Archive for July, 2012

ChromeBrowser options on Apple’s iOS platform are pretty grim, however one bit of defense Apple will no longer be able to use is a lack of demand. Chrome for iOS was released last week at Google IO, and since then it has shot like a rocket to the top of the app charts. The UI for iOS Chrome emulates pretty closely what we’ve seen over on Android, however it does have a few significant, and disheartening differences.

Apple has been approving alternate browsers for ages now, but what they don’t do is allow users to set them as the system default, or even use their own JavaScript engines. What iOS users are getting here is little more than a new UI wrapper for Mobile Safari, and an inferior version at that. Third party applications are limited to using UIWebView, which means the updated Nitro JavaScript engine that was released in the previous version of iOS is disabled. This puts Chrome at a significant disadvantage to mobile Safari when it comes to SunSpider benchmarks, making it difficult to recommend. 

What Chrome for iOS does give users however is an arguably superior UI, along with the ability to sync tabs, pages, and history across all your desktop and mobile devices. Based on the popularity of the app it appears as though these features are enough to garner a ton of interest, however we can’t help but wonder just how many people know what they are giving up in exchange. To make things even more confusing the first two words of the app’s description is “browse fast”. Not as fast as Safari it would seem; Apple has seen to that. 

Benchmarks – Third Generation iPad

iOS Chrome: 7200.1ms

iOS Safari: 1704.8ms 

Safari = 4.22x as fast

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WordWorking with PDF documents in Windows has always been a bit of a pain. Most people end up downloading a copy of Adobe Reader, or if they are slightly more savvy the amazing and lightweight Foxit Reader. Microsoft Word 2010 gained the ability to output documents to PDF, however all of these tools have one thing in common; they are a one trick pony. According to LiveSide.Net, Microsoft Word 2013 won’t only be able to export PDF files, but it will be able to open, and even edit them. 

Paul Thurrott is also reporting on the WinSupersite that the PDF renderer is a “stunning new reading experience for both traditional Word documents and PDFs that reflows text in a columnar view automatically.” Bookmarks as well as automatic page resuming are also rumored to be supported. As far as killer new features for Microsoft’s new productivity suite go, this will probably rank fairly high for most users.  

The first public beta of Office 2013 is expected to be released sometime next week.

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