The low-cost Raspberry Pi computer has been given a boost with the addition of its own browser tool, designed to be more capable than the basic browsers included with the standard operating system build for the device.
Announced on the Raspberry Pi blog, the new browser is based on the web application from the Gnome Linux desktop environment, codenamed Epiphany, which is itself based on the widely used WebKit open source web browser engine.
The result of eight months of work with open source developer Collabora, the new browser is intended as a replacement for the rather basic version of the Midori browser found in the default Raspbian operating system build for the Raspberry Pi.
Among the improvements that the browser offers is an overall boost in performance, with greater responsiveness when scrolling and a three-times faster startup, and a better multi-tab experience.
Key for many users is that the browser has much better YouTube support, including on-demand loading of embedded YouTube videos to make pages load much faster.
Upton said that future releases of Raspbian and the Raspberry Pi Noobs (New Out of the Box Software) will include Epiphany as the default browser, but the necessary packages are already available in its online repository and so can be installed by existing users via the APT package manager tool.
This year has been a busy year for the Raspberry Pi Foundation, with the release of an overhauled Raspberry Pi Model B+ version plus the shrunk-down Raspberry Pi Compute Module for embedded applications, which is the size and shape of a small outline dual in-line memory module (So-Dimm).
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