Google Docs For Mobile Devices

Posted by Unknown | June 29, 2010 |

Google has extended support for its Docs viewer service to Android, iPhone and iPad according to a report announced on its official blog on Monday. The document formats supported includes: pdf, .ppt, .doc, and .docx (Ms Office 2010 format that replaces .doc).

Google Docs offers Cloud-based data storage, thereby making it accessible from anywhere, provided there is an internet connectivity. And thereby eliminating the need to download files. The feature will definitely endear the service to many business professionals.

The service can be accessed by going to docs.google.com portal from your mobile device. And with the mobile viewer you can quickly switch through pages, pan/zoom within a page.

Google is perhaps taking its battle for Office suite functionality to Microsoft by this latest release, as it strives to make Google Docs an effective alternative to Microsoft Office. And given the extension of the service to mobile devices and its web-based application, may well be the magic wand it required.

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WebM Video Codec Now Open

Posted by Unknown | June 19, 2010 |

Google has commenced revision on the VP8 codec released June according to a report on the WebM Project blog on Thursday. In a bid to making it more stable and to finding ways to speed up encoding and decoding of  the VP8 codec, Google has opened it up for WebM community to contribute by making available an 'Experimental Branch' of the source tree.

Though VP8 debuted as a developer preview, Google aims to arrive at a fixed format for the technology to be incorporated into hardware.

The VP8 bit-stream (sequence of encoded information) represent the area of change in the experimental works. And the changes to VP8 that will produce the best video codec possible will eventually adopted in the new version of the codec.

Also, works are included that aims to translate VP8 into low-level programming instructions for faster performance.

Google is perhaps mindful of increasing competition it faces from H.264 in the area of quality and speed. And especially, in building into it camera to record the video.

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HTML5 Speed Compliance - Opera Mini

Posted by Unknown | June 16, 2010 |

Opera Mini latest browser release, Opera 10.60 beta for Windows, Mac and Linux is bundled with HTML5 related improvements emphasizing on speed according to the Changelog. And also additional HTML5 features included in the alternative browser are next generation video and audio codec (WebM), geolocation, App Cache, and Web Workers.

The release note also added that Opera 10.5x final have been skipped, but all its new features are included in Opera 10.60.

The company in the release note claimed an improvement of 50% speed compared to the older version. However, benchmark test result are yet to be added as to whether the result is obtained in speed comparison to the Opera 10.60 Alpha or the current stable version, V10.53.

The alterna-browser new beta also got an interface tweak, which includes: custom thumbnail, Icons for Opera Features, More visible menu button and new search suggestion for selected providers.

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Microsoft Office Web Apps Launched

Posted by Unknown | June 08, 2010 |

Microsoft's much publicized web-based office went live late Monday according to a release on its official blog by the Principal Lead Program Manager, Jason Moore. The web apps comprises browser-based versions of OneNote, Word, Excel and PowerPoint programs. It allows for basic viewing and editing of Office based documents right-on web browsers and sharing same.

The Office web apps are designed to work on PCs running on Windows, Mac and Linux. Also supporting major browsers such as Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome and Safari (other browsers may as well be compatible).

The basic tools are available for consumers free with 25GB storage as part of windows Live and possibly ad-featured. While businesses can host their own full version of the web apps using the latest version of SharePoint. However, using the browser-based apps require an instant-on internet connection.

And for the the mean time the services are available on SkyDrive for people in US, UK, Canada and Ireland through the web portal office.live.com. Other regions, however can access the service by heading to this portal.

The web apps will be built into the new version of Hotmail and feature in labs known as Docs.com by Microsoft. 

The launch of the Office web-based apps is seen by analysts as Microsoft encroaching the Google Docs innovations and challenging Google's earlier call for businesses to skip the old version of Office and migrate to its Google Docs service.

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Chrome: Developer Build Supports WebM

Posted by Unknown | June 05, 2010 |

The new Chrome dev build launched Thursday came bundled with support for WebM - an open-source web optimized video format, according to a release on the Chrome blog. The open source video technology enable browser to feature cutting-edge video streaming capabilities without publishers paying for the service, a technology which many have touted as the standard codec for HTML5.

Video streaming is now a core web experience, and as not much open standard video format is available to meet the commercial implementation calls for the Chromium introduction of WebM, making it the third major browser to include support for the next-generation technology.

Also, Google have included support for VP8 video codec and Vorbis audio codec - loyalty-free as part of the Chrome dev released Thursday for Windows, Mac and Linux.

Google also published an update to the beta channel to fix bugs that affected its stability and crash when changing network. However, it fails to indicate when support for WebM will be extended to the beta version.

Developer preview of WebM and VP8 have been made available, including source code, specifications and encoding tools, at the WebM project Portal. For guide on getting involved in the project see Chromium project release.

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