It’s been out and about for a week, but only yesterday did I dive in to Chrome on Android 4.0.3 / Ice Cream Sandwich / ICS.
Monday’s lecture class went swimmingly, and I lectured for three hours with the Cr-48 displaying three different slide sets. Everything back to normal, performance-wise, with multi-page PDF display. Cr-48 battery performance continues to be excellent.
Today at work I reached a threshold of need where I truly just wanted to compose a multi-page PDF out of a pile of single-sheet map graphics, and I finally made use of PDF Split and Merge from pdfsam.org — after downloading from Sourceforge and finding it clean with AVG virus scan. It was awesome, and motivated me to create a cover page in a presentation program (OK, it was MS PowerPoint 2010) and then printed the single page in B-size (11×17 inch) landscape by using Cute PDF Writer to control the layout size. Thanks to PDF Split and Merge, I could easily work out an arrangement where two-sided color 11×17 landscape printing made a very fine booklet to allow side-by-side comparison of related analyses (present and future viewsheds). The prints were pretty good when stapled into book form, but the multi-page PDF display was extremely effective thanks to the precise scale control afforded by geographic information systems (GIS) software. With the multi-page PDF, a simple PageUp / PageDown flick of keys flashes the two analyses for current and future visibility, and allows one to study the changes in considerable detail.
Enough with the PDF viewing thing.
The latest efforts now are to keep up with the Chrome updates. At work and at the college office, I now use Windows 7 machines; one is a mighty nice new Xeon W3680 with 12 threads and 12 GB of memory, the other is a nine-year-old Pentium 4 HT 2.8 with 2 threads and 4 GB of memory. One of the home machines is a Windows XP (Media Center) SP 3 with a seven-year-old Pentium D 820 with 2 threads and 3 GB of memory. Throughout each week I either manually update or let background updates happen to Chrome Canary build.
A bit bigger home machine is running Ubuntu 11.10 x86_64 on a five-year-old Core 2 Duo E6550 with 4 GB memory, overclocked at 3.3 GHz now, although for its first four years it ran fine at 4.2 GHz with air cooling. It’s wired up to run the latest unstable Google Chrome build that gets pushed out on dev channel for x86_64 Linux.
And now this week, my ICS phone has a beta channel Google Chrome running on it. It’s pretty sweet getting a straight-up tabbed interface that is fairly consistent among the various Google services. I really like the simple way that Chrome on Android is handling the dismissal of deprecated tabs. Overall it might be slower for some page loads than Android Browser, but its consistency of interface makes me more than happy to use it in preference. Today I dumped Android Browser and Messaging from my action bar (whatever the best name is for the five icons along the bottom of the Android screen) and replaced them with Chrome Beta and Google Talk.
Also in the mix are a couple of Sony Intenet TVs runing Android 3.2 (Honeycomb)
And as typically, my Cr-48 got an update today. So here’s the whole spread:
Windows (7 and XP)
Google Chrome Canary 19.0.1042.0
Ubuntu (11.10 x86_64)
Google Chrome 19.0.1041.0
Android (3.2 / Honeycomb) Google TVs
Google Chrome 11.0
Android (4.0.3 / ICS) Nexus S
Google Chrome 16.0.912.75
App Version 0.16.4130.199
WebKit 535.7 (trunk@104610-dirty)
Chrome OS (Cr-48)
Google Chrome 18.0.1025.32
Platform 1660.34.0 dev-channel x86-mario
WebKit 535.19 (@107639)
So there’s ever more company in my Chrome world. The Canary builds might not sound too interesting, but they pull my interest forward and often provide helpful improvements to my usage. Another aspect here is that I’m running four different user profiles, as a means to separate work from teaching from personal / hobby usage—not to separate platforms! So I’m making almost daily usage of three Google accounts on all platforms. In fact, I use yet other profiles to set up Google TV, but those are fairly static. Since my phone got up to Android 4.0.3, I’ve been really pleased with the way that multiple Google accounts are handled by the Gmail program, and I’m getting very used to the way that Chrome 19 will spawn a new browser to handle different accounts open at the same time. Google Docs still drives me to log out of the less active profiles to get write access.
After my phone upgrade to Android 4.0.3, but before Chrome arrived there, I was already appreciating the way that my photos and (with WiFi) videos just appeared up in Google+ and that took care of a lot of sharing. All the same, in the past 10 days I’ve started to make much more use of Dropbox.com for sharing work product. That experience is pretty good across Android and the places where I use Chrome browser.