Google Finally Fixes Chrome, Testing Firefox for iOS… [Tech News Digest]
Google fixes Chrome, Mozilla launches Firefox for iOS, Google gets healthier, Cat Street View, Bieber breaks Spotify, and Sphero’s BB-8 droid arrives on Force Friday.
Chrome 45 Sucks Less Power & RAM
Google is finally working on making Chrome suck a little less. Many users have complained over the years that Chrome sucks up too much power and too much RAM , especially when one has multiple tabs open. But these issues should be less obvious with the release of Chrome 45.
Rather than restoring all tabs when Chrome is relaunched, the browser will now take a smarter approach, restoring tabs in the order that they were last viewed. And if resources are running low, Chrome will stop restoring tabs until things calm down a little.
In addition to this, Chrome will now “aggressively clean up old, unused memory” when a Webpage isn’t busy working on another task. As demonstrated in the video above, this can have a dramatic effect on the amount of memory being used.
Lastly, the previously announced killing of Flash content that is classed as unimportant to the website should reduce power usage by a significant margin. When combined, these changes should help make Google Chrome much less of a drain on your machine’s resources. Which is well overdue.
Stay tuned to MakeUseOf for a more comprehensive rundown of the changes in Chrome 45 and the upcoming developments set for Chrome 46.
Firefox for iOS Lands in New Zealand
Anyone using iOS can now test Firefox for iOS… that is if they’re living in New Zealand. Mozilla has released the first public preview of Firefox for iOS, which brings the popular Web browser to Apple’s smartphones for the first time. Unfortunately, it’s only currently available in New Zealand.
The company has been beta testing Firefox for iOS since May 2015, but it’s now ready enough to be pushed out to real users. Why New Zealand? No one really knows, but at this stage Mozilla is merely “collecting feedback” which will help it “build new features and bring Firefox for iOS to the App Store in rest of the world later this year”.
Firefox users have long wanted the option to use their favorite browser on their iPhones, but Mozilla have remained resolutely against any such move. Until now. If the public preview goes well, all iOS users around the world should have the opportunity to use Firefox by the end of the year. Sign up here to be notified when Firefox for iOS becomes available in your country.
Google Diagnoses More Health Problems
Google has updated its health feature, doubling the number of conditions to almost 900. This means anyone searching for particular conditions will get “quick at-a-glance info on symptoms, treatments, prevalence, and more”. Google is also including a, “Download PDF link so you can easily print this information for a doctor’s visit”.
It’s clear to see why Google is slowly but surely improving this particular feature. As stated in the blog post regarding the update, “Health conditions continue to be among the most important things people ask Google about, and one of our most popular features”.
However, Google is keen to point out that this should only be used as a first step, and not as a replacement for actually seeing a doctor in real life. Because self-diagnosing yourself online really isn’t the best idea.
Cat Street View Wins the Internet
While we were all enchanted by Google Street View when it was first launched, the appeal has somewhat worn off by this point. We need something else to pique our interest. Perhaps the ability to see certain locations from the point of view of an animal. Like a cat, for example. After all, cats are the kings and queens of the Internet.
Cue Cat Street View, an effort by Japan’s Hiroshima prefecture to show their region off in a new way. Currently limited to certain areas in and around Onomichi, there are plans to capture more areas from the perspective of the local cat population in the future.
And what’s the point of all this? As explained in the press release, “You can enjoy and experience the hidden charms of the backstreets and the scenery of Hiroshima from the perspective of cats which know them well”. Obviously. What other reason could we possibly need?
Justin Bieber Breaks Spotify Record
Justin Bieber has broken the record for the most number of streams on Spotify in one week. Thus proving Spotify users have surprisingly poor taste in music.
According to Entertainment Weekly, Bieber achieved this impressive by notching up 21 million plays for, “What Do You Mean?” in its first five days since release. That beats One Direction, who racked up 20 million plays for” Drag Me Down” in its first week of release.
“What Do You Mean?” is the first song off Bieber’s upcoming new album. Unsurprisingly, the track is a lazy, tuneless waste of time and money, but that seems to be what resonates with kids these days. Just like watching people play video games and unboxing new gadgets .
Sphero Launches BB-8 Droid
And finally, today is Force Friday, when a host of new Star Wars merchandise is going on sale ahead of the release of The Force Awakens. However, there is really only one piece of Star Wars Merchandise we have our eye on… a real-life BB-8 as made by the brainy bods over at Sphero.
BB-8, as introduced in the first trailer for The Force Awakens, is the new R2-D2. In other words, a cute robot which exudes a personality despite his small stature and inability to speak. The Sphero version is controlled by an Android or iOS app, and retails for $150. [H/T Yahoo Tech]
Your Views on Today’s Tech News
Can Google tempt you back to using Chrome? Are you eager to try Firefox for iOS? Have you ever diagnosed yourself online? Is Cat Street View amazingly odd or oddly amazing? Which artists have you listened to most on Spotify? How badly do you want to own your own BB-8 droid?
Let us know your thoughts on the Tech News of the day by posting to the comments section below. Because a healthy discussion is always welcome.
Image Credits: Stephen Shankland via Flickr