Right in line with its usual update cycle, Google released version 29 of its Chrome browser for Mac, Windows, Linux and Chrome Frame. There are no real surprises here, but just like most updates to the stable channel, Chrome 29 does introduce some smaller updates. On the desktop, this means the Omnibox — Chrome’s combined URL and search bar — now also bases its suggestions on the recency of the sites you have visited.
Microsoft announced that Skype integration inside its Outlook.com email service is now live and out of preview in the U.S., the U.K., Germany, France, Brazil and Canada. The combination of Skype and Outlook.com brings together two of Microsoft’s most popular services, and provides the email service with a material competitive edge in its war with Google’s Gmail. Outlook.com has enjoyed a quickly growing user base that expanded organically, and also via a massive infusion of Hotmail users, who Microsoft shunted over as it shuttered the older service in favor of the new.
Google started rolling out a major new version of YouTube for Android. This update is one of the most significant for the service in a long time and introduces a cool in-app multitasking feature that lets you minimize the screen while you browse channels or perform searches. It also features Google’s standard “card” interface. Until now, viewers had to stop the video. In this new version, the video will just move to the bottom-right corner of the screen and continue playing. From there, you can always get back to full-screen mode or just swipe right or left to dismiss the video.
Twitter announced its latest acquisition, along with a move into offering richer resources to attract better engineering talent to the company. It has bought Marakana, an open-source technical training company; and in turn, Marakana will be the force behind a new effort called Twitter University. School mascot: a blue bird, not a whale.
GitHub has launched a way to see what is trending across its service, making it easier to filter by time period, trending projects, developers and programming languages. Eight times a day, the new GitHub Trending Page calculates trending data by day, week and month. With its new filter, users can change the time period to the one they wish to explore.
Apple announced that all of its developer program services are now back online. Apple’s portal for developers, which also hosts its iOS and OS X beta downloads, went down on July 18th and a few days after, the company acknowledged that there had been a security breach. To make up for the prolonged outage of some of the services, Apple will extend all memberships, which are usually for a year, by one month.
Apple’s iOS 7 Beta 5 is now available to developers who have the pre-release software installed on their devices, about a week after it released the 4th beta of the mobile OS. The software is likely approaching its final, stable launch state, as Apple has committed to a wide public launch of iOS 7 this fall.
Mozilla launched Firefox 23, which adds a couple of interesting features that extend the browser’s capabilities beyond just displaying websites. On the desktop, Firefox recently added the ability to integrate a number of social sites like Facebook, Cliqz and Mixi or new sites like msnNOW into a persistent sidebar in the browser. Now it is expanding this feature by adding a share button to the browser toolbar, too.
Here is a small but useful update to Google Drive: the hyperlink tool, which isn’t exactly the most glamorous part of any online editor, now automatically shows you top search results from Google, bookmarks in a document and related files on Drive that you can link to with just a simple click. You only have to highlight the word you want to link, click on the hyperlink icon (or press Ctrl-K if you prefer keyboard shortcut) and off you go.