Firefox 4 was released today. It’s pulling a lot of interface elements and cues from Chrome … but then so does IE9. Chrome may very well represent the new standard for application interface and usability. There certainly is elegance in simplicity. App speed is really the new goal, so the less buttons and toolbars and other stuff that your computer is rendering, the lighter the app is on resources, and the snappier it responds (with new tabs, setting bookmarks, etc.). Download here. I’ll let you know in a few days whether it handles Flash in an intelligent manner. That has been the Achilles’ heel of Firefox since version 2.
Netflix optioned the rights to first broadcast (and probably syndication) for a BRAND NEW tv series with Kevin Spacey. Looks badass. And like all things that Netflix does, it seems soooo sensible and timely. Of course their stock jumped up the next day. I’m not a knowledgeable investor, but a 24% increase in value in one day seems outstanding. The Blockbuster down the street closed … good riddance. Next in the Internet Conquests of the Real World, I want Amazon to take out Best Buy. Evolution is decisive.
Speaking of the big bookbeast, I see they have added an app store for Android. You have to tweak a technical switch in your Android settings. Will this be a monster barrier to entry? Amazon’s enticement (and a nice twist on an app store) is that they offer a free paid app every day. Still not enough? Well, if you install, you get a sequel to the hugely addictive Angry Birds for free. That got me to make the leap. I’m sure most others will too. I like Amazon’s mp3 Store a lot. It is really easy to use and not as mind-numbingly possessive as iTunes. Apple’s iTunes is like a horribly possessive hipster friend. Fun at first, and sleek enough to get your geeky butt a ton of attention, but then you realize you are locked into a huge a time commitment … and whenever you try to move on (to another app or mp3 player or friend), iTunes/hipster says, nope, I own your music and videos (and social connections). Messy analogy, but you get the point. Amazon’s mp3 Store is better than iTunes, so I assume that Amazon’s Appstore will blow the Android Marketplace away with superior usability. It already has one or two less clicks for all actions.