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Hands-on with Android P—Is this the beginning of a new design language?

posted onMarch 12, 2018
by l33tdawg

Android P Developer Preview is out this week, and the whole Android community is combing through it looking for changes. When Android P is released later this year, it will bring an all-new notification panel, new settings, official notch support, and a ton of other tiny changes.

We already did a rundown of the features announced in Google's blog post, but now we've actually gotten to spend some time with the next major version of Android, so we're here to report back. What follows are some of the more interesting things we discovered.

Iridium Browser: A Browser for the Privacy Conscious

posted onFebruary 26, 2018
by l33tdawg

Google Chrome is one of the most popular web browsers in use today. People like it because it is quick and highly customizable. However, many people are leery of using it because Chrome tends to send lots of user information home to the massive Google servers. (You didn’t think that Google built these huge data centers to store cat videos, did you?) Thankfully, there is an alternative for those who are privacy conscious.

Ditch Your Smartphone Keyboard For Gboard

posted onJanuary 29, 2018
by l33tdawg

Whether on Android or iOS, you likely already use Google Maps for navigation. You use Gmail for email. You use YouTube to watch videos. And you’re right to do so. You’d be even more right to ditch whatever junk keyboard your smartphone shipped with for Gboard, another Google staple that works like a dream.

Google’s Fuchsia OS on the Pixelbook: It works! It actually works!

posted onJanuary 19, 2018
by l33tdawg

Google currently has two OSes on the market: Android and Chrome OS. The company is never one to leave a successful product alone in the marketplace, though, so it's also developing a third operating system called "Fuchsia." When we last checked in on the experimental OS in May 2017, calling it an "OS" was a bit of a stretch. We only got the system UI up and running on top of Android, where it then functioned like an app. The UI offered a neat multi-window system, but mostly it was just a bunch of placeholder graphics. Nothing worked.

Android 8.0 Oreo, thoroughly reviewed

posted onSeptember 6, 2017
by l33tdawg

Android 8.0 Oreo is the 26th version of the world's most popular operating system. This year, Google's mobile-and-everything-else OS hit two billion monthly active users—and that's just counting phones and tablets. What can all those users expect from the new version? In an interview with Ars earlier this year, Android's VP of engineering Dave Burke said that the 8.0 release would be about "foundation and fundamentals." His team was guided by a single question: "What are we doing to Android to make sure Android is in a great place in the next 5 to 10 years?"

Classic Mac OS and dozens of apps can now be run in a browser window

posted onApril 18, 2017
by l33tdawg

The Internet Archive is a great resource if you're looking to play with older PC apps and operating systems—thanks to a JavaScript port of DOSBox, you can run stuff like Mario Teaches Typing and Windows For Workgroups 3.11 right in your browser, giving you a quick and easy way to get some idea of what it was like to use a computer 20 or 25 years ago.

Chrome will suck less RAM

posted onOctober 11, 2016
by l33tdawg

Google has announced that it has finally sorted out Chrome’s tendancy to suck up RAM as efficiently as a Dyson vacuum when visiting javascript heavy sites.

The search engine outfit said that it will roll out an update on December 6 that will slash the amount of RAM Chrome uses by up to half.

By using less RAM, Chrome will let keep more open tabs and run more apps without slowing down your computer as much. It could also help if your computer is on the low-end in terms of memory, which ranges from four gigabytes and below.

Meet Noto, Google’s Free Font for More Than 800 Languages

posted onOctober 7, 2016
by l33tdawg

Something funny happens when your computer or phone can’t display a font: A blank rectangular box pops up in place of the missing glyph. This little box is called .notdef, or “not defined,” in coder lingo, but everyone else just calls it tofu.