A recent study of online browsing habits in the UK revealed that Google Chrome is now the browser of choice for more than 23% of British internet users. More surprising still was the fact that it is now more popular than Mozilla’s Firefox and is even gaining ground on the current and ever-present browser bruiser, Microsoft’s Internet Explorer.
Currently Internet Explorer has a whopping 45% of the market share in the UK but that figure is down from the year before and the use of IE seems to be constantly declining.
This loss of popularity for the ubiquitous Internet Explorer is even more depressing for Microsoft when you weigh up the fact that the browser comes pre-installed on nearly all UK computers at the moment. Google Chrome’s figures and market share are all the more impressive when you consider that it was only released three years ago.
Commenting on the UK figures Google put Chrome’s increasing popularity down to two things – firstly that they had promoted it with a blitz of advertising across the billboards and televisions of the United Kingdom (Chrome was the only time they have ever put an advert on British television); and secondly that they believed it was the best browser in terms of security and speed.
Lars Bak, Google’s chief designer on the Chrome browser commented recently that their aim when designing and building Chrome had been to make it the fastest browser possible whilst maintaining maximum security within a minimal design. Bak argued that once people have started using Chrome they will never want to go back to any of the other browsers:
“If a user tries a webpage using Chrome and suddenly it feels really fast and snappy, it’s naturally going to be really hard to go back wards (to a previously used browser).”
Certainly the numbers for the uptake of Google Chrome are astonishing. At the current rate Google Chrome’s success in the UK will be replicated worldwide very shortly. It is already in third place with a market share of 21% across the globe and is expected to overtake Firefox in the next year or so. Similarly it is predicted that it will be challenging IE within two or three years.
Google are banking on Chrome becoming so popular that it will offer a similar kind of ‘Halo Effect’ as the iPod did with Mac computers, and lead them to purchase the new Google Chromebook laptops. The Chromebook will be cloud based, with the Chrome browser being central to a different kind of operating system. Instead of taking up memory storage, data will be cloud based so as to make the Chromebooks as fast and clutter free as possible.
So do you deal with a lot of business cards? Do you have a Rolodex sitting pretty at your desk? Do you spend a lot of time browsing your card stack to find say, contact details of a nearby car mechanic, only to discover it later in your wallet? If yes, then you have got to buy the WorldCard Mobile app for iPhone.
WorldCard Mobile, developed by PenPower Inc. is a business card scanner and management tool. All one has to do is point the camera and take a picture. The app scans the card using optical character recognition (OCR) to label all the fields of the business card and uploads them to the phone book. Now this is a time saver and a pretty nifty job from the developers, only I wish, I knew of this earlier.
Now all is not gold with the app. I tested about 20 different cards each with different styling, graphics and color combinations and would say almost 80% of the cards were recognized spot-on, except for a few that came with dark color schemes, uncommon names etc. needed manual re-entering.
Also, I noticed that the lighting of the environment in which the cards were captured also affected the recognition and would recommend doing your scans in a brightly lit-up room, when you capture cards using the app.
One more point to be talked about is the user interface of the app. A simpler easy-to-use user interface with intuitive help features will certainly take the app to the next level. The app has already won a lot of deserving accolades and a better UI will certainly prove to be fruitful.
Final thoughts are, if you deal with a lot of business cards, then this app is a must have. The app works great and is available for £3.99 in the iTunes store. You can download the WorldCard Mobile app from iTunes here. Go try it out and let know of your thoughts in the comments section.
Smart phones are amazing. 50 years ago who would have predicted that you could hold a device smaller than your hand that could:
- Take pictures
- Connect with your car
- Listen to music
- Send text messages (SMS)
- Make a video call with someone on the other side of the world
- Track your location
- Surf the internet
- Understand your voice commands
- …and loads loads more
Notice anything that could be a security risk from the list above? Well if you listen to the news, you will probably have heard the bad PR iPhone have got themselves by discovering a glitch which showed everywhere their owners had been!
Apple have denied that they have been tracking users, but if someone got hold of an iPhone they would be able to download a list of every place that that phones (and probably it’s user) had been to, via the use of GPS.
Do you think that all these flashy features come at a price? Is the security of our private information being exposed more and more in this modern-day ‘technology powered’ world?
The thing is, it isn’t just the iPhone – the iPad has also been tracking users locations!
If you want to find out more, check out this online Q and A page on Apples website.
Another privacy issue…
A few days later Sony announced that it was taking down its PlayStation Network service, due to hacking which affected 77 million gamers!
Sony say that that the data might have fallen into the hands of an “unauthorised person” following a hacking attack on its online service. This data it thought to include things like names, passwords, addresses, date of births and email addresses. Another reason why it’s very important not to use one password for everything.
If you think you might have been affected by this other breach in security, check out Sony’s blog post on the issue.
Are we too dependant on technology? Do we give away too much information (often sensitive) about ourselves? Do firms really need all this data from us, and do they need to take a greater responsibility in implementing more measures to keep our info safe?