Hot topics in the tech blogs for the week ending May 11 include Facebook’s new App Center, the new Microsoft Bing search engine, Google’s updated Google+ mobile application, rumors Xbox 360 users will get a full internet browsing experience with Kinect controls, Google and Mozilla concerned Microsoft will restrict browser choice on devices with ARM chips.
Facebook introduces App Center
Social network Facebook introduced its own App Center for mobile users on all platforms. Facebook said its App Center will be a new place where the company’s more than 900 million users can find social apps. While Facebook will be selling some apps directly through the App Center, the platform will also host links to apps found in Apple’s iOS App store, Google’s Android Play store and web-based apps that use Facebook’s Connect login platform.
Microsoft introduces the new, more social Bing
Microsoft announced it would follow in Google’s footsteps, integrating new social search features into its search engine. The company showed off a redesigned search experience that goes beyond a simple list of web pages and helps users “get things done.” The new Bing features three columns with Core Web Results on the left; a results “Snapshot” with maps, restaurant reservations and reviews in the middle; and a Sidebar on the right that features social results from “experts” and friends.
Google+ mobile app update
Google released yet another version of its Google+ app for iOS users. The latest iteration switches the focus from text-based content to the photos and images contained within a user’s posts. The updated application features a new design that makes the most of the smartphone’s touchscreen real estate and high resolution display. Additional features within the new app include crisper fonts, speed improvements, larger profile pics, a redesigned home screen and an easier-to-scan stream.
Xbox 360 to get full internet browser experience with Kinect controls
Technology blog The Verge reported that Microsoft is getting ready to launch a full version of Internet Explorer 9 on its Xbox 360 gaming console so users can browse the full web. According to The Verge the new Xbox 360 browsing experience will also include integrated Kinect gestures and voice control.
Google and Mozilla concerned that Microsoft will restrict browser choice on new devices
Internet browser makers Mozilla and Google are concerned that Microsoft is seeking to limit users’ browser choice to IE10 on new Windows devices with ARM chips by only allowing a “crippled version” of the browsers to run. “Other browsers don't get access to the same operating system abilities that IE10 gets,” said CNET, “recalling browser battles from earlier years that ultimately triggered government antitrust actions in the United States and Europe.”