Hardware acceleration has become the holy grail of browser development in the past year, as the technology to increase browser performance by tapping graphics cards to help with Web site rendering has advanced from the theoretical to the practical. Despite Opera being a longtime developer and advocate of hardware acceleration standards, and the first major browser maker to demonstrate hardware acceleration in use, no publicly released version of Opera included the technology--until today.
BARCELONA--Apple gets plenty of praise for advancing mobile browsers with its iPhone's version of Safari, but an audience greeted its performance with some laughter as Microsoft compared it to an upcoming version of IE9 for Windows Phone 7.
Joe Belfiore, a Microsoft corporate vice president, showed off the browser here at the Mobile World Congress show during a keynote speech by Chief Executive Steve Ballmer. Specifically, Belfiore showed it running a Microsoft fishtank demonstration that's been in widespread use since the hardware acceleration work began in earnest among personal computer browser makers last year.
And he got a … Read more
The Khronos Group today released updates to two interfaces designed to make it easier for programmers to tap into the power of computing hardware.
First is OpenSL ES 1.1, an interface for C programmers to use sound hardware on mobile devices. The interface abstracts technologies such as graphic equalizer processing, reverberation or 3D spatial Doppler effects, playback and volume controls, and audio data recording.
The purpose of the interface is to liberate programmers from having to recraft their applications each time a new device arrives with a different, often proprietary interface. Khronos released profiles tailored for phones, music players, … Read more
Mozilla and Microsoft have been racing to see which will be the first to release a production-quality browser with hardware-accelerated graphics, but at the current rate, it could be Google's Chrome 9 that crosses the finish line first.
Google likely will be issuing Chrome 9 in beta form soon. It had been planned for Tuesday, but Anthony LaForge, a Chrome technical program manager, pushed it back. "The crash rate [of] 400 crashes per million page loads on the browser is simply too high," he said in a mailing list message
Hardware acceleration isn't a simple either-or … Read more
A few people on the Apple Discussion boards have described an issue that seems to have cropped up in OS X 10.6.5, where the system may force-quit the log-in session when attempting to play video.
This is not a widespread problem, but has affected a few people and seems to happen when they use certain media players that support hardware-accelerated video playback. When the crash occurs, the system may flash a blue or black screen and then present the log-in window, quitting all user applications and unsaved data. Not all video players spur this behavior, and the problem … Read more
Speaking with Engadget at the Web 2.0 Summit, Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen shared his thoughts about Apple's handling of the new MacBook Air and what Adobe is doing about it.
Narayen says Adobe did not get a MacBook Air before its release a couple weeks ago, leaving Adobe unable to optimize Flash for the SSD-only portable. Apple's decision to ship the MacBook Air without Flash installed stirred an already cloudy pot in the relationship between Apple and Adobe.… Read more
One of the major components essential for the future of Firefox just landed in the beta build of the browser, and it gives the open-source browser the page-rendering speed boost that it had been lacking.
Mozilla describes the improvements as incorporating the JagerMonkey JIT compiler into … Read more
I don't subscribe to cable TV, nor do I regularly watch TV shows. Instead, I stream most of my digital content via online services, but I find it quite frustrating when it starts buffering and freezing at the most critical times during the show. You all know what I mean if you've tried to watch streaming videos online. It can take forever. With that said, today, I bring you a special offer from Speedbit on its Video Accelerator Premium product, which promises to improve your online video viewing experience by significantly reducing buffering and freezing problems, and accelerating … Read more
OSLO, Norway--Opera Software announced significant new steps for its browsers today, including the release soon of Opera Mobile for Android phones and extensions technology in the upcoming Opera 11 for computers.
In both those cases--and also in the Opera Mini browser for less capable phones--the browsers will come with a major new feature: hardware acceleration to speed the display of pages and operations such as scrolling and panning. That change is essential to keep Opera relevant in a highly competitive industry.
Android is aligned well with Opera's business strategy. First, Google's mobile operating system, unlike Apple's iOS, … Read more
Google is among the browser makers rushing to accelerate their software by tapping into the power of a computer's graphics hardware, but it appears that ability will have to wait for Chrome 9.
Just as Google branched off the code that will become Chrome 8 work early this morning, indicating that it's time to iron out the bugs to release a stable version of Chrome 7, programmers also pushed back a lot of hardware acceleration features until Chrome 9.
Among the items on the hardware acceleration to-do list pushed back from Chrome 8 to 9 yesterday are support for large layers, opacity fixes, a variety of Canvas issues for 2D graphics, and support for CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) abilities to create reflections, drop shadows, and cutouts called masks. Hardware-based video decoding was pushed back to Chrome 9 a few days earlier.
Hardware acceleration, a flagship feature of Microsoft's IE9, is a top item for browser makers eager to stay competitive, speed up their products, enable new features impossible without it, and tackle mobile computing performance challenges. It's not an easy matter, though, with complications from the wide range of graphics hardware computers come with and the inconsistent software support they come with. … Read more