BBC Mobile Homepage Beta Is Sleek!

The BBC has released the testing version (beta) of its new mobile website homepage. As with the relatively recently renewed BBC homepage for traditional computers, the design is cleaner, more dynamic and whiter.
BBC Mobile Homepage Beta On Stock Android Browser
You can get the new BBC Mobile Homepage Beta on your mobile device by visiting the following link: . You can also scan the following QR code with your mobile device:
This QR code is for the new BBC Mobile Homepage Beta
I quite like the new BBC Mobile Homepage Beta, I find it to be clearer and easier to use comnpared to the current/older version.
The current/older version of the BBC Mobile Homepage on the stock Android browser
As the "beta" label suggests, this is not the finished product, and it is far from perfect. On the stock Android web browser it works fine at the moment, as with the version of Internet Explorer on my Windows Phone 7 device. It renders fine in Opera Mobile and Opera Mini for me too. Sadly the new BBC Mobile Homepage Beta does not render perfectly on the stock WebOS browser (it is useable, but some bits go missing) and the Chrome Beta for Android 4.0 just doesn't like it.
The New BBC Mobile Homepage Beta on the stock WebOS browser
The New BBC Mobile Homepage Beta on Opera Mobile on Android
The New BBC Mobile Homepage Beta on Chrome Beta for Android 4.0
(Beta + Beta = Fail)
I look forward to this homepage becoming the standard one for mobile devices. I hope the clever people at the BBC also manage to make it more dynamic and scalable so that it adapts to larger screens such as those on BAPs and tablets as well as phablets. Well done to the chaps and chapettes involved in the development and deployment of the page, I still feel like it is worth while paying my TV License.

As usual, feel free to leave comments and/or questions below.

How To Install Offline Google Mail

Today Google announced that Google Mail, Google Calendar and Google Docs will be available as offline web apps. Offline Google Mail is available now in the Chrome Web Store. This means that you will be able to read, organise and write emails while without an internet connection. Awesome!
The Offline Google Mail interface!

Make sure you have the three main requisites for this "How To":

  1. A working computer with an active internet connection
  2. Google Chrome or Chromium web browser
  3. A Google Mail account...

Here's how to install Offline Google Mail in a few easy steps:

Go to the Offline Google Mail Chrome Web Store page. You can use this link to do that.

You will be asked confirmation to install Offline Google Mail. Go ahead and click "Install"
Once the Chrome app has installed, you can run it from your Chrome new tab screen.
When you do that you will be asked for confirmation to allow offline mail.

Go ahead and tick the box next to "Allow Offline Mail" and then click the blue "Continue" button.
And that's it! You should then have access to your GMail when offline and the funky new UI!

Thanks to Google and the GMail team! I think this is a great new improvement to their services!

As usual, feel free to leave comments and/or questions. You can Google +1 this post too.

Joli OS' Teaser

I was browsing through my feeds in Joli OS earlier and I came across what to me seems like a teaser on the official Joli OS Blog.
In the blog post entitled "Some News About Joli OS" dated July 19th 2011 the opening is quite a teaser:

"It’s been a while since you’ve had an update from us but we’ve been working hard on something big. We will tell you a bit about that very soon! In the meantime, we have some updates for you on Joli OS."

The blog post then goes on to list the updates that are currently being pushed to the Joli OS local and web apps.

The post is then closed by another teaser:

Stay tuned… More coming soon!

Could this be a teaser to Jolicloud 1.3? Or maybe even a shift in platform from the older Ubuntu Netbook base to a Chromium OS base? Tariq has never been shy of praising Chrome and the Chromium and Jolicloud is available as a web app in the Chrome Web Store. This is pure conjecture on my part. I am excited, and  look forward to seeing what happens "soon"!

What is Google Chrome OS?

Google Chrome OS is a Linux-based operating system designed by Google to work exclusively with web applications. This means that when you turn it on you don't boot into a traditional operating system like Microsoft Windows or Ubuntu, you boot into Chrome OS.

The best way to explain this is how Google have done so in this video:

Even on a three year old netbook Chrome OS boots up in less than 15 seconds. It's fantastic.

Feel free to leave comments and/or questions, any feedback is appreciated. - Federated Soial Bookmarks

Yesterday I signed up to a service that I thought was Evan Prodromou's April Fool for 2011. From a link on I read Evan's blog post about a federated social bookmarking service he was launching called Think of it as the of 

In Evan's words:

"Today, we're launching a new site [...]. is a social bookmarking service, similar to dozens of other similar services. It lets users store URLs – bookmarks – with tags to make them easy to organize and share. You can subscribe to other users' bookmarks and get a stream of interesting things to read in your inbox."

The reason I thought was an April Fool was the look and feel of the site. The logo and UI are very lilac (very, very lilac...), and it was so similar to (apart from the lack of character limit in posts and the "bookmarklet tool") is very, very lilac.

The Bookmarklet Tool is a bookmark which is java code that runs in your browser and gives you the possibility to pass the webpage you are browsing to In Firefox 4 it is all good: you drag the link to the bookmark bar and you get your button to pass pages to Sadly I use Chrome/Chromium on smaller screens (netbooks/laptop) so I don't have a bookmark bar. The bookmarklet tool doesn't work for me at the moment, but I'm hoping some enthusiastic individual makes a Chrome/Chromium extension for this soon. Once that is in place I'll be all in on

At the time of writing this post is a bit like departure lounges at Edinburgh airport at 4 am: there are hardly any people there, who would like to get going but there are no flights, no shops or cafes open and almost no other people to speak to.

I believe this service could take off and be a great success, especially if the API is usable in clients like Seesmic on mobile devices and more people get on board. Having said that, I'll go and convince Candice to sign up now...

Tweaking Chrome in Ubuntu

There are a couple of tweaks I usually carry out on a fresh Ubuntu install and always forget about until the next install. I'm blogging about these tweaks as a way to make it easy on myself (and others) in the event of  a new Ubuntu install.

Tweak 1: Optimise Screen Real Estate By Hiding System Title Bar

One of the great things about the Google Chrome web browser is how it often maximises the use of screen real estate. Tabs use the space usually occupied by system title bars leaving more space for what it does best: web browsing. 

In Ubuntu the default setting is to have your system title bar visible. I prefer to have it hidden. Here's how to hide the system title bar in two easy steps:

  • Click on the spanner icon at the top right of your chrome window next to the address bar in Chrome (as in the image above). Select Preferences and a new, smaller window should open (as in the image below).
  • In the "Personal Stuff" tab in Google Chrome Preferences window, at the bottom select "Hide system title bar and use compact borders". Close your window and "Bingo Bango Bongo!" you've gained a few pixels for web browsing.
Tweak 2: Enable Backspace As Back/Forward

One of the things many Windows users have come to expect when web browsing is that the backspace button on the keyboard is a shortcut for going back a page in a web browser. Ubuntu has similar keyboard shortcuts which are "Alt + Left Arrow Key" (back) and "Alt + Right Arrow Key" (forward).

If you are uncomfortable with changing your evil brainwashed Windows ways, here's the easy way to enable the backspace key as a keyboard shortcut in Chrome: it's a Google Chrome Extension!

Backspace As Back/Forward for Linux by is an extension that does what it says on the extension webpage (because these things don't come in tins...). Click on the link at the beginning of this paragraph to get the extension.

After having done that, you should be back to your evil brainwashed ways in no time at all.

Please feel free to leave comments and/or questions below.

Google Chrome OS Is On The Way

Google Chrome OS is on its way according to "Industry Insiders".

Google Chrome OS is a Linux based operating system aimed to be used exclusively with web applications and has not been released yet.

If "Industry Insiders" are to be believed, the first devices running the OS will be available on the market before Christmas this year (December 2010). It is also reported on the interwebs that Google may be launching an own branded device manufactured by a third party company.

I'm looking forward to this development in the consumer electronics market, hopefully with an interestingly priced device (£100 / $150).

Here's to hoping...