Mean while we have iOS that's just congratulating itself for allowing photo uploads to twitter, meanwhile my Android phone has integration with services I've never even heard of.
And MacOS and Windows... nothing. Stupid silent sitting on the internet.
It's nice to see some real innovation in the Linux camp on the user end front.
Android has none of those things. I've had hit or miss experience of it even picking a decent resolution icon, and Chrome uses the favicon with an envelope behind it, so it sticks out as a second class citizen (chrome also doesn't go chromeless).
Ubuntu does this somewhat, iOS not really at all (though it is successful in the way you speak of), but I feel there's a combination of the way Adnroid, iOS and Ubuntu are doing this that could hit a sweet spot.
1) There is very little browser competition on mobile. Users are either unaware of or don't see the benefit to downloading an alternate browser, and as a result the OS vendors have less of an incentive to improve their browser rapidly. On the desktop browsers like Firefox and Chrome release a new version every few weeks, whereas on mobile the OS vendors release once or a twice a year.
2) The JS engines haven't been optimized for ARM as heavily as x86. We'll get there though.
These are very much short-term problems. And despite that, you can write performant mobile web-apps today. If you have an iOS device you should try out the game X-Type: http://www.phoboslab.org/log/2012/06/x-type-making-of which is written by a fellow HNer. It is extremely snappy, even when played without the assistance of Nitro.
1. Who wants to write complex programs in JS? I mean, it's OK and all, but it's messy when you can be writing native apps. I remember the iPhone being all about the webapps when it came out, but native apps ultimatly won.
2. Internet access is still not widely available. On Sprint, where I am, it sucks. If I'm out in more remote regions (which is part of mine and many others jobs), it's gone. Or if I'm in a tunnel on the train, or an elevator, or in my bathroom at work, etc. Or you're on AT&T, have capped bandwidth, etc.
No, we need apps that have a smooth offline to online transition. Maybe web apps will make it there, but I feel we're far enough away that I still like Android's approach.
Android isn't "failing" at something that it isn't trying to do. Web apps generally suffer from low performance when trying to do anything moderately complex on a mobile device. If you must use web technology to create apps on Android, there is webView in the sdk for you. Many web apps that have tons of users like Google Maps, Pandora, etc. have native apps that are actually performant, follow UI conventions, and have access to all the APIs.
So it's much more than the Chrome thing, but not quite as deep as this Ubuntu announce.
Doing Alt + <Key> should bring up the appropriate menu in the web app not the web browser.
Doing Ctrl + S should ask the web app to do a save , not ask the browser to save the .html page.
Of course this is all stuff that could be abused by aggressive websites so there needs to be a distinction between apps and pages.
If it opens a new window without the chrome (or at least without the tabs), it might be ok.
I would love to have a hacker news window by default, so that external links i open there are nicely managed within the hackers news app.
So, the tab bar is a plus, if you ask me. The address bar and the new tab icon, should be removed though. Better yet, the new tab icon, should open he base url, or some other logical url: for gmail it could be a compose windows, for example.
And "mozilla firefox" should not be part of the window title. Other than that, actually hiding the fact its a browser is not really usefull. The tab bar, the menu .. No reason to remove those by default.
But i suspect, these apps are running in their own profile, and it is firefox, so we could always tweak the chrome ourselves.
The ability to open new tabs should probably be configured on an app-by-app basis. Opening tabs of mail is a pretty sensible idea, but a game developer using HTML5 would likely want to prevent that. Ditto the location bar. (I agree that the user should be able to override these settings.)
The internet is everywhere.. I dont want those 50 tabs in one big browser window, nor do i want them in separate windows.
I want them organised based on context. Most of those tabs belong to the initiating application. From a hackers news app, with the chosen articles, to a google docs app, with open documents.
As long as i can pick up a tab, and add it to some other window, that would make the most sense to me.
As with most security, our best hope lies in open implementations which can be audited for such problems, with consideration being drawn in during design and implementation stages from security experts. Hopefully some lessons were learned from the ActiveX desktop days!
I'm not sure what profile Firefox runs under, but what you suggested would be quite reasonable, though maybe not as default -- You probably want to be able to "save as" to an arbitrary directory, and open files for upload from anywhere too. Though since both of those involve a user dialog, that could easily be a secondary application with its own profile that uses IPC/shared memory/something to pass data to the browser. Smaller target attack area.
Odds of me using this over the hardened Chrome/ium are pretty slim.
Having said that, as a long-time Ubuntu user, kudos to them for doing something new and interesting.
What are you saying here? This isn't a new browser, rather a plugin on the browsers. You still use Firefox or Chromium.
But its incredibly frustrating that it has taken this long for browser vendors and/or operating systems to push the possibility for webapps as first class desktop apps. (not really counting air)
Firefox is starting to introduce this functionality at last, I imagine chrome have similiar functionality coming (this used to work on linux!)
Prism was nice when it existed, and fluid I used to use from time to time but there was just too many hassles with it not being mainstream
Using cloud based apps may affect your privacy but that is independent of this.
Encapsulating the browser process, is what usually kills web widget performance, and I end up going back to the browser..
Not because this is actually something I want or think would be better than a browser, but simply because seems to be significantly easier to get users to pay for something that behaves like a native app, ie, turns up on their dock. I have a theory if you wrapped a web view and put it on the mac app store, the average user (ie one who has no idea what web view means) would pay more for it than the same product in a browser.
Given the state of HTML, the newbies inability to write proper HTML, and early browsing technology and you have a recipe for instability and system crashes.
They were too early technology wise, and also because they couldn't see entire application experiences being delivered that way.
If you just had multiple browser windows open, they would all be together on the Firefox (or Chrome) icon and it would be difficult to distinguish them. The important part is that the name of the executable associated with a window (i.e. firefox/chrome) is no longer synonymous with the identity of the application running in it (i.e. Twitter, Gmail, Facebook, etc.).
For me, the control over my data, operating system integration, taking advantage of my hardware will win every day over dumb web applications.
"Launch online music site Last.FM directly from the Dash and control the music from Ubuntu’s sound menu
Access and launch your social media accounts (Google+, Twitter, Facebook) from the Launcher, and get native desktop notifications
Quickly and seamlessly upload photos to Facebook from Shotwell
Pause and play the video you are watching on Youtube
See how many unread messages you have in your GMail account, in Ubuntu’s messaging indicator"
i.e. raw UDP, TCP, POSIX, device APIs.
My main use case is my multiple Google accounts (work, uni, personal) and their respective calendars. I just fire up evolution, it automatically connects to Google and the calendar widget in the panel populates with my events. Its just a shame that only evolution does this, and Thunderbird does not seem to integrate with it.
This is pretty similar to Android, how you specify your online accounts, and it is up to individual applications to make use of those credentials if they please. There just seems to be much more usage of this in Android than in Gnome.