Archive for July, 2011

Mozilla jumps to deal with Google Toolbar demise

July 22nd, 2011
Google Toolbar graphic
(Credit:
Google)

Google has canceled its toolbar for the current and future versions of Firefox, and Mozilla is scrambling to help users who might be left in the lurch and postponing their browser upgrades.

The toolbar offers a variety of services, including a search box, a way to use bookmarks stored on a server, and a measurement of a Web site’s PageRank–a score Google gives that measures its influence in Google search results. But Google has chosen to do in the Firefox version.

“As we all know, over the past few years, there has been a tremendous amount of innovation in the browser space. For Firefox users, many features that were once offered by Google Toolbar for Firefox are now already built right into the browser. Therefore, while Google Toolbar for Firefox works on versions up to and including Firefox 4 only, it will not be supported on Firefox 5 and future versions,” Google said this week on a help page.

Mozilla is looking into options for what to do next, setting up a meeting to address the matter.

“We know that a large amount of users are not taking update offers to 5+ due to Google Toolbar incompatibility,” said Firefox release manager Christian Legnitto in meeting notes. “Many users likely expect a new version of Google toolbar to be released and marked compatible.”

He said Mozilla has two problems: telling people the toolbar won’t arrive and helping them extract whatever data they have stored with it. But there’s not much time to respond if Mozilla wants to act fast.

“Firefox 3.6.20 (code freeze is 2011-08-01) would be the earliest vehicle we can use to change the product,” he said, a move that “will allow us to push product changes before users get update offers to [Firefox] 5+.”

Firefox logo

Firefox updates have always posed a problem for those who offer add-ons to the browser, but the problem has changed in nature with Firefox’s rapid-release cycle, in which new versions arrive as soon as every six weeks. To minimize the likelihood that users are presented with incompatibility messages when add-ons encounter a version of Firefox newer than what they’re certified to work with, Mozilla has begun automatically “bumping” the add-on’s compatibility version number for add-ons that don’t cause problems.

That only applies to those add-ons distributed by Mozilla itself, though, and the Google Toolbar for Firefox comes directly from Google.

Google wouldn’t say if other factors besides browser advancement were part of its decision to cancel the toolbar.

Spokeswoman Lily Lin did, though, detail some of the toolbar features it now sees in the browser:

• Suggest is in the Firefox Awesome Bar

• Autofilll is in the browser

• Custom searches from the Awesome Bar

• Spell-checker

• Bookmark sync

• Search box

Those desperate for the toolbar–search-engine optimization experts are one group that particularly values the PageRank score–can use a version for Microsoft’s Internet Explorer. Google wouldn’t comment about whether it plans to discontinue the IE version.

Originally posted at Deep Tech

Mint tweaks its personal-finance iPhone app

July 22nd, 2011
Mint's iPhone application.

Mint's iPhone application.

(Credit:
Mint)

Mint, which makes a personal-finance app, is taking full advantage of the iPhone’s geolocation features in an update to the application.

As soon as users spend some cash, they can open up their Mint app and input the amount spent. The app’s geolocation feature finds all the merchants nearby to help users assign the expense to the respective establishment. As soon as the expenditure is logged, Mint automatically updates users’ bank balances.

Though the addition is somewhat minor, Mint says it has been one of its users’ top requests. That makes some sense. After a payment is made, pending transactions don’t always pop up immediately on online statements. And in some cases, until the transactions clear, the balance a bank shows for an account is not entirely accurate.

“By cleanly and immediately categorizing cash spending, no purchases remain unaccounted for in people’s budgets,” Mint said in a statement today about its iPhone app.

Mint has had a busy week. The company yesterday unveiled a new Sneak Preview program, called Bill Reminders. That feature, available to 300 CNET readers and a total of 11,000 people across the company’s user base, reminds users when they have bills due.

Mint’s updated iPhone app is available now as a free download.

Originally posted at The Digital Home

CNET 100: Molly Wood’s favorite Android apps

July 22nd, 2011

Editors’ note: Over the past two weeks, 10 CNET personalities have showcased their 10 personal favorite Android apps as part of the CNET 100. With each post, you can read why they hold the apps so dear and you have the opportunity to vote for your own favorite title. Next week, we’ll collect the full list of 100 apps and announce the 10 that you, our readers, love the most.

Of course, Molly Wood doesn’t need an introduction. As an executive editor for CNET TV, Molly hosts Buzz Out Loud and appears as the face of CNET on media across the country and around he world. She’s a geek at heart, of course, and an expert ranter who channels everything that frustrates us about technology.

Molly enthusiastically volunteered for the CNET 100, and I welcomed her insights given her experience with Android. Her apps reflect all the tools she needs to navigate an urban life. She has picks for getting around town, listening to music, working out, and shopping. She also knows how to customize her phone, plan her travels, and she has what might be the nerdiest app of the entire CNET 100 series.

Be sure to check back next Wednesday Android Atlas to see the top app choices from CNET readers. For yesterday’s list, check out the picks from Nicole Lee.

Originally posted at Android Atlas

CNET 100: Molly Wood’s favorite Android apps

July 22nd, 2011

Editors’ note: Over the past two weeks, 10 CNET personalities have showcased their 10 personal favorite Android apps as part of the CNET 100. With each post, you can read why they hold the apps so dear and you have the opportunity to vote for your own favorite title. Next week, we’ll collect the full list of 100 apps and announce the 10 that you, our readers, love the most.

Of course, Molly Wood doesn’t need an introduction. As an executive editor for CNET TV, Molly hosts Buzz Out Loud and appears as the face of CNET on media across the country and around he world. She’s a geek at heart, of course, and an expert ranter who channels everything that frustrates us about technology.

Molly enthusiastically volunteered for the CNET 100, and I welcomed her insights given her experience with Android. Her apps reflect all the tools she needs to navigate an urban life. She has picks for getting around town, listening to music, working out, and shopping. She also knows how to customize her phone, plan her travels, and she has what might be the nerdiest app of the entire CNET 100 series.

Be sure to check back next Wednesday Android Atlas to see the top app choices from CNET readers. For yesterday’s list, check out the picks from Nicole Lee.

Originally posted at Android Atlas

CNET 100: Nicole Lee’s favorite Android apps

July 21st, 2011

Editors’ note: Until Friday, 10 CNET personalities are showcasing their 10 personal favorite Android apps as part of the CNET 100. With each post, you can read why they hold the apps so dear and you’ll get the opportunity to vote for your own favorite title. Then after the series ends, we’ll collect the full list of 100 apps and announce the 10 that you, our readers, love the most.

Senior Associate Editor Nicole Lee is an integral part of CNET’s cell phones team. Over the years, she’s reviewed countless handsets, ranging from quick messaging phones to the latest BlackBerrys. She’s also our resident Bluetooth headset expert and writes a bi-weekly column called The 411 where she answers your questions on all things mobile.

Nicole’s favorite Android apps allow her to indulge her other interests outside of technology. This includes keeping up with the World Champion San Francisco Giants, checking out reviews for the latest movies, and catching up on the latest issue of The Economist. Always one to try out new tech, she’s quite smitten with the new Google+ and Rdio music service. Nicole also enjoys a mean game of Words with Friends, even though it refuses to accept LOL as a legit word.

Be sure to check back tomorrow on Android Atlas to see app choices from Molly Wood. For yesterday’s list, check out the picks from Jaymar Cabebe.

Originally posted at Android Atlas

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