Microsoft Edge efficiency isn’t (that) important: usability and options are

Chart showing average power consumption per browser (lower is better) based on aggregated telemetry. Edge on average consumed 465.24 milliwatts; Firefox, 493.5; Chrome, 719.72.

Microsoft has published a recent study about its browser capabilities and its power efficiency. The numbers don’t lie: if you want to maximize your battery life, you should use Microsoft Edge and forget Chrome, Firefox and Opera.

The results speak for themselves: Microsoft Edge outlasts the rest, delivering 17%-70% more battery life than the competition.

This is for sure interesting and important, but not so important to change user habits and convince him to switch to a new browser that basically wants you to perform the same tasks you do on your favorite browser in other way.

Usability and options are the key here.

I don’t use Edge because I don’t care about its ink option to mark pages -especially (and not too much) useful on tablets and convertibles- or its reading mode. I care about extensions and having the freedom to customize my browser as I want. I want to do the things I do in other browsers the exact same way I do them there, and I want things like my passwords, bookmarks and my history saved them.

Freeze frame from a video rundown test comparing streaming battery life on four browsers. Click to play.

I remember Firefox giving the option to import Chrome bookmarks a few versions ago: that was a dealbreaker to switch. Edge doesn’t take this into account, and I think they should focus on trying to convince users to switch offering them a better browser that they will find familiar.

Otherwise Edge is condemned.


Opera and the new generation of browsers

Most people doesn’t have the technical prowess to use a VPN or an ad-blocker. Many don’t take care of their privacy, but a new generation of browsers can do for them.

First we had the Incognito mode on browsers, and it was widely accepted. Then we started to see ad-blockers integrated on several browsers (Safari on iOS and Brave on Android).

Now we’re seeing a browser with a free, integrated VPN, something that again solves a problem most people wouldn’t solve by themselves.

This is the way that tiny but important revolutions happen to be. Creators make them seamless, almost invisible. And that’s the reason most people accept them: they don’t impose a change. They suggest it.

We are witnessing the birth of the new generation of browsers. A generation that will help us to protect a privacy we weren’t capable of protecting by ourselves.

Google’s Nexus tries to learn the iPhone lesson

Google wants to make its Nexus phones more like the iPhone

We had heard about this previously, but now The Information confirms that Google is indeed seeking to have more and more control over its Nexus smartphones.

The plan is simple: no visible partnerships in order to compete in the high end range, where the iPhone leads the way. They want to control the hardware as much as they do control the software (Android and Google Services & apps) right now.

Everything sounds perfect except for that tiny, obvious detail: Google depends of other makers in order to compete as it has done until now. Controlling every aspect of the device won’t be easy for its traditional partners, and we must wonder what will the do then.

Will they make the jump to other platform (Tizen, Windows 10) or fork (CyanogenMod seems a good fit)? Or will they try to compete with their own partner in unfair conditions?

Microsoft tried that and so long it hasn’t worked. But then again, Google is another beast.

Volkswagen, proprietary software, heroes and villains

Xeni Jardin on BoingBoing quotes Eben Moglen, a long-time Open Source supporter:

Proprietary software is an unsafe building material. You can’t inspect it

That’s true, and I’d like every company to open source their software, but this is an utopia. In the end more than the difference between proprietary software and Open Source / Free Software goes beyond the development and sharing philosophy. Why?

Because you can use both to do more harm than good.

Software is a tool.  Even licenses are. True, proprietary licenses prevent software from being ‘inspectable’ like Moglen says, but software has to be good (and harmless) in the first place.

Source: In Volkswagen emissions fraud scandal, proprietary software is the real villain / Boing Boing