Apple has removed all examples of the questionable suggested websites in Safari provided to it by BuzzFeed News, including one instance where typing in “Pizzagate” would prompt the browser to return links to YouTube videos by conspiracy theorist peddler David Seaman.
As soon as you start typing into Safari’s Smart Search field, the browser pulls up suggestions for the terms you type. It’s unclear if Apple previously applied some kind of a quality filter, but they are certainly doing it now following a report Wednesday on BuzzFeed News.... Read the rest of this post here
Google Chrome turned ten yesterday. To celebrate the anniversary, they’re refreshing the app across desktop and mobile platforms with an all-new look taking cues from Material Design and some new features and improvements, including a completely revamped password manager and updated autofill so you can get things done more easily and securely.
It’s been ten years since Google first launched Chrome. At the time, Google’s browser was a revelation. Firefox had gotten slow, Internet Explorer was Internet Explorer and none of the smaller challengers, maybe with the exception of Opera, every got any significant traction. But here was Google, with a fast browser that was built for […]
It’s been ten years since Google first launched Chrome. At the time, Google’s browser was a revelation. Firefox had gotten slow, Internet Explorer was Internet Explorer and none of the smaller challengers, maybe with the exception of Opera, every got any significant traction. But here was Google, with a fast browser that was built for the modern web.
Now, ten years later, Google is the incumbent and Chrome is getting challenged both from a technical perspective, thanks to a resurgent Firefox, and by a wave of anti-Google sentiment. But Google isn’t letting that get in the way of celebrating Chrome’s anniversary. To mark the day, the company today officially launched its new look for Chrome and previewed what it has in stock for the future of its browser. And it’s not just a new look. Chrome’s Omnibox and other parts of the browser are getting updates, too.
If you’ve followed along, then the new look doesn’t come as a surprise. As usual, Google started testing this update in its various pre-release channels. If you haven’t, though, you will still instantly recognize Chrome as Chrome.
The new Chrome user interface, which is going live on all the platforms the browser supports, follows Google’s Material Design 2 guidelines. That means it’s looking a bit sleeker and modern now, with more rounded corners and subtle animations. You’ll also see new icons and a new color palette.
On the feature side, Chrome now offers an updated password manager that can automatically generate (and save) strong passwords for you, as well as improved autofill for those pesky forms that ask for you shipping addresses and credit card info.
What’s maybe more interesting that, though, is an update to the Omnibox (where you type in your URLs and search queries). The Omnibox can now search the tabs you have currently open and in the near future, it’ll return results from your Google Drive files, too.
Also new are the ability to change the background of your new tab page and create and manage shortcuts on it.
Looking ahead, Google VP of product management Rahul Roy-Chowdhury notes that the team is looking at how to best bring more AI-driven features to Chrome.
“With a smarter Chrome, you will be able to do more than just look at a webpage,” he writes. “Imagine searching on Chrome for a singer you just heard, and having Chrome show you not just their bio, but also their upcoming concert near you and where to purchase tickets. With AI, Chrome will also better understand what you’re trying to get done, and help you do so faster.”
That, of course, is exactly what Microsoft is also trying to do with its Edge browser and its integration with Cortana. I’m not a regular Edge user, but I’ve generally been surprised about the usefulness of that integration, which automatically brings up related information about restaurants, for example. It’ll be interesting to see what Google’s version of this feature will look like.
Roy-Chowdhury also notes that the team is working on building more augmented-reality features into the browser. So far, those features have always sounded better on paper than in practice and mostly felt like a gimmick. Google thinks it’s on to something, though, so we’ll just have to see what that’ll look like when it goes live.
Mozilla today announced that its Firefox browser will soon automatically block all attempts at cross-site tracking by default. There’s three parts to this strategy. Starting with version 63, which is currently in testing in the browser’s nightly release channel, Firefox will block all slow-loading trackers (with ads being the biggest offender here). Those are trackers […]
Mozilla today announced that its Firefox browser will soon automatically block all attempts at cross-site tracking by default.
There’s three parts to this strategy. Starting with version 63, which is currently in testing in the browser’s nightly release channel, Firefox will block all slow-loading trackers (with ads being the biggest offender here). Those are trackers that take more than five seconds to load. Starting with Firefox 65, the browser will also strip all cookies and block all storage access from third-party trackers. In addition, Mozilla is also working on blocking cryptomining scripts and trackers that fingerprint users. As usual, the timeline could still change, depending on how these first tests work out.
“In the physical world, users wouldn’t expect hundreds of vendors to follow them from store to store, spying on the products they look at or purchase,” Mozilla’s Nick Nguyen writes today. “Users have the same expectations of privacy on the web, and yet in reality, they are tracked wherever they go. Most web browsers fail to help users get the level of privacy they expect and deserve.”
If you want to give these new features a try today, all you have to do is install the unstable Firefox Nightly release. There, in the privacy settings, you’ll find the new tracker blocking features under the “Content Blocking” header. Once you’ve turned that on, the browser will also walk you through how all of this works and highlights that some of the more aggressive settings may break a few sites.
In addition, Firefox’s private mode also uses the same kind of tracking protection already, as does Firefox for iOS.
Safari users, too, will have likely yawned while reading this. Apple, after all, already announced similar privacy features for its browser last year. The approach here is different, with Apple betting on machine learning and Firefox using more traditional block lists, but the intent is the same.
As Mozilla notes, the idea here is to give users choice. Sites can still ask for a user’s data but they’ll have to ask for consent before they get it. “Blocking pop-up ads in the original Firefox release was the right move in 2004, because it didn’t just make Firefox users happier, it gave the advertising platforms of the time a reason to care about their users’ experience. In 2018, we hope that our efforts to empower our users will have the same effect,” writes Nguyen.
iOS and desktop versions of Google’s Chrome browser now come with some parts of the Material Design overhaul. The changes are hidden by default, but can be turned on easily.
Google Chrome 68 for desktop and mobile includes elements of a Material Design refresh that are disabled by default, but can be activated at will by changing hidden settings, here’s how.... Read the rest of this post here