Google Chrome, a browser built on the Blink layout engine that aims to be minimalistic and versatile at the same time, has been upgraded yet again, has just received a new update, promoting the 35 development branch to Beta.
As Chromebooks--portable computers based on Google's Chrome OS platform--continue to carve out a healthy niche for themselves, there are strong signs that we are soon going to see Chrome OS tablets. This, of course, has been in the rumor mill for some time. Last October, I reported on a developer-focused version of Chrome OS that included an on-screen keyboard, which of course would be ideal for use on a tablet. Now, the Chrome OS team has confirmed that the latest Stable Channel version of Chrome OS has such a keyboard, and it's likely we'll see tablets based on Google's operating system soon.
Android 4.4.3, also known as KitKat MR2 (Android 4.4.1 and 4.4.2 are known as KitKat MR1), has entered the dogfooding stage and has started rolling out to 1% of Google employees outside of the Android team. Currently, the dogfooding rollout is limited to the supported Nexus line (Nexus 4, Nexus 5, Nexus 7 2012, Nexus 7 2013, and Nexus 10), with GPE and Moto X updates to follow.
The final public releases should be out in coming weeks. Unsurprisingly, the exact schedule is unknown at this point because it depends on the success of the dogfooding tests which will presumably first have to expand from the limited 1% to a larger portion of employees. The point is - don't expect an OTA just yet.
GOOGLE HAS BEEN QUICK to jump on the demise of Windows XP, and is looking to persuade businesses still running the operating system to buy Google Chromebooks instead.
Rumors of the impending sunsetting of Google TV have been around at least since September when Sony, Google’s most stalwart partner for its struggling, Android-based Google TV, announced a Bravia Smart Stick media player. Sony noted “Google services” but never mentioned Google TV. The trend was confirmed by several unnamed Google TV partners in an October report by GigaOM that cited the “Android TV” name. In December, when Marvell announced an Android 4.2.2-ready, Armada 1500 Plus SoC update to the official SoC of Google TV — the Armada 1500 — the Android TV term was used again.
The Google Chrome 35 development branch, a browser built on the Blink layout engine that aims to be minimalistic and versatile at the same time, has been upgraded yet again, but this time it's only a very small update.
Microsoft has more reasons to worry about Linux. After reports that an Indian state switched from Windows XP to Linux, now a UK-based organization is ditching Windows and going for Linux-based Chromebooks. The London Borough of Barking and Dagenham is going the open source way as it shifts away from Windows XP desktops in favor of 2,000 Samsung 303Cs Chromebooks for employees and 300 Chromeboxes for reception desks and shared work areas across the borough.
Project Ara (Phonebloks) and modular pieces of tech in general are gaining steam. So far, we’ve known that we will be able to swap specified parts of our smartphones, which will result in longer lives for our phones and less waste as a result of our tech lusts. Today, Google revealed some of the work that was going on behind the scenes with their ATAP (Advanced Technology and Projects) group. The Ara team members (read ‘nerds’) took the time out to demonstrate the sliding ‘blocks’ of their prototype or very early build of the devices, and they have not deviated a whole lot from the initial drafts, but there were significant bits of information included.
Last April we introduced Blink as the new rendering engine for Chromium. Since then, the project has grown to include over 200 active contributors, and code complexity has been reduced significantly. We’ve also made encouraging progress on our top priority for 2014: mobile web performance.