Google Australia, Lego collaborate on Build Chrome app
Google Australia and Lego have created Build, a WebGL-based Lego construction app. Users can claim a plot of land on a map of Australia and New Zealand, and can build an object on a 32x32 starting base. Using 12 shapes in 10 different colors, builds can be saved and viewed by others on the Build with Chrome website. In a blog post, Google Australia voices hope that Build will expand to more regions in the future.
Uses parallax view for 3D perspective
Google has further enhanced its use of WebGL to now add more 3D perspective to buildings seen on its MapsGL project, an alternative version of Google Maps (which received the improvement in March). The improvements now add a "parallax" view that allows users to pan around buildings and see them from different angles while still in overhead view. The buildings become translucent in order to avoid obscuring roadways or other landmarks while panning, and are most noticeable on taller buildings.
Google Maps 3D tours use WebGL to show the world
Google took advantage of its 3D acceleration tricks Wednesday to introduce Google Maps 3D photo tours. The technique uses the optional MapsGL mode, which uses WebGL to get a speed boost, to steer viewers through a 3D photo scene. The technology stitches together publicly available Panoramio and Picasa photos, using Google's own 3D depth calculations and transitions to get the added dimensions.
Firefox 12 final ready to go
Mozilla has posted the finished release of Firefox 12. The browser has a key update each for Mac and Windows users. Windows' update is most conspicuous and doesn't need the user to confirm the update in a User Account Control prompt on Vista or 7. Mac users see a lift, as Mozilla has fixed slow WebGL graphics performance on some hardware.
Google Chrome 18 reaches stable level
Google on Wednesday posted the finished version of Chrome 18. The stable version now brings hardware graphics speedups to HTML5's Canvas for 2D and is potentially much faster for certain websites. Acceleration works on both Macs and Windows PCs, but not Linux so far.
Chrome 18 widens GPU usage
Google in the same breath as the Chrome 17 final release has also posted a beta release of Chrome 18. The new version swings attention to graphics and now hardware accelerates 2D elements using HTML5's Canvas spec, a common part of more advanced websites. Animations and action-sensitive websites should see the most benefit.
Google Maps to be a basis for upcoming game
Google has just released a teaser video, embedded below, that shows off an upcoming Google Maps-based game. Likely made for portable devices with a motion/gyroscope sensor, users would navigate a ball through the streets by making it follow a cursor, as mocked up in the real-life second video. The game will be powered by WebGL and be available through Google+ Games.
Software update available for 2011 phones
Sony Ericsson has announced that its recent software updates for 2011 Xperia handsets bring support for WebGL. The company claims to be the first to support the WebGL standard in the stock Android browser, enabling users to take advantage of interactive 3D graphics without switching to third-party apps.
Books arranged on infinite 3D helix
Google is currently previewing an "infinite digital bookcase" concept that attempts to organize vast libraries of digital titles. Rather than placing the books on a traditional bookcase, covers are placed on an infinite 3D helix and organized into 28 different subjects. Users can click on a title to view the title, author information and a short synopsis.
Beta now available to Chrome and Firefox browsers
Google has incorporated WebGL into Google Maps. The improved app,
Google MapsGL, leverages computer-based hardware 3D graphic acceleration to provide richer visuals and animations. The functionality, availabile as a beta, initially will be supported on Chrome 14+ or Firefox Beta.
Multiple parties call technology security risk
Apple will be supporting WebGL in iOS 5, but only for iAd developers, says Apple's Chris Marrin on a WebGL mailing list. The technology is a new rendering standard which allows 3D on websites without loading a plugin. Restricted to iAd, however, it will likely be used mostly for Flash-style advertising, including 2D animated sprites.
Rebuffs API used in Chrome, FireFox and Safari
Microsoft, through its TechNet Security Research & Defense blog claims that WebGL, the open 3D graphics API, is flawed. Microsoft believes that these flaws present significant security vulnerabilities. Consequently, Microsoft could not incorporate WebGL into any of its products.
Chrome Web Store expands to 41 lanuages, more
During the day two keynote at Google I/O 2011, the company revealed its Chrome Web Store has been launched to 160 million users of the browser and in 41 languages. There is good news for developers too, as Google will only take a five percent cut, with 95 percent of app revenues going to the developer's pocket. Those outside the current markets will only have access to free apps, at least initially, however.
Standard blasted by security researchers
Security research firm Context has issued a report criticizing WebGL, the 3D graphics standard used in popular browsers such as Firefox, Chrome and Safari. The report points to several serious vulnerabilities that are said to leave systems open to attacks. Experimental exploits reportedly used malicious code to gain access to a computer's core operating system.
Mozilla anticipates Firefox 4 finished March 22
Mozilla's senior engineering director Damon Sicore said later on Tuesday that the finished version of Firefox 4 should be ready on March 22. Barring any last-minute issues in a meeting late Wednesday morning, the team expected Release Candidate 1 to become the final release. In the event of a serious bug, a second release candidate would be posted with the fix and the release pushed back.
WebGL spec final with Apple, Google, Mozilla, more
Chrome 9 goes stable, spreads
Google today posted a finished, stable version of Chrome 9. The update is the first non-beta to have the Chrome Web Store built-in and lets anyone in the US reach it through a new browser tab. The store packages apps in a way that Flash, HTML5 or other code behaves more like a conventional app download or sale with a list of installed apps to match.
Google Chrome 7 beta arrives with Instant built-in
Google late Thursday quietly posted its first beta of Chrome 7. The release is the first to implement Google Instant and will optionally update search results from the main search bar, not just from the Google website. Graphics acceleration now plays a much larger role and both speeds up some CSS transforms and turns on WebGL support for plugin-free 3D.
Khronos details in-browser OpenGL tech
The Khronos Group today published the draft specification for WebGL, its universal standard for accelerated 3D graphics inside web browsers. The initial format takes advantage of HTML5's canvas support to draw OpenGL ES 2.0-level graphics without having to use a plugin. Besides simplifying the use of modern 3D hardware, it lets 3D interact more closely with web pages themselves and supports tasks like scripting to automate events or even test graphics before they're put into finished code.