Web Warp Blog has been retired. For new posts please head to dmather.com.

Saturday, 30 June 2012

Google Chrome for iOS

Google Chrome on the desktop is super fast to start-up and super fast for browsing and it's easy to use user interface keep users come back time after time, despite new versions of Internet Explorer and Firefox competing. It's non-intrusive auto-update keeps it primed and ready to make the best of new technologies such as HTML5 and ward off security threats which try to take advantage of the browser.

For more advanced users it allows you to sync your bookmarks (favourites), Chrome Web Store App's and other settings across various platforms and devices. This is great for syncing Chrome over Windows and Mac computers. Google Chrome is featured on the Android Ice Cream Sandwich smartphones and tablets and will also be included in Android Jelly Bean devices too. But what about iPhone and iPad users?

Google Chrome is now available for iOS! It's finally here after months, if not years, of anticipation. Chrome for iOS brings a simple User Interface, which is a touch ready version of the desktop application. It also features unlimited tabs, which is better than the iOS default browser, Safari, which is limited to 8.

Sync - this is the killer feature. Safari will be improving browser synchronisation in iOS 6 due in the Autumn and Mountain Lion due in July, but with Google Chrome and Google Chrome for iOS you can experience a unified browsing experience today. Tabs that are open on one device are synced so you can see them on the other. Like a webpage but don't have time to read it? Send it to your iOS device where it is stored so you can read it later, even offline (requires the Chrome to Mobile Web Store App for Chrome). Unified web history, if you've been there before it will help you save on typing by suggesting autocomplete options. Haven't been there before? Google search results appear after each character to help you find what you are looking for.

So does Chrome for iOS look any different? Short answer is no:
Chrome for iOS
Safari for iOS

To download it from the App Store:

 Chrome - Google, Inc.

Google have created a short video about syncing Google Chrome across multiple devices, include Android 4.0+ and iOS devices too! It's called Your Chrome, Everywhere.

For more info see Google's webpage about Chrome on iOS devices.

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Control your Xbox from My Xbox Live App

The My Xbox Live App was reviewed on Web Warp Blog last year, but Microsoft have added a new feature in the current version of the free iOS app - Xbox Control.

Exclusively from the iOS app users can remotely control their Xbox over the internet. In practice this enables you to launch apps such as Netflix or BBC iPlayer from your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch and choose to watch a movie/TV programme, without having to use your Xbox controller. When you are in these Xbox Live Applications you can navigate through the on screen menus in the normal fashion because the app displays virtual Xbox controller buttons for you, as shown in the screen capture below.

This is similar to Apple's Remote App for Apple TV but it's missing one vital feature. When you go to search for content on an Apple TV using the the Remote app the iOS on screen keyboard appears for quick and easy searching. Trying a Bing search using the My Xbox Live app and you still have to navigate using the left, right and A buttons. Not really making best use of the iPhone's capabilities, and almost rendering the app little more than just a really neat way to launch a game (assuming the right disk is in the Xbox).

My Xbox Live is now also available for Android devices via Google Play, but doesn't include the ability to control the Xbox remotely - yet.

My Xbox LIVE - Microsoft Corporation

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Twitter Lists

One of the least publicised features of Twitter is Twitter Lists. Using lists you can customise your Twitter experience by organising the stream of tweets into subject specific lists. Using lists you can tune your twitter experience for specific occasions, or to just make reading twitter more manageable. Typical list subjects include sports, celebrities, actual friends etc. You can make as many lists as you like. You can even subscribe to other twitter users lists. To find the lists option on twitter.com you need to visit your own profile page and choose lists, as shown below.

For an example of a twitter list click here. Do you use twitter lists to keep your social media a little more organised? Drop us a tweet @webwarpblog!

Friday, 22 June 2012

Web Warp Blog Questionnaire 2012

Microsoft Surface

Microsoft have unveiled their new tablet computer called Surface. This tablet will run the latest version of windows, called Window's 8, which has been optimised to run on tablets as well as desktops and laptops. Windows 8 tablet's will also be manufactured by other companies including Dell.

Keen readers of Web Warp Blog will remember that in 2009 there were two article's featuring Microsoft Surface (click here to remind yourself), but this is a brand new tablet? It seems Microsoft felt that Surface name was not too well known for it's touch computing table's, called Surface, and reused the name. The technology behind the tablet is the same as for a table, just on a smaller scale. The surface table also featured a completely new UI where as the tablet will be running Windows 8.

So whats the spec like? Well at the launch there were no details on pricing, CPU speed etc. all we know is that the largest capacity disk space will be 128 GB solid state. One interesting feature is a cover which contains a keyboard, this should help laptop users adapt to a tablet. They will also come in an array of funky colours too.

For more info see the Microsoft Surface website.

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

iOS 6

The Apple World Wide Developer Conference (WWDC) earlier today included the announcement of iOS 6. iOS 6 is the sixth major version of the Apple mobile operating system which rus the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. There are hundreds of new features but some of the major new features are listed below.

  • Maps - All new Apple Maps including Turn-by-Turn Navigation and Siri integration.
  • Facebook integration throughout the OS
  • FaceTime over a cellular connection
  • Improved Safari including better iCloud integration
  • New options for controlling alerts, including "Do Not Disturb" mode
  • Shared Photostreams
  • Passbook - for a paperless ticketing system
iOS 6 will be coming to iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPod Touch 4th Gen, iPad 2 and the New iPad this Autumn.

Monday, 11 June 2012

Highest Resolution Notebook Display - The MacBook Pro

Apple have unveiled their new model of the popular MacBook Pro range of notebook (laptop) computers. The MacBook display is classed by Apple as a Retina Display. This was widely anticipated as it has been achieved on the iPad, which isn't much smaller screen dimensions than a MacBook Pro. The screen is reported to look "stunning" and "gorgeous". I'm sure that anyone who has seen the latest iPad's retina display, or an iPhone 4 or 4S will agree too. Apple's display technology has produced some incredibly small pixels and their sharp UI looks great optimised for these high resolutions.

The MacBook Pro will support 2880 x 1880 pixels (5,184,000 pixels). This far exceeds the 1920 x 1080 pixels of a Full HD TV, which are often 40+ inches across. The Apple applications included in Mountain Lion and the Pro Apple apps on the Mac App Store are ready to support this new resolution, which improved UI's for Final Cut Pro and Aperture too.

More details are being announced live from WWDC 2012.

Tweets from WWDC

As the Apple World Wide Developer Conference (WWDC) 2012 gets under way in America, it's seems theres just a few tweet's flying around on the Twittersphere!

See for yourself at Twitter.com: https://twitter.com/search/WWDC

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Sky HD Update

Sky have updated their set top box set's software with a new glass effect look, which looks fantastic on HD displays. The new software includes more than just a facelift though, there is a new structure for the on demand internet download content. This is crucial for Sky's continued success in the TV market with the increasing popularity of both internet connected TV's and set top boxes such as games consoles, Boxee, Apple TV and TiVo. The update brings content to the user by channel, much like these other services, particularly the Xbox and PlayStation interfaces. Sky allows you to search for program's across all services, which isn't always possible in Sky's rival boxes/TV's, with the main exception being Google TV, where search as a certain significance!

The update is accompanied by news that the BBC's online content, BBC iPlayer will be available through Internet connected Sky boxes from the Autumn. This is one of the last platforms to recurve BBC iPlayer which can be viewed on most devices including the Virgin Media set top box and BT Vision too. Sky continues to add to its vast library of online content available through Sky Anytime (their on demand Internet service), including hundreds of films. Even more is available from Sky Store too.

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Google's Environmentally Friendly Email

Google's data centres rank among the most energy efficient in the world, with very low PUE factors. A PUE is the Power Usage Effectiveness, and is similar to efficiency. The lower values use less power for the same useful output. By promoting publicly Google's efforts to become more green they can both build a positive brand as an environmentally friendly company and encourage people to look at their own energy consumption.

Here's a quick video from Google about how their servers cope with emails in the most energy efficient way possible.

More info: Google Green

IPv6 - The Future

The internet uses the IPv4 system of IP addresses to uniquely identify devices connected to the internet. The format is a series of 4 sets of up to 3 numbers, for example These are comparable to phone numbers, so it's good have a unique number. The trouble is there's ony around 4 billion IPv4 addresses, and we are running out. There wouldn't be enough numbers for each person to have a number each and many people use numerous devices which have IPv4 addresses everyday, PC's, laptops, smartphones, IP TV's etc.

So the future of the internet depends on the availability of unique addresses, and the answer is IPv6. With IPv6 there are about 340 trillion trillion trillion address. Today is World IPv6 Launch day and from now on companies will begin the transition from IPv4 to IPv6. To test if your connection is IPv6 Google have created a website that can check for you: http://ipv6test.google.com/

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Chrome OS Just Keeps Getting Better

Google's Chromebook's work just like the Chrome web browser, fast, safe and always update. This automatic update feature is the opposite of what many people are used to with updates from Microsoft. These are more often than not security updates and always seem to require a restart of your PC, just when you need to finish what you are working on! Google's Chrome browser updates in the background and launches as the new version next time you open the browser. So without even realising it, and without user intervention, everyone keeps up to date.

Chrome OS works in the same way, keeping your Chromebook up to date. Chrome OS's "desktop" inspired UI tweak, which was reported on in April 2012, has arrived. This update features some UI styling which can be found on Chrome for Android (Ice Cream Sandwich) and the reported on desktop style UI.

With increasingly quick machines being launched running Chrome OS task's such as multiple tab browsing, YouTube video playback and online games are running smoother than ever. And with the recent release of Google Drive it is even easier to manage your documents and files accross Chromebook's and PC's, Mac's and Linux distro's.

For a guided tour of the improved Chrome experience see the YouTube video below. And for more details check out Google's Chromebook webpage.

Do you use a Chromebook? How do you find it being always "on the cloud"? Send us your thoughts by commenting below or getting in touch on Google+.