Chrome 50 arrives with push notification improvements and declarative preload


Google today launched Chrome 50 for Windows, Mac, and Linux, adding the usual slew of developer features. You can update to the latest version now, using the browser’s built-in silent updater, or download it directly from

Chrome is arguably more than a browser: With over 1 billion users, it’s a major platform that web developers have to consider. In fact, with its regular additions and changes, developers have to keep up to ensure they are taking advantage of everything available.

Google has been toying with notifications in Chrome for years. Chrome apps and extensions have supported push notifications on desktop since May 2010 (first added in Chrome 5). More recently, webpages gained the ability to send push notifications to users with the release of Chrome 42, the desktop notification center was removed in Chrome 47, and custom notification buttons were added in Chrome 48.


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Apple releases first Safari Technology Preview update with Web Inspector, ES6 enhancements

Safari Technology Preview release 9.1.1.

Apple today released the first update to its Safari Technology Preview version of Safari designed for software developers.

This second release (version 9.1.1) comes with several changes that have to do with JavaScript, CSS, accessibility, the browser’s Web Inspector feature, and most generally, the latest from the WebKit open-source browser engine.

With respect to JavaScript in particular, the browser now ships with enhanced support for ECMAScript 6, as that has previously come to other modern browsers, like Chrome, Edge, and Firefox. You can find a full list of changes in the Release Notes.

The new version is becoming available two weeks after the initial release.

You can get the new version directly from Apple’s website, or alternatively you can grab it from the Updates section in the Mac App Store.

More information:

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Google should revise its Android update messaging strategy


Samsung and Verizon have finally gotten on the same page and pushed out the long-awaited Android 6.0 Marshmallow update to Galaxy S6 handsets — my own included. Only two weeks prior, I had rhetorically questioned the status of the update on Twitter, only to receive a canned response from Verizon support informing me how exciting these upgrades truly were.

But Verizon support was wrong. The update isn’t all that exciting. Featurewise, the transition from Lollipop to Marshmallow is a fairly minor one (except for the battery-saving Doze feature, which implements a reduced power sleep state when devices are idle). This trend towards a lack of marquee new features each year should make Google consider ways to better manage user expectations

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Facebook’s latest AI experiments: generating captions and recognizing faces in videos

Joaquin Quiñonera Candela, Facebook's director of applied machine learning, talks about Facebook's latest AI research efforts around video at the company's F8 developer conference in San Francisco on April 13, 2016.

At its F8 developer conference in San Francisco today, Facebook demonstrated its latest in artificial intelligence (AI) research efforts. Not surprisingly, they are about video.

Video implies a whole bunch of individual images put together. So it logically flows from Facebook’s progress around object recognition and image caption generation using AI.

“You can imagine us building image search on steroids,” Joaquin Quiñonera Candela, Facebook’s director of Applied Machine Learning, said onstage today.

He showed off two specific efforts:

1) Generating captions for the things people say in videos.

2) Identifying the people who appear in videos, so that they can be tagged, and even associated with specific times in the video, so that users can get right to the moment when a person first appears in the frame.

Facebook has been quite busy with artificial intelligence research in the two and a half years since tapping Yann LeCun to head

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Microsoft adds Universal Windows Platform support to Facebook’s React Native

Microsoft is bringing Universal Windows Platform (UWP) support to React Native.

Microsoft and Facebook are announcing today that the Facebook-led React Native open-source software for native mobile app development is getting Universal Windows Platform (UWP) support.

The new UWP development software is available now. But Microsoft will be sharing the code as part of the React Native project, said Christine Abernathy, developer advocate for Facebook’s open-source team, at Facebook’s F8 developer conference.

“The new UWP support extends the reach of these native apps to a new market of 270 million active Windows 10 devices, and the opportunity to reach beyond mobile devices, to PCs, and even the Xbox One and HoloLens,” Microsoft Developer Experience software engineer Eric Rozell wrote in a blog post. “For Windows app developers, it also means an opportunity to embed React Native components into their existing UWP apps and to leverage the developer tools and programming paradigms that React Native offers.”

Also today Facebook said that

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Google launches Android N Developer Preview 2 with new 3D rendering API, launcher shortcuts, and Emoji Unicode 9


Google today launched the second release of the Android N developer preview. You can start testing your apps against this release by downloading the new preview from

Google launched the first Android N developer preview just over a month ago. In past years, Google has unveiled the next Android version and released the accompanying developer preview at its I/O developer conference, but with Android N, the company is starting much earlier — I/O 2016 is scheduled for May 18 to May 20.

The Android team has been working hard over the last month; three major features have been added in this second preview:

Facebook unveils antennas for improving Internet access in cities and rural areas

A prototype of Facebook's Project Aries.

Facebook today is showing off its latest unconventional equipment for bringing better Internet connectivity to more people.

There are two new projects: the Terragraph antennas for distributing gigabit Internet in densely city environments using both Wi-fi and cellular signals, and the Aries array of radio antennas for delivering wireless signals to devices in rural areas — where you don’t always get 4G LTE connections today.

Facebook believes the latter could one day be what 5G looks like in rural areas. But you’re more likely to see Terragraph in the real world before you’ll see Aries.

“We’re currently testing Terragraph at Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park and preparing a broader trial with the city of San Jose in California,” Facebook product manager Neeraj Choubey and engineer Ali Panah wrote in a blog post. The social networking company intends to bring them to market in association with Internet service providers and mobile

Facebook's Terregraph project.
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