Google Chrome update on Friday arrived with Google Voice extension version 2.0 service in Mac or Linux version of Chrome. The voice extension allow calls to phone numbers directly from the browser. Users of Mac version, however, will need to install the latest Chromium build to gain the functionality.

The extension upon installation enables the Voice icon on the right of Chrome’s URL bar to access a few commonly used Google Voice features. It lets user quickly place calls and choose the number from which to do so.

It also has the streamlining functionality - clickable links, eliminating the need to cut and paste phone numbers across windows. However, voicemail playback from the extension pop-up is still in the works, according to Google.

Chrome Extensions Now Voice Enabled


The official Mozilla Developer Center Blog post on sunday announced an update on Firefox 3.6 Release Candidate - a release candidate of the next feature release of the Firefox web browser, which according to the release notes may update itself periodically and will eventually be identical to the final release.

Mozilla's effort to increase the frequency with which the open-source browser is developed, as contained in the release notes - a process which identified the new software as a 'security and stability update,' which has been under development for several months and contains many improvements for web developers.

This version has been optimized to run on smaller devices, such as handheld computers - 'Internet Tablet OS.' It is also faster and more responsive than previous versions, states the release notes.

It's unique features includes: changes on how third party software integrates with Firefox in order to prevent crashes, native video can now be displayed full screen, and supports poster frames, ability to run scripts asynchronously to speed up page load times.

Also more than 70 fixes have been made from the last beta to improve performance, stability, security and features. With the first release slated for first quarter as Firefox 3.6.5, code-named, Lorentz.

Mozilla Firefox 3.6 Updates - Release Candidate 2


The official Google Docs blog on Tuesday announced that in few weeks time, Google Docs users will be able to store more of their important files online, where they can access them easily. The new feature will enable users to upload, store and organize any type of file in Google Docs from any computer - all that's required is an Internet connection. Files that can be stored includes photos, movies, music, and ZIP archives, all of which will be stored on Google's servers.

Google subsequently is also increasing the size of individual data uploads whereby Microsoft Word documents users will be limited to 500KB, and 10MB for PowerPoint presentations and PDFs, the new limit for all other files that cannot be converted into a Google Docs format is 250MB.

Google Docs users also get 1GB of free storage for files that aren't in one of the Google Docs formats, such as documents, spreadsheets, and presentations. Additional storage, however, will cost 25 cents per GB per year.

The cloud storage feature is certainly good news from Google Docs, allowing users to access their files between computers - with the same permission based sharing system it has for documents that it hosts, allowing users to share files with one another. Could this be a possible replacement for USB drives?

Google Docs: More Space On Cloud


The official Google Mobile blog post on Thursday announced 'Near Me Now' Search option for Android and iPhone mobile devices. The new feature is designed to help users find more local informations about certain popular search terms and make search easier on Mobile devices. However, users must first allow their mobile device to access location data, which is done through the Settings link toward the bottom of Google's mobile search page.

Google's obsession with speed search comes into focus in this new search innovation, as it serves to make search faster and easy on mobile devices - by minimizing the need to type text, something that has never been easy on tiny mobile device keyboards.

Furthermore, Geolocation is evident in the new feature as it allows users find out more about what's around them - local information.

The 'Near Me Now' link appear below the search button on the Google mobile search page, and clicking the link returns a list of local points of interest. To search other categories of places not shown, 'Browse more categories' provides access to google's local search product with more choice of categories. The 'Explore right here' option works only if the mobile device provides sufficient and accurate location data.

The new feature is currently available in the US for iPhone (OS 3.x) or Android powered devices from version 2.0.1 to later.

Location-Aware Mobile Search - Google


Google Chrome for Mac extension support previously was disabled by default, but now extension support is active and bookmark synchronization has been added to the Google Chrome developer's build for Mac OS X.

In addition to extension and bookmark sync support, Google added for Macs 'pin tab' as a context menu item, and included a 'learn more' link on the crash page. With the latest developer's build, being version 4.0.288.1, available for Windows, Linux and Mac OS X.

However, bookmark sync still in-the-works is saddled with some flaws: a known bug related to the sync process will crash the browser when you add a new bookmark folder. Another, prevented HTML5 audio and video content from not loading, and the other stops content scripts from running twice on some occasions, notably in the Windows version.

Switching to the developer's build from the beta version, Mac users will need to manually download and install it, as the automatic upgrade path from within the Chrome beta is a different development channel.

Bookmark Sync On Chrome Extensions

As the new year rolls-in, Questechie as the tradition goes, peeps into its Crystal ball to unveil the trends expected to dominate the internet for the year 2010. With the relative success of the 2009 predictions - the gloating rights, we can lift our shoulders high in listings of 2010 predictions.

Authenticity: I expect to see more users turn to third-party authentication services instead of direct log-in, services like Facebook Connect, Open ID, and Google Friend Connect will be more popular. However, in the three favorites authentication services listed above, we are ticking Google friend Connect to rule.

TV Streaming: YouTube is well placed to be a network TV streaming powerhouse - given Google's dominance on the internet technology sphere.

Aggregating Technology: Enhanced real-time news aggregations - Twitter and FriendFeed and possibly, more attention given to location-based references. And as Google's obsession with real-time search is heightened, we expect more Apps to support the services from the 'web technology leader'.

Networking: Social networks will extend more frontiers - Twitter and Facebook tipped to continue the lead in innovative features and harnessing the power of local information.

Let us know your predictions on internet trends for 2010 in the comments...

Internet Trends: Predictions For 2010