Browser Trends September 2015: IE’s Demise Edges Closer

In August, Chrome exceeded one in every two users for the first time. Can it keep up the pace in September’s StatCounter statistics? …

Worldwide Desktop & Tablet Browser Statistics, July to August 2015

The following table shows browser usage movements during the past month.

Browser July August change relative
IE (all) 17.18% 15.99% -1.19% -6.90%
IE11 10.84% 9.94% -0.90% -8.30%
IE10 1.73% 1.66% -0.07% -4.00%
IE9 1.95% 1.83% -0.12% -6.20%
IE6/7/8 2.66% 2.56% -0.10% -3.80%
Edge 0.05% 0.74% +0.69% +1,380.00%
Chrome 51.89% 52.97% +1.08% +2.10%
Firefox 15.68% 15.60% -0.08% -0.50%
Safari 4.20% 3.77% -0.43% -10.20%
iPad Safari 5.54% 5.53% -0.01% -0.20%
Opera 1.81% 1.79% -0.02% -1.10%
Others 3.65% 3.61% -0.04% -1.10%

Worldwide Desktop & Tablet Browser Statistics, August 2014 to August 2015

The following table shows browser usage movements during the past twelve months:

Browser August 2014 August 2015 change relative
IE (all) 20.31% 15.99% -4.32% -21.30%
IE11 9.10% 9.94% +0.84% +9.20%
IE10 3.05% 1.66% -1.39% -45.60%
IE9 3.12% 1.83% -1.29% -41.30%
IE6/7/8 5.04% 2.56% -2.48% -49.20%
Chrome 46.37% 52.97% +6.60% +14.20%
Firefox 17.48% 15.60% -1.88% -10.80%
Safari 10.80% 9.30% -1.50% -13.90%
Opera 1.42% 1.79% +0.37% +26.10%
Others 3.62% 4.35% +0.73% +20.20%

(The tables show market share estimates for desktop browsers. The ‘change’ column is the absolute increase or decrease in market share. The ‘relative’ column indicates the proportional change, i.e. 10.2% of OS X Safari users switched browsers last month. There are several caveats so I recommend you read How Browser Market Share is Calculated and StatCounter vs NetMarketShare.)

Chrome had another amazing month. I was expecting growth to slow but the normal 1% service has been resumed and usage now stands at 53%.

Microsoft’s Edge was the only other browser to make a gain with a 0.7% jump. That’s less than the 1.34% IE11 enjoyed when it was launched in October 2013, but it’s impressive when you consider all Edge users had to install and configure a new OS to get the browser. Edge has been generally well received. It doesn’t beat the competition and there are a few missing features but it’s very fast, capable and shows promise.

In total, Internet Explorer fell by almost 1.2% and will slip behind Firefox next month if the trend continues. While some have migrated to Edge, one in thirty IE users went elsewhere. IE is unlikely to die soon, given it’s the only Microsoft browser on Windows XP, Vista, 7 and 8, but it’s increasingly irrelevant. IE versions 6 to 10 account for just 6% of the market.

Firefox and Opera lost a little ground, but Safari had a more dramatic dip. It’s been propped up by the iPad edition for several months, but usage may have plateaued on that platform.

Worldwide Mobile Browser Statistics, July to August 2015

Mobile use had another massive 2.02% hike during August to reach 41.50% of all web activity. It’s grown more than 5% in two months and the promised 50:50 split looms closer.

The top mobile browsing applications:

Mobile Browser July August change relative
Chrome 33.82% 33.52% -0.30% -0.90%
iPhone 18.96% 17.54% -1.42% -7.50%
UC Browser 14.93% 15.87% +0.94% +6.30%
Android 15.16% 14.46% -0.70% -4.60%
Opera Mini/Mobile 11.63% 13.17% +1.54% +13.20%
IEMobile 2.11% 2.02% -0.09% -4.30%
Others 3.39% 3.42% +0.03% +0.90%

It was an unusual month. Chrome, the older Android application and the iPhone edition of Safari all dropped.

UC Browser overtook Android to take third position in the chart — an amazing achievement for a browser which isn’t installed by default and barely registers above 1% in America and Europe. However, it’s the most popular mobile browser in Asia (25%) and is especially strong in India (49.0%) and China (38.3%).

Opera was the only other browser to make a gain. Similarly, it has a powerful following in Africa (62.4%) and Asia again (13.9%).

Today’s lesson: don’t underestimate the rapidly expanding African and Asian markets!

Browser Trends August 2015: Chrome Exceeds 50%

In last month’s browser chart, Chrome had been struggling to jump above 50% usage. The browser fares better in July’s StatCounter statistics

Worldwide Desktop & Tablet Browser Statistics, June to July 2015

The following table shows browser usage movements during the past month.

Browser June July change relative
IE (all) 18.49% 17.18% -1.31% -7.10%
IE11 11.33% 10.84% -0.49% -4.30%
IE10 1.83% 1.73% -0.10% -5.50%
IE9 2.20% 1.95% -0.25% -11.40%
IE6/7/8 3.13% 2.66% -0.47% -15.00%
Edge 0.00% 0.05% +0.05% n/a
Chrome 49.77% 51.89% +2.12% +4.30%
Firefox 16.09% 15.68% -0.41% -2.50%
Safari 5.41% 4.20% -1.21% -22.40%
iPad Safari 5.14% 5.54% +0.40% +7.80%
Opera 1.62% 1.81% +0.19% +11.70%
Others 3.48% 3.65% +0.17% +4.90%

Worldwide Desktop & Tablet Browser Statistics, July 2014 to July 2015

The following table shows browser usage movements during the past twelve months:

Browser July 2014 July 2015 change relative
IE (all) 21.36% 17.18% -4.18% -19.60%
IE11 9.08% 10.84% +1.76% +19.40%
IE10 3.34% 1.73% -1.61% -48.20%
IE9 3.30% 1.95% -1.35% -40.90%
IE6/7/8 5.64% 2.66% -2.98% -52.80%
Chrome 45.39% 51.89% +6.50% +14.30%
Firefox 17.50% 15.68% -1.82% -10.40%
Safari 10.57% 9.74% -0.83% -7.90%
Opera 1.34% 1.81% +0.47% +35.10%
Others 3.84% 3.70% -0.14% -3.60%

(The tables show market share estimates for desktop browsers. The ‘change’ column is the absolute increase or decrease in market share. The ‘relative’ column indicates the proportional change, i.e. 22.4% of OS X Safari users switched browsers last month. There are several caveats so I recommend you read How Browser Market Share is Calculated and StatCounter vs NetMarketShare.)

Congratulations Google. Chrome leaped more than 2% in July and is now used by half of all desktop users — a figure not seen since IE’s “glory” days. While there’s little difference between the top browsers, Chrome is almost as good or slightly better than others in most areas. That said, there’s a new competitor on the block …

Microsoft’s new Edge browser was released with Windows 10 on July 29, 2015. It’s had minimal impact on the charts so far but that will change:

  1. Initial indications are promising. Edge is unobtrusive, very fast, looks good and has some interesting features.
  2. Edge will become your default browser in Windows 10 unless you change settings during the update or after installation.
  3. Legal restrictions have ended. Microsoft has served time, paid the fines and satisfied the US and EU regulators. Google and Apple now pose a bigger threat.

Look out for a full review of Edge on SitePoint soon.

The only other browser to increase market share this month was Opera. 0.19% may not sound much and the figures can fluctuate but the browser has reached a level not seen since 2012. I find myself turning to Opera regularly. It’s not the browser it once was, but it’s faster than Chrome and ideal for testing. Opera is reporting a 70% speed increase for version 31.

It was grim news for other vendors. All versions of IE dropped, Firefox slipped below 16% and Safari on OS X lost more than a fifth of users. The iPad version of Safari increased a little but it still lost 0.8% overall.

Worldwide Mobile Browser Statistics, June to July 2015

Mobile usage grew by a massive 3.2% last month to reach 39.48% of all web activity. That’s a huge leap. The summer months in the Northern hemisphere may be partly responsible but mobile usage rarely drops.

The top mobile browsing applications:

Mobile Browser June July change relative
Chrome 32.97% 33.82% +0.85% +2.60%
iPhone 18.84% 18.96% +0.12% +0.60%
Android 15.71% 15.16% -0.55% -3.50%
UC Browser 14.91% 14.93% +0.02% +0.10%
Opera Mini/Mobile 11.93% 11.63% -0.30% -2.50%
IEMobile 2.06% 2.11% +0.05% +2.40%
Others 3.58% 3.39% -0.19% -5.30%

The numbers may have risen but the browser share proportions remained mostly static. Chrome increase is offset by the drop in Android usage but it’s rapidly gaining on its desktop counterpart.

There is a large variety of mobile browsers but choice remains fairly limited. iPhone users are forced to use Safari (regardless of what they think they’re using). Chrome beats most competitors by a significant margin on Android. Windows users have few alternatives to IE Mobile and those with a feature phone won’t find better than Opera. Only UC Browser has made an impact — it’s owned and promoted by Alibaba which is huge in China and India (think Amazon, but 50% bigger!)

Those who upgrade regularly tend to stick with the OS they love and few try alternative browsers. However, the market is not kind to those who let their systems and browsers stagnate. Apple: do you really want to be the next Nokia or Blackberry? …

15 Firefox Collections To Suit Your Online Browsing Needs

Are you a fan of Firefox add-ons? They make your life easier by automating a lot of things you do with your favorite browser. In fact, there are actually collections that Firefox users have put together to benefit other Firefox users. These are called Firefox Collections.

Firefox Collections make it easy to keep track of your favorite add-ons and share them with the world. You can follow any collection to keep track of updates (newly added add-ons), try out recommended add-ons and even test out brand new ones. Most of these collections bear the ratings for the add-ons to help you decide, and these collections are often better-targeted and more actively curated by the collection owners.

Here are just some of the Firefox collections that I have come across that I’m sure will help you out one way or another.

Web Developer’s Toolbox

Firefox has a great selection of Web development add-ons and this collection brings the best of them together. So far there are 14 add-ons to help you troubleshoot, edit and debug Web projects all from within Firefox.

Top Add-ons: Firebug, Greasemonkey, Stylish, iMacros, User Agent Switcher, Web Developer.

Reference Desk

Looking for the best way to document useful Web pages, links, text and images? This collection is great for students, researchers, writers, bloggers or anyone else who does a lot of Web research or maybe those who just like to save things for later.

Top Add-ons: Evernote Web Clipper, Pocket, ScrapBook, StumbleUpon, SimilarWeb.

Family Organizer

As the name implies, this collection is aimed at families. The add-ons listed can be used to create a “safe and fun online experience” for mothers, fathers and children. So far there’s only 6 on the list, but let’s hope that it is actively updated.

Top Add-ons: Web of Trust, ReminderFox, Integrated Inbox, FoxFilter.

Traveler’s Pack

If you travel a lot and usually plan the trips yourself, having add-ons to help with the process (planning, booking, documenting) can help tremendously. That’s just what this collection aims to do.

Top Add-ons: Self-Destructing Cookies (useful if you’re planning a surprise trip), Forecastfox Weather, FoxClocks, Simple Currency Converter.

Firebug Add-ons

Firebug is a very popular Web development tool that integrates with Firefox. You can use it to edit, debug and monitor CSS, HTML and JavaScript for any Web page. If you use Firebug frequently, this collection is a great way to keep up with add-ons to help extend this amazing tool.

Top Add-ons: Firebug, YSlow, FirePHP, CodeBurner, FireQuery, Firefinder.

The Paranoid Kit

There are quite a few privacy/security collections, but I really like this one because the collector has taken the time to write a useful note for each add-on featured. The selected security add-ons are said to be “relatively passive and produce minimal disturbance in typical day-to-day browsing.”

Top Add-ons: Adblock Plus, NoScript, LastPass, User Agent Switcher, BetterPrivacy, Lightbeam.

Online Shopping

This collection will really come in handy for any special holiday when shopping deals are at their best. Whether you’re a shopaholic or just like saving money when shopping, these add-ons can help you to do just that. Now you’ll never miss out on those great sales!

Top Add-ons: CouponsHelper, Ciuvo – Price check in your Browser, PriceBlink, Boo.ly Shopping, The Amazon 1Button App, InvisibleHand.

Add-ons for Google Products

Do you use all or most of Google’s products like YouTube, Gmail, Google Calendar and Google search? If so, this collection can help make using these tools even easier. The add-ons on this list can extend the functionality of Google’s most popular services.

Top Add-ons: Video DownloadHelper, Feedly (a Google Reader replacement), Gmail Manager, SearchPreview, Google Shortcuts, Shareaholic.

Social Circuit

Are you a social networking addict or just like sharing cool things on to your social networking accounts? Then this collection is for you. It includes social networking add-ons to help make sharing easier, and to give you easy access to the most popular social sites.

Top Add-ons: ChatZilla, StumbleUpon, Facebook Toolbar, Yoono, Thumbnail Zoom, Shareaholic.

Sports Fanatic

The name says it all. If you’re a sports fanatic, the add-ons in the collection are sure to help cater to your sports addiction. These add-ons can help you get the latest scores, highlights and news for your favorite sports team.

Top Add-ons: FootieFox, Are You Watching This?! Sports, Pickemfirst Fantasy Sports.

Privacy

In case The Paranoid Kit collection doesn’t meet your needs, this is another privacy collection that is also useful. The add-ons listed are more geared toward making you anonymous on the Web as well as covering and erasing your tracks.

Top Add-ons: Adblock Plus, anonymoX, NoScript, Ghostery, Web Of Trust, BetterPrivacy.

Gmail Add-ons You Must Have

Gmail is a great online email service, but you can make it even better with the add-ons in this collection. Whether you want to get notifications of new email messages, bring all your favorite Google services to Gmail or add a cool email signature, this collection is perfect for the job.

Top Add-ons: X-notifier, Gmail Manager, Integrated Inbox, WiseStamp.

Web Application Security Penetration Testing

This is definitely an interesting collection; it is said to include “Web hacking tools” for Firefox. Besides the usuals like Firebug, Greasemonkey and User Agent Switcher, you’ll find add-ons on the list to help you debug JavaScript, view and modify HTTP/HTTPS, view JSON documents, test for SQL injection vulnerabilities and much more.

Top Add-ons: Firebug, Greasemonkey, iMacros, User Agent Switcher, Web Developer, FoxyProxy.

Web Pro

The earlier mentioned Web Developer’s Toolbox is a collection just for Web developers, but this Web Pro collection is for Web developers and designers. Some of the add-ons listed may overlap, but you’ll find a lot of useful add-ons for designers and even some different ones for developers.

Top Add-ons: Video DownloadHelper, Firebug, DownThemAll!, Greasemonkey, iMacros, Flagfox.

Firefox Accessibility Add-ons

This is a really thoughtful collection to say the least. The add-ons listed have been tested by the Collector and are found to be very helpful for people with visual impairments. The collection has a focus on “a user’s interactions with sites and Firefox.”

So if you have some type of visual impairment (partially sighted, low vision, legally blind), or just have a hard time seeing specific Web pages, these add-ons should be able to help you see better in Firefox.

Top Add-ons: Adblock Plus, Stylish, Tab Mix Plus, Web Developer, FireGestures, ColorfulTabs.

Now that you know more about Firefox Collections and the best ones to check out and/or follow, let us know which collections you’re following or plan to follow.

Browser Add-Ons To Enhance Your YouTube Viewing Experience

Controls

YouTube is a much-loved source of entertainment; some might think it’s taking over TV due to the sheer amount and types of entertainment: mini web series, tech and tutorial channels, lyric videos and covers etc. It’s no surprise that some of us can spend hours watching YouTube videos on our subscribed list while others can binge-watch recommended videos for the whole day.

Controls

However, there are minor annoyances with the viewing experience that even these YouTube tricks can’t fix. The common complaints (basically First World Problems) are like the layout being distracting, too much white space, and annoying (or awesome) advertisements that eats into your video-viewing time.

To conquer these problems, I am going to introduce to you the Tube Enhancer Plus for Firefox and YouTube Options for Google Chrome.

Awesome “Hidden” YouTube Settings

Both Tube Enhancer Plus and Youtube Options have some pretty cool features, ideal for the serial YouTuber. With them you can:

1. Remove advertisements – Both can let you skip the ads at the start of the video.

2. Enlarge player size – You can also enlarge the ‘video box’ size so that it fills up the space of your browser window for a closer and clearer view.

3. “Dim the lights” – This feature greys out the areas around the video box. This along with #2 maximizes the real estate of your large, high-resolution monitor.

YouTube Resize

4. Set default viewing quality – If changing the video quality often irks you, then worry no more, you now need not manually change it.

5. Set autoplay settings – You can also set the autoplay settings so videos won’t automatically start playing when you open multiple videos in new tabs.

More From Tube Enhancer Plus (Firefox)

Installing Tube Enhancer Plus gives you a few controls at the bottom of your browser window to download or loop the current video on top of the other features mentioned earlier.

Controls

The coolest feature about this add-on is the ability to watch a video on the Firefox Sidebar. This allows (in)effective multitasking as you can surf the Web while watching all your videos.

YouTube Firefox Sidebar

More From YouTube Options (Chrome)

YouTube Options for Chrome has more customizable features. You can hide elements of YouTube like the comments section, video suggestions, video description, title, header and footer from the settings or its keyboard shortcuts. This gives you a super-clean YouTube player.

YouTube Options

Using the mouse scroll wheel while hovering the mouse cursor above the ‘video box’ lets you change the ‘video box’ size, forward/rewind the video, or change the volume level.

Certain features of YouTube Options can also be used on any embedded videos or on sites like Vimeo, Hulu and DailyMotion.

10 Firefox Plugins For A Safer Browsing Experience

Mozilla’s Firefox browser is a user-friendly and feature-rich browser, with around 35% of all web users using it to browse the Web. Today’s internet is no longer the only source of information and entertainment, but also a place of treachery and theft. Hackers, trojans, spam, and phishing scams, are just some problems and dangers that exist in the World Wide Web.


(Image Source: Fotolia)

But there is no need for this to stop us from fully utilizing the web. This is especially true for Firefox users who have an arsenal of great Firefox add-ons that will help ensure that your browsing experience can continue protected.

Here are 10 such Firefox add-ons (or plugins if you will) that can help give you a better browsing experience while on the Web.

1. HTTPS Everywhere

HTTPS Everywhere is a project started by Electronic Frontier Foundation, an organization that fights for your digital rights. This tool will help secure your browsing experience by making the browser load the https version of any site you visit. Under https mode, the data sent from your computer is SSL-encrypted, safe from prying eyes and man-in-the-middle attacks.

2. WOT

WOT stands for Web of Trust. WOT is an online community which tries to identify untrusted or spam websites and maintains a list of trusted websites. The WOT plugin safeguards your online activity by informing you if the website you are about to access is safe to visit or not. The plugin will show you a trust meter for websites and search results as well as warn you when you are at the verge of accessing an untrusted or spam website.

You can contribute to the WOT community by giving your rating about websites you have visited, and help others browse safely.

3. Adblock Plus

As the name suggests, Adblock Plus blocks all types of advertisements shown on websites. Apart from being annoying and detrimental to user experience, ads, when misplaced or misused, can also track your online activities by way of locking down the links you click or visit. If however you stop these ads from showing on all the websites you visit, your favorite sites will stop getting ad revenue and lose their financial backing to keep the site running.

The solution provided is that you can allow non-intrusive ads that you don’t find annoying to continue showing with Adblock Plus, while avoiding ads from, for example, malware-spreading websites.

4. NoScript

NoScript is a powerful add-on for Firefox, which allows you to block JavaScript, Java, Flash and other executable content present on the web pages you visit. You can create a whitelist and allow some trusted websites (like your home-banking website) to run executable content on the browser.

By blocking executable content on unknown websites, this plugin protects you against cross-site scripting attacks (XSS), cross-zone DNS rebinding or CSRF attacks (router hacking) and Clickjacking attempts. Websites in the whitelist are allowed to run content, which will allow you browse your favorite websites without any problem.

5. BetterPrivacy

BetterPrivacy serves to protect you against unlimited-time stored Super-Cookies. Cookies are files stored on your computer, which carry information like your username, password, login date, etc. Super-Cookies known as LSOs are flash cookies which are centrally-stored and can contain many information about you and your online activity.

Many websites like Facebook, Google and advertising companies use LSOs to get information about you. LSOs are almost unmanageable from browsers and also cumbersome to be managed on centrally-stored servers. With BetterPrivacy, you can opt to delete LSOs when launching a browser or shutting down one, or even at a pre-set time interval. You can even opt to keep LSOs that you don’t want deleted.

6. Ghostery

Ghostery is a useful add-on to protect your privacy and online activities from being tracked, particularly by advertising companies who are interested in getting information about you for marketing purposes. Ghostery sees the web page and detect trackers, web bugs, pixels and beacons.

After identifying who’s tracking you, Ghostery will give you options to know more about these companies. It will provide links to their Privacy Policy and opt-out options. With Ghostery you can also block scripts from companies you don’t trust, delete LSOs and block images & iFrames.

7. RequestPolicy

RequestPolicy is a plugin which give you control of your browsing activities by showing you when cross-site requests are made by the web pages you visit. When your browser is told by a web page to access a completely different website, this is called a cross-suite request. You would have unknowingly allowed another website to obtain information from you by allowing this request.

Cross-site requests can also be used to make Cross-Site request forgery attacks where one webpage tells the browser to make a request to another website, thus making it look as if you actually made the request to access this second website.With RequestPolicy, all cross-site requests are blocked automatically and you’re notified about it so that you can allow the requests that you want. You can also whitelist requests by origin site, destination site or origin-to-destination specifically.

8. Close’n forget

You must be using Private Browsing to access certain websites without leaving a trace, or cleaning up your tracks after completing the browsing exercise. But what if you unintentionally got onto a web page that you aren’t supposed to in a public computer and you can’t remove the complete history because it’s against the usage policy there?

Then, Close’n forget will come to your rescue. With Close’n forget, you can close a single tab and Firefox will even forget that it was ever opened in the first place. You can close the tab using contextual menu, a toolbar icon or even with shortcuts like with Alt+W.

9. QuickJava

QuickJava is a simple, yet useful plugin for Firefox. It allows you to turn on (or off) Java, JavaScript, Flash, Silverlight, Proxy and automatic loading of Images from the status bar icons or the toolbar, without having to open options or dialogs. You can use it to easily turn off Flash/Java or Images on websites you visit.

10. BrowserProtect

BrowserProtect is the ideal protection your browser needs from hijacking – homepage and search engine hijacking, that is. You must have noticed sometime after installing some software, your browser homepage or search engine gets changed automatically and you have to reset your options again to suit your needs.

It can be frustating especially when you have installed and customized your software preferences and browser settings. BrowserProtect will protect your browser auto-changes by disallowing any software or app from changing your browser settings without you knowing about it.

Conclusion

The add-ons/plugins described in this article is optimized for FF12 and above, thus they may not work on older versions. I’d suggest you use Firefox’s latest browser version for added security. What security plugins do you use while surfing online? Share your favorite plugins with us.