs has been reincarnated at Microsoft.

On 13 April, Wozniak tweeted that he was waiting to get his hands on a Nokia Lumia 900, which runs the Windows 7 operating system. Since then, he’s been testing out the smartphone to see how it compares to Android and iPhone.

“Just for looks and beauty I definitely favour the Windows Phone over Android,” Wozniak said in a podcast interview with a NewDomain.net. “Compared to Android, there’s no contest.”

Nokia Lumia 900, which runs the Windows 7 operating systemNokia Lumia 900 with a Windows 7 operating system“I’m just shocked, I haven’t seen anything yet that isn’t more beautiful than the other platforms,” Wozniak told aNewDomain.net, leading him to decide that he will be “carrying the Windows Phone everywhere.”

“In my opinion it sets the mark for user interface,” said Wozniak. “I would recommend it over my Android phones.”

aNewDomain.net concluded that the Apple co-founder’s favourite phone was the Windows Phone, but in a note left after the podcast, Wozniak wrote: “Wrong. iPhone is my favorite phone.”

“I surmise that Microsoft hired someone from Apple and put money into having a role in the user interface and appearance of some key apps. I also surmised that Steve Jobs might have been reincarnated at Microsoft due to a lot of what I see and feel with this phone making me think of a lot of great Apple things.”

In January, Wozniak confessed to finding Android-based handsets hard work, but they have plenty of advantages over the iPhone.

Wozniak has also been reflecting on Apple’s sacrifices in its early days this month, as well as expressing his fears about the struggle start-up businesses are facing due to patent wars.

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Article source: http://www.pcworld.com/article/254707/windows_phone_is_beautiful_better_than_android_steve_wozniak.html

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08 Apr 12 Google Generates 4x More Revenue From iOS Than Android and Steve Jobs’s Did …


Android has not been as financially successful as Google has been leading investors to believe.  Larry Page announced in October during an earnings call, that Google’s mobile products would generate $2.5 billion in revenue.  The Guardian reports that just a fraction of that amount is actually from Android.  Legal documents from its upcoming hearing with Oracle, state that between 2008 and 2011, Android generated less then $550 million in revenue for Google.  The documents also suggest that iOS devices have generated more than four time as much revenue as Android has.

Experts estimate the amount Google earns per Android handset at around $10.  Google has been averaging 850,000 activations per day since the beginning of the year.  Google’s CEO statements claiming that that Google had generated $2.5 billion from mobile devices were a bit misleading.  If Android only accounts for around $550 million of Google’s mobile revenue, most of it must be coming from outside the Android ecosystem.

Google has had a licensing deal with Apple since the first iPhone for some of its products.  These iOS devices utilize Google for search and map capabilities.  It is believed that this agreement with Apple accounts for most of the mobile revenue Google generates.  Google now depends on iOS’s success for its own.

This comes to light just as Larry Paige disputes Steve Jobs’s war on Android.  Apple’s late CEO, Steve Jobs, purportedly had vowed to destroy Android because it was a stolen product.  Recently however, this notion of war between the two platforms has been denied by Google’s CEO Larry Paige, he is now claiming that the “war” was all for show.  In an interview with Bloomberg Businessweek, Google CEO Larry Page stated that despite Steve’s rather public hatred, “the Android differences were actually for show.” Page asserted that, “It’s useful for them to feel like they have an obvious competitor and to rally around that. I personally believe that it’s better to shoot higher. You don’t want to be looking at your competitors. You want to be looking at what’s possible and how to make the world better.”  Paige dismissed rumors that he and Job’s were rivals, instead saying “I had a relationship with Steve.”  That despites Jobs’s deterioration health, Steve reached out to Paige for a casual conversation.  Paige assured Businessweek that Jobs only meant to generate controversy, to create buzz.  Jobs aimed to polarize the market by drawing a line in the sand, and it worked, many people today have a firm stance on iOS vs. Android.  This only goes to generate more popularity around both.

[Businessweek via BGR(2), Gizmodo]

Article source: http://tech.pnosker.com/2012/04/08/google-generates-4x-more-revenue-from-ios-than-android-and-steve-jobss-did-not-actually-loathe-android/

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04 Apr 12 Google’s Page: Apple’s Android Pique ‘For Show’


On April 3, Google (GOOG) co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Larry Page sat down with Bloomberg Businessweek to discuss his first year at the helm of the technology giant, his plans for the future, and the company’s relationships with its competitors. Excerpts from our forthcoming magazine story:

When you took over as CEO, one of your goals was to take the clear accountability and decision-making of a division like Android and move that out to the rest of the company.  How have you done?

I think we have done really well.  There are bets that we made many, many years ago—on Android, on Chrome, on YouTube. Those were long-term bets that we made and they’ve been very successful. All of those things have continued to grow like crazy. We made a more recent one, obviously, which is Google Plus, and that’s a long-term bet as well. We’re not even a year into that and that’s going very well, much better than I expected. There are various worries people have, and we’ll address those, but we have a really good start.

I have over 2 million followers now on Google Plus. A number of other people are even ahead of me. And that’s with real engagement. So I’m very happy with the growth of the core Google Plus network.  It doesn’t mean tomorrow it’s going to be bigger than any other social network out there. That’s not realistic. But it’s growing faster, I think, than other services have and I’m very happy with that.

We are in an interesting place in tech where almost none of the big companies—Apple (AAPL), Facebook, Amazon.com (AMZN)—are working together. Why is that?

Big companies have always needed and cooperated in areas where it made sense. I don’t know that I believe there is some huge, strange change in that.

We were real interested in getting instant messaging to work across networks back in the day, and we worked really hard with AOL (AOL) to do that. You know, integration between Google Talk and AOL Instant Messaging. It ended up being a tremendous amount of technical effort. There were some user benefits generated by it, but I’m not sure it was ultimately worth the effort. I would say that my experience with these things is that they have been somewhat difficult.

Google was once incontrovertibly a search company. But what is Google today?

I think you have—I mean, what does it really mean to be a search company? I mean, even at that time, I think at that time and now, basically our soul is the same. I think what we’re about is we’re about using large-scale kind of technology: technology advancements to help people, to make people’s lives better, to make community better. Obviously, our mission was organizing the world’s information and making it universally accessible and useful, and I think we probably missed more of the people part of that than we should have.

In your heart of hearts, do you really feel that getting into social networking has been worth it?

Oh, definitely. One of the things I’m just really excited that we launched is: For the first time you can actually search for a person. You never were able to do that. What I mean by that is, I have this friend, Ben Smith, who works here.  That’s not a great name.  You know, it’s—

I have some problems with Brad Stone, actually.

Yes, that’s a little bit of a challenged name. But Ben Smith is particularly bad. I guess it’s good if you want to have privacy and it’s bad if you want to have other friends find you. For the first time, we can actually deal with that very well. We can put that Ben Smith with a picture and a search box. Obviously, the search for that will get better over time, but having that ability to put an entity of a person in the search box is really a powerful thing. We have been able to get to there by having Google Plus, by having the social infrastructure we have. That’s super-important.

The Motorola deal hasn’t closed yet, but can you tell more about your plans with that company?

It’s pretty hard for me to say much more about that than I have previously, which is just we’re really excited for the opportunity to arrive. What we see, having these amazing devices in your pocket.  Every time I get a new one, it’s like a kid on Christmas. I mean, it’s just totally—my life has changed. It’s kind of like the experience of first using the Internet or using a computer as you get these new phones.

How did patents figure into the Motorola deal?

We actually hold a fair number of patents now ourselves, just as Google. We have never really asserted those against anybody. Obviously, we held a lot of search patents, for example. We have somehow been successful without suing other people over intellectual property.

So for us, the general trend of the industry toward being a lot more litigious somehow has just been—it has been a sad thing. There is a lot of money going to lawyers and things, instead of building great products for users. I think that companies usually get into that when they’re toward the end of their life cycle or they don’t have confidence in their abilities to compete naturally.

Is there an Android tablet you’re happy with?

I really like using my Samsung (005930:KS) tablet. I previously used the Motorola Xoom for a while and liked that. I think that those are great experiences, but they’re going to get a lot better. I think that we’re at the pretty early stages of this.

There was a report that Google might brand its own tablets and sell them directly to consumers online. True?

I can’t really comment on rumors.

Do you worry at all that Google has lost a little bit of the trend-setting and innovative positioning it had in its first decade?

No. No. I don’t worry about that at all. And you know, we’re a much bigger company than we were 10 years ago, so we have more resources to do things.

Pretty much everything we’ve done that’s been successful has been sort of a many, many year kind of effort. Even before we started the company, we worked on it for years when we were at Stanford.  These things don’t just kind of snap into being, as much as I would like them to. It takes time.

Obviously we don’t talk fully about our plans because we like to keep what we’re doing pretty close to the vest. But I’m not worried that we’re not being ambitious enough in terms of doing things that are really important for people and different for the world. That’s not a worry I have. I think we’re very focused.

Who are you looking for for guidance these days?  I mean, obviously still Eric Schmidt and Sergey Brin, but do you have other mentors outside the company? I heard my boss, Mike Bloomberg, is someone you talk to periodically.

Yes. Actually, I was inspired by the bullpens that he’s been running at City Hall, so I have been trying to do some things similar here.

With your seven primary deputies sitting around you?

As companies get big or as any organization gets big, you need the management or the high level of the company talking to each other and you need them to be running their big respective teams or buildings.

The insight I got from Mayor Bloomberg was that it’s maybe more efficient to tell people: “For these hours of the day we’re going to be all together. At these hours of the day, you’re going to be with your team.” You just grab the people you need. It’s much more fluid. It doesn’t have to be scheduled. I’m just trying to get people together for a fixed set of hours in one place.

Apple announced a dividend recently. Did it change your thinking about giving cash back to shareholders as a dividend or a stock buyback?

I think Apple has more cash than we do—

Than everybody, including some governments.

We have nothing to announce at this time.

People have been critical of your values of late. As in: As Google tries to compete with Facebook or Apple, is it sacrificing the contract they established with users 15 years ago?

I would—obviously—say no. Producing the best thing we possibly can for users is our paramount thing. I think we have demonstrated that over a very long period of time with a whole variety of different issues we’ve faced around the world.

We would love to have better access to data that’s out there. We find it frustrating that we don’t. It’s the tendency of the Internet to move into a well-guarded state. We’ve pushed pretty hard, for example, around just having contact reciprocity. I mean, our friends at Facebook have imported many, many, many Gmail addresses and exported zero addresses. And they claim that users don’t own that data, which is a totally specious claim. It’s completely unreasonable.

One day you can import all of your Gmail contacts into Facebook and the next day try to export those out and they would not let you do that. It’s clearly for competitive reasons that they do that.

According to the Steve Jobs biography by Walter Isaacson, when you became CEO you went to Jobs for advice. I know you had your differences at the end around Android, but what did you take from him as a mentor and a friend?

I think the Android differences were actually for show. I had a relationship with Steve. I wouldn’t say I spent a lot of time with him over the years, but I saw him periodically. Curiously enough, actually, he requested that meeting. He sent me an e-mail and said: “Hey, you want to get together and chat?” I said, “Sure, I’ll come over.” And we had a very nice talk. We always did when we had a discussion generally.

He was quite sick. I took it as an honor that he wanted to spend some time with me. I figured he wanted to spend time with his family at that point. He had a lot of interesting insights about how to run a company and that was pretty much what we discussed.

Wait, the fury around Android was for show?

I think that served their interests. For a lot of companies, it’s useful for them to feel like they have an obvious competitor and to rally around that. I personally believe that it’s better to shoot higher. You don’t want to be looking at your competitors. You want to be looking at what’s possible and how to make the world better.

Article source: http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2012-04-04/googles-page-apples-android-pique-for-show

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01 Jan 12 Why Hasn’t Safari Skyrocketed Like Chrome Has?


Apple_Safari

The past few days, there’s been a lot of talk about web browsers. The report that Google will be paying Mozilla close to one billion dollars over the next three years to ensure that their search engine remains the default for Firefox is fascinating for a few reasons. The biggest is that Google now makes a Firefox competitor, Chrome. And it got me thinking about Safari.

Remember Safari?

While Chrome has skyrocketed from 0 percent market share in August 2008 to over 25 percent last month, Apple’s web browser lingers somewhere between 5 and 8 percent, depending on what numbers you look at. While its growth seemed to stall out in late 2008/early 2009, Safari has been growing again since then. But it has been at a very slow, methodical pace compared to the Google browser.

Given the fact that both browsers are based on WebKit — a layout engine which was born out of Apple — why hasn’t it been Safari that has taken off, instead of Chrome?

The easy answer that most people jump to is Windows. Microsoft’s OS is still by far the dominant one even with record Mac sales quarter after quarter. But while Safari is usually associated with the Mac (since it’s baked into OS X), it has actually been available for Windows quite a bit longer than Chrome has been.

Safari for Windows was unveiled in beta in June 2007. It was formally released in March 2008. Chrome wasn’t unveiled until September of that year. Incidentally, it was Windows-only at the time. But it took Google’s browser just a year to surpass Safari in market share.

So if it wasn’t Windows, what else led to Chrome’s rise?

Another thing people often point to is speed. A number of benchmarks point to Chrome being the fastest browser available in terms of both page rendering and JavaScript performance.

But remember too that when Safari for Windows was announced, several of the same tests showed that it was the fastest browser available for both Macs and PCs (remember, Chrome didn’t exist yet). If this was just about speed, shouldn’t Safari have taken off starting in June 2007 similar to the way that Chrome did in September 2008?

On the flip side, most users throughout the years have complained that Safari for Windows more or less sucks. It’s been a long while since I’ve used it myself, but I recall it being somewhere between Firefox and Internet Explorer in terms of practical performance (that is, how fast it actually feels when using it, tests be damned). But Apple has continued to iterate on it and the latest version, 5.1, is still available on both platforms.

Others point to Google itself as the reason for Chrome’s rise compared to Safari. It’s true that Google does quite a bit of promotion for their browser, including on Google.com every once in a while. But it’s hard to imagine that being a bigger advantage then either IE or Safari which are both baked into Windows and OS X respectively. To get Chrome, a user still has to download something (unless they’re using Chrome OS — but if that’s the case, they’re already probably going to be using Chrome on their other machines). I would imagine that most IE and Safari users don’t download their browser, they use it because it’s the default that comes pre-installed on their machines.

Plus, Safari being bundled by default with iTunes for a time should have helped it gain massive Windows market share. But it would appear that many people downloading it simply weren’t using it.

Maybe it’s extensions that give Chrome the advantage? Maybe, but Safari has had them as well since mid-2010. Sure, Chrome’s extensions are better and much more plentiful, but if that is all that was holding Safari back, developers probably would have stepped up their game there. Plus, Firefox had extensions way before either Chrome or Safari and while they undoubtedly helped grow that browser, it’s also shrinking now in the face of Chrome.

With the launch of OS X Lion, it seemed as if Safari might be poised for a bit of a renaissance. Because the default controls were inverted, third-party software like Chrome was largely broken to begin with on the new OS. Safari also offered features like better multi-touch support and Reading List (which syncs between iOS and OS X Lion) which rivals didn’t match. But with a few months of data in, it looks like the Safari growth is still the same slow and methodical variety, likely rising simply as more Macs are sold.

Given the rise of mobile, it would seem that the massive usage mobile Safari is seeing might help Safari on desktops/laptops too. But again, the numbers don’t really suggest that. Safari is growing, but slowly. Meanwhile Chrome, which isn’t actually a part of Android — not yet, anyway — is skyrocketing without any sort of mobile presence.

Personally, I’m a Chrome user myself. I’ve tried a few times to use Safari as my primary browser (most recently with the OS X Lion upgrade), but I always end up switching back. To me, it’s still about practical performance. Things like: with a dozen or more tabs open, Chrome seems to perform in a way that Safari cannot.

Plus, I can’t live without the URL/Search Omnibox that Chrome offers. And I’m addicted to “pinned” tabs (browser tabs I always have open and are shoved to the left and shrunken down, out of the way from general tabbed web browsing).

It has been nearly 9 years since Safari was first formally introduced on stage by Steve Jobs at Macworld 2003. It has steadily improved and grown market share, but the rise of Chrome in less than half of that time has made Safari look a bit silly.

Of course, that could all change rather quickly if devices like the iPad really are the future of general purpose computing. On mobile devices in general, there’s no question in my mind right now that mobile Safari is ahead of what Google is doing. That’s why it’s odd that the opposite is true on more traditional computers.

And it’s not entirely clear why. Some point to Apple neglect — since the App Store has been such a phenomenon, they’re more inclined to throw resources at native work rather than web work, is the basic argument — but again, given the state of mobile Safari versus the other mobile web browsers, that doesn’t seem to be the case. It could simply be that Google’s Chrome team is really good at what they do, and nailed it from the get go. Good things happen to good products.


  • SAFARI
  • GOOGLE CHROME

Safari is a web browser developed by Apple. First released as a public beta on January 7, 2003 on the company’s Mac OS X operating system, it became Apple’s default browser beginning with Mac OS X v10.3, commonly known as “OS X Panther.” Apple has also made Safari the native browser for the iPhone OS.

Learn more

Google Chrome is an based on the open source web browser Chromium which is based on Webkit. It was accidentally announced prematurely on September 1, 2008 and slated for release the following day. It premiered originally on Windows only, with Mac OS and Linux versions released in early 2010.

Features include:

Tabbed browsing where each tab gets its own process, leading to faster and more stable browsing. If one tab crashes, the whole browser doesn’t go down with it
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Article source: http://techcrunch.com/2011/12/24/safari-and-chrome/

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25 Dec 11 Why Hasn’t Safari Skyrocketed Like Chrome Has?


Apple_Safari

The past few days, there’s been a lot of talk about web browsers. The report that Google will be paying Mozilla close to one billion dollars over the next three years to ensure that their search engine remains the default for Firefox is fascinating for a few reasons. The biggest is that Google now makes a Firefox competitor, Chrome. And it got me thinking about Safari.

Remember Safari?

While Chrome has skyrocketed from 0 percent market share in August 2008 to over 25 percent last month, Apple’s web browser lingers somewhere between 5 and 8 percent, depending on what numbers you look at. While its growth seemed to stall out in late 2008/early 2009, Safari has been growing again since then. But it has been at a very slow, methodical pace compared to the Google browser.

Given the fact that both browsers are based on WebKit — a layout engine which was born out of Apple — why hasn’t it been Safari that has taken off, instead of Chrome?

The easy answer that most people jump to is Windows. Microsoft’s OS is still by far the dominant one even with record Mac sales quarter after quarter. But while Safari is usually associated with the Mac (since it’s baked into OS X), it has actually been available for Windows quite a bit longer than Chrome has been.

Safari for Windows was unveiled in beta in June 2007. It was formally released in March 2008. Chrome wasn’t unveiled until September of that year. Incidentally, it was Windows-only at the time. But it took Google’s browser just a year to surpass Safari in market share.

So if it wasn’t Windows, what else led to Chrome’s rise?

Another thing people often point to is speed. A number of benchmarks point to Chrome being the fastest browser available in terms of both page rendering and JavaScript performance.

But remember too that when Safari for Windows was announced, several of the same tests showed that it was the fastest browser available for both Macs and PCs (remember, Chrome didn’t exist yet). If this was just about speed, shouldn’t Safari have taken off starting in June 2007 similar to the way that Chrome did in September 2008?

On the flip side, most users throughout the years have complained that Safari for Windows more or less sucks. It’s been a long while since I’ve used it myself, but I recall it being somewhere between Firefox and Internet Explorer in terms of practical performance (that is, how fast it actually feels when using it, tests be damned). But Apple has continued to iterate on it and the latest version, 5.1, is still available on both platforms.

Others point to Google itself as the reason for Chrome’s rise compared to Safari. It’s true that Google does quite a bit of promotion for their browser, including on Google.com every once in a while. But it’s hard to imagine that being a bigger advantage then either IE or Safari which are both baked into Windows and OS X respectively. To get Chrome, a user still has to download something (unless they’re using Chrome OS — but if that’s the case, they’re already probably going to be using Chrome on their other machines). I would imagine that most IE and Safari users don’t download their browser, they use it because it’s the default that comes pre-installed on their machines.

Plus, Safari being bundled by default with iTunes for a time should have helped it gain massive Windows market share. But it would appear that many people downloading it simply weren’t using it.

Maybe it’s extensions that give Chrome the advantage? Maybe, but Safari has had them as well since mid-2010. Sure, Chrome’s extensions are better and much more plentiful, but if that is all that was holding Safari back, developers probably would have stepped up their game there. Plus, Firefox had extensions way before either Chrome or Safari and while they undoubtedly helped grow that browser, it’s also shrinking now in the face of Chrome.

With the launch of OS X Lion, it seemed as if Safari might be poised for a bit of a renaissance. Because the default controls were inverted, third-party software like Chrome was largely broken to begin with on the new OS. Safari also offered features like better multi-touch support and Reading List (which syncs between iOS and OS X Lion) which rivals didn’t match. But with a few months of data in, it looks like the Safari growth is still the same slow and methodical variety, likely rising simply as more Macs are sold.

Given the rise of mobile, it would seem that the massive usage mobile Safari is seeing might help Safari on desktops/laptops too. But again, the numbers don’t really suggest that. Safari is growing, but slowly. Meanwhile Chrome, which isn’t actually a part of Android — not yet, anyway — is skyrocketing without any sort of mobile presence.

Personally, I’m a Chrome user myself. I’ve tried a few times to use Safari as my primary browser (most recently with the OS X Lion upgrade), but I always end up switching back. To me, it’s still about practical performance. Things like: with a dozen or more tabs open, Chrome seems to perform in a way that Safari cannot.

Plus, I can’t live without the URL/Search Omnibox that Chrome offers. And I’m addicted to “pinned” tabs (browser tabs I always have open and are shoved to the left and shrunken down, out of the way from general tabbed web browsing).

It has been nearly 9 years since Safari was first formally introduced on stage by Steve Jobs at Macworld 2003. It has steadily improved and grown market share, but the rise of Chrome in less than half of that time has made Safari look a bit silly.

Of course, that could all change rather quickly if devices like the iPad really are the future of general purpose computing. On mobile devices in general, there’s no question in my mind right now that mobile Safari is ahead of what Google is doing. That’s why it’s odd that the opposite is true on more traditional computers.

And it’s not entirely clear why. Some point to Apple neglect — since the App Store has been such a phenomenon, they’re more inclined to throw resources at native work rather than web work, is the basic argument — but again, given the state of mobile Safari versus the other mobile web browsers, that doesn’t seem to be the case. It could simply be that Google’s Chrome team is really good at what they do, and nailed it from the get go. Good things happen to good products.


  • SAFARI
  • GOOGLE CHROME

Safari is a web browser developed by Apple. First released as a public beta on January 7, 2003 on the company’s Mac OS X operating system, it became Apple’s default browser beginning with Mac OS X v10.3, commonly known as “OS X Panther.” Apple has also made Safari the native browser for the iPhone OS.

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Google Chrome is an based on the open source web browser Chromium which is based on Webkit. It was accidentally announced prematurely on September 1, 2008 and slated for release the following day. It premiered originally on Windows only, with Mac OS and Linux versions released in early 2010.

Features include:

Tabbed browsing where each tab gets its own process, leading to faster and more stable browsing. If one tab crashes, the whole browser doesn’t go down with it
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Article source: http://techcrunch.com/2011/12/24/safari-and-chrome/

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