Archive for the ‘press’ Category

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Website of the Week

Tuesday, July 16th, 2013

Woohoo!

Website of the week: Maxthon may be the most popular browser you’ve never heard of, TechCrunch reports. The Beijing-based company’s browser has gained a global following of more than 100 million unique visitors per month in 140 countries. It can be downloaded for free at maxthon.com.

SOURCE

TechCrunch: Maxthon Is A Cloud-Based Browser For Power Users

Friday, July 12th, 2013

Maxthon Is A Cloud-Based Browser For Power Users

By Catherine Shu

Maxthon may not have the name recognition of Chrome, Firefox or Safari, but the cloud browser has gained a global following of more than 100 million unique visitors per month in 140 countries. Karl Mattson, the company’s vice president, says Maxthon’s growth has been driven in large part by Web developers and gamers who appreciate its built-in memory management, Flash, GPU acceleration and HTML5 support.

“We really see a lot of confidence in HTML5 and want to do everything we can in a browser to make it easy for developers and other people who are doing the heavy lifting in HTML5 right now building games that can run on it,” says Mattson.

The Beijing-based company, which has offices in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Hong Kong and Shanghai, was founded in 2006 by engineer Jeff Chen while working at the National University of Singapore. Chen had taken over the job of coding MyIE from its founder, eventually cultivating a community of six million users. The first version of Maxthon was developed using their feedback. The current version is based on Chromium and compatible with Chrome extensions.

Mattson says Maxthon emphasizes three things: performance, portability and out-of-box experience.

The browser works across all platforms, making it convenient for people who use both Mac and Windows or different mobile operating systems to keep their data in sync across devices with a Maxthon Passport account.

The company leverages its international reach by localizing for each market. For example Maxthon teamed up with Yandex, Russia’s largest Internet search engine, to produce an all-Russian version of its browser, while the Chinese version of Maxthon for Mac is pre-installed with Alipay, the country’s largest third-party payment services provider.

While its built-in features mean users don’t have to deal with most plug-ins and installs, they have the option of customizing their browsers with Maxthon extensions.

Another boon is Maxthon’s focus on security and privacy, especially in light of the NSA’s surveillance activities. The browser uses AES 256 encryption.

“Even if we were ever subpoenaed by government agencies that wanted some kind of information from users, it wouldn’t be found anywhere,” says Mattson. “The short answer is that it would be technologically impossible for us to deliver. Privacy is so encrypted and secured that we could literally hand over our disk and it would just be a big bunch of mush.”

Maxthon’s received funding venture capital firms WI Harper, Charles River Ventures and early Skype investor Morten Lund. The company earns revenue through the sale of premium services.

SOURCE

 

Wall Street Journal: Maxthon Partners with AMD to Offer Web Browser Optimized for Next Generation APU Chips

Monday, July 1st, 2013

Maxthon Partners with AMD to Offer Web Browser Optimized for Next Generation APU Chips

Maxthon, a cloud-based browser, today released a new version of its Windows browser that uses a revolutionary new microprocessor from Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), significantly reducing power consumption while offering superior video performance. AMD’s new Accelerated Processing Unit (APU) leverages new technology to make transactions between the graphics processing unit (GPU) and the central processing unit (CPU) faster and more energy-efficient than ever before.

“New chip architecture like AMD’s APU product is a clear signpost to where we believe the Web technology is heading: more happening in the chip and the browser serving as more of an open standards operating system,” said Jeff Chen, founder and CEO of Maxthon. “We’re proud to collaborate with AMD on such an exciting step forward.”

The GPU handles the processing of rich media including graphics and video, while the CPU manages the heavy lifting of analytical and logic-based functions. Until now, communicating across these two units has depended on a serial data connection that processes millions of functions per second, often resulting in a sluggish and power-consuming Web experience.

The partnership allows Maxthon to optimize the Windows browser for lightning-quick interaction between the APU to speed up video and graphics rendering, particularly using HTML5 standards for which Maxthon is the global leader in support. Among other things, the Maxthon Cloud browser is using OpenCL for lightning quick HTML5 video post processing to offer richer, faster video.

“In the near future what we now know as TV will be mediated through a Web browser optimized for innovative technology like AMD’s APU processors,” said Karl Mattson, vice president of Maxthon International. “Among other things, that means the electronic ‘hearth’ of the TV in the family room will be freed to be available to any device connected to the Web running a browser like Maxthon.”

About Maxthon

Maxthon is an innovative software company that develops superior Web browsers that continue to set new standards for speed, security, simplicity and cloud features. It is available on the Windows, Android, iOS and Mac platforms. With offices in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong, Maxthon reaches a global community of users that tops more than 120,000,000 people each month in more than 150 countries. For more information about Maxthon please visit [url]http://www.maxthon.com.[/url]

Media Contact:

Burson-Marsteller for Maxthon

Lowell Eschen

lowell.eschen@bm.com

+1-212-614-4081

SOURCE Maxthon

/Web site: http://www.maxthon.com

SOURCE

Take Action and Tell the Government to “Stop Watching Us”

Thursday, June 13th, 2013

News last week brought light upon the NSA and the US Government’s surveillance strategies and information they had gathered from various internet and phone companies. The depth and breadth of the information accessed by the US Government – and the number of US citizens involved –  is shocking.  It underscores just how much of our daily lives are mediated through the web.

Make your voice heard! Tell the government to stop from “watching” users’ activity and disclose details about the NSA’s spying programs.

Go to www.stopwatching.us and sign the petition.

This is generating a broader conversation in the USA that we here at Maxthon think is long overdue.

- Who has access to your personal data and what do they have? What can they do with it?

- What steps are they taking to protect it?

- What role does the cloud play all of this?

- What steps can you take to protect your privacy?

So, in the coming days and weeks we’re going to be taking a look at the questions above with the goal of providing you—our  customer—a clear, plain-spoken understanding of what you need to know to live a private, secure life in a multi-device world powered by the cloud.   This is a conversation with a large signal to noise ratio. It’s too much to dispense with in one blog post.  But it’s an important conversation to have.

We want to do this for one simple reason. At Maxthon, we believe in a free web, providing the user an experience to freely and securely use internet across all devices.

Privacy and personal security is a huge part of Maxthon’s DNA:  past, present and future. We make great web browsers and the web browser is the doorway through which the entire web enters and exits your life. It has to be secure. It has to offer you the privacy you need. We are also huge proponents of using the Cloud to simplify your life.  It also has to be secure and offer you the privacy you need.

Next time:  Who has access to your personal data and what do they have? What can they do with it?

Thanks and don’t forget to sign the petition at www.stopwatching.us.

 

Karl Mattson

Vice President, GM

www.Maxthon.com

Karl@Maxthon.com 

 

 

 

 

 

ConsumerReport: ’4 Reasons to Buy a Kid Tablet’

Monday, June 10th, 2013

Source: Consumer Report

 

In a recent survey, we asked subscribers about how they use their mobile devices. One finding: Twenty-eight percent of tablet owners said children 17 or younger also used their tablet. Some portion of parents who share their tablets with their kids surely must long to get the kids their own devices.

If you’re willing to add another screen to your children’s life, you could, of course, simply buy an additional iPad, Android, or other “grownup” tablet. But we recently took a look at four new Android tablets made just for children: the Fuhu Nabi Jr., Fuhu Nabi XD, Polaroid Kid Tablet, and Vinci Tab MV. The existence of these kid-specific tablets begs an important question. What (if anything) makes these kid tablets better for children than any other tablet? Here are some points to consider.

Most have comprehensive, robust parental controls. The Nabi tablets we tested have a separate mode for parents that let them access full Android settings, and from there, add apps for kids, put time restrictions on app use, and filter websites. And the Polaroid Kids Tablet has a filtered Safe Mode and the Maxthon Safe Browser: Parents can add the sites they want kids to be able to access, and it creates clickable icons to take them to each site. The Vinci Tab MV offers optional password protection for specific apps, but no browser security.

You can, however, use or add parental controls on many “adult” tablets. The Apple iPad lets you password-protect specific apps and features, content types, and game features. The Amazon Kindle Fire HD and Barnes & Noble Nook HD each lets you set up individualized user profiles for up to six kids, controlling content they see and whether or not they can get to the Web. Other Android tablets let you password-protect the Play Store, so purchases can be made only when a PIN is entered.

Beyond all this exists a plethora of third-party apps (some free) that can make regular tablets more kid-friendly—from locking them down entirely (for really young ones) to blocking inappropriate apps and sites, and setting time limits for various activities. But the built-in controls on most kid tablets give you these kinds of protections out of the box.

For more tips, reviews, and advice, see our guide to video games, consoles, and tech toys.
Most kid tablets come loaded with content children will enjoy. This includes games (many focused on learning activities), interactive e-books, videos, music players, and art-studio apps. (The Vinci Tab MV requires you to download its content but doesn’t charge for it.) And all of them let you add what you want, customizing content to your child.

Of course, you can choose and download a huge array of games, e-books, music, video, and apps for kids to any tablet. But having appropriate content preloaded lets children enjoy the kid tablets right out of the box, and saves parents a lot of curating time.

Prices can be lower. In general, you’ll pay less for a kid tablet than for most others. The ones we tested ranged from $150 $100 to $250. But you can get the Google Nexus, Samsung Galaxy Tab 2, and Kobo Arc for $200 to $250, and we recommend all of them. So those are some good non-kid tablets that cost as little as the more-expensive kid ones.

If you can just afford one tablet for your household, you’ll probably want to consider a “grownup” tablet that scored well on our full array of tests. But a kid tablet could make a great additional device that will keep the young ones away from yours.

Some have high-quality components. Just as with regular tablets, kid tablets vary in terms of the quality of components, such as displays, processors, memory, and cameras. Some of the ones we’ve tested had fast processors and high-resolution, responsive screens, but others were lacking.

When we asked a group of children to try our kid tablets last year, we noticed that the devices that had sluggish performance and unresponsive screens frustrated them. So make sure you know what you’re getting before you plunk down the cash: There’s not much point in buying a tablet your child won’t want to use.

Bottom line. You should determine what’s most important to you before you purchase a tablet—whether that’s having strict control over your child’s tablet experience, choosing a tablet that the whole family can share, or letting kids have their own devices. Then check our reviews to find the tablet that’s right for your needs.

Another consideration is sturdiness, which we didn’t test. Some kid tablets come with rubber bumpers, which make drops and bumps less dangerous to the device. You can also purchase bumpers and tough cases separately for other tablets.

—Carol Mangis

 

SOURCE

Team Rio: ‘Maxthon: A Ridiculously Well Kept Secret?’

Friday, June 7th, 2013

 

Via Team Rio
Maxthon: A Ridiculously Well Kept Secret?

The Maxthon Desktop Browser
In a recent spate of vanity, I ventured to take a look at this blog’s readership statistics, and while perusing, found a browser called “Maxthon” under the clients which had been used to view the blog. Not having heard of Maxthon, I decided to look it up and thought it merited a review.

Mobile Browser with Synced Tabs
Maxthon is a browser built for the multi-device world. Its primary novelty is something called Maxthon Passport which is an account you set up with Maxthon (free) which allows you to sync and push tabs, text, pictures, and downloads between devices and to your cloud account.

This sync feature is seamlessly integrated into both the desktop browser and mobile app so you can push or pull whatever you like with just a click or two (full disclosure: I’ve only used the OS X and Android versions, respectively, as that’s all I have available).

My impressions of this browser and my experience with it have been excellent. The interface is clean and all options are easy to figure out. The content push/synchronization is well built and works transparently, as it should. The speed and fluidity with which it works rivals and may even outshine Chrome and Firefox on my laptop (which is 6 years old) and certainly does wonders over Dolphin Browser (a popular and capable browser) on my Android phone — it even asks for fewer and less sensitive permissions, which makes me feel a little more at ease.

As with any program that you will be doing sensitive transactions with (banking, shopping, webmail, etc.), security of your data should be a trump-all; but considering the berth of people already using Maxthon without widespread complaints of malicious software or poor security, it may be something you should look in to. Check out Maxthon here.

P.S.: Maxthon uses WebKit as its rendering engine with Trident as a backup for those pages that won’t render properly, ergo IT’S STANDARDS COMPLIANT! Web creators rejoice!

 

SOURCE

PC Advisor UK: ‘Maxthon Cloud 4.05 review: a web browser you should install and try today’

Wednesday, May 29th, 2013

Via PC Advisor UK

Maxthon Cloud 4.05 review: a web browser you should install and try today
Free
Manufacturer: Maxthon
Our Rating:
By Roland Waddilove | PC Advisor | 29 April 13
Maxthon Cloud is a web browser that takes the engines from Internet Explorer and Chrome and adds a new skin and features. It’s well worth trying out. Here’s our Maxthon Cloud 4.05 review–
EXPERT REVIEWUSER REVIEWSREQUIRED SPECSOUR VERDICTRELATED PRODUCTS-
Maxthon Cloud is a browser that takes the engines from Internet Explorer and Chrome and adds a new skin and features. The current version of Chrome is 26, but Maxthon uses version 22. However, Chrome is updated so frequently that v22 is only around six months old.

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Maxthon 2.1 review
Maxthon uses whichever version of Internet Explorer is installed on your PC, so it’s down to you how up to date it is. A button at the right-hand side of the address box switches from IE to Chrome engines.

A large number of extras are bundled with the browser. For example, there’s an optional dock that sits on the left side of the screen and this provides icons to launch various features. One opens a ‘downloads’ window that’s more convenient than Chrome’s download tab.

There’s a note-taking widget, which is handy when using the web for research. An RSS button opens a newsreader tab and you can subscribe to news feeds and import feeds from Google Reader.

The dock can be customized and there’s a palette of extra items like eBay, YouTube, Twitter, Pinterest and others. See also: Beginner’s guide to Twitter

The status bar at the bottom of browser windows is rarely used for anything beneficial, but Maxthon adds a system monitor. It can display CPU usage, upload and download speeds, memory usage and more.

This is excellent and useful information. You also get a button to access an advert blocker so you can browse the web ad-free. There’s a Safari-like reader mode that strips web pages of the clutter and just displays the content; magic fill for online forms; a night mode for browsing in the dark (we’re sure there must be a legitimate reason for doing this).

Maxthon Cloud, as the name suggests, provides a cloud service that performs several useful functions. It syncs browsing data across all your computers, tablets and smartphones (iOS and Android) like Google Chrome does. You can also send a web link from your desktop to your smartphone or tablet.

Plus, there’s more: you can push content to other computers and devices, such as links, text and images, and downloads are also stored online, which enables them to be downloaded to other computers and devices.

Maxthon Cloud 4.05: Bottom line

If you like feature-laden browsers, this will be right up your street. It has some useful cloud-based features that are not available in other web browsers. There are useful extensions too.

SOURCE

CNN Money: ‘The browser war is far from over’

Tuesday, May 28th, 2013

Via CNN Money

It’s just gone mobile.

FORTUNE – There was a time when web browsers duked it out for dominance on the desktop. But with users consuming information more and more on smartphones, tablets, and newer form factors like “phablets,” the battleground has shifted to mobile. Who’s winning?

As recently as June 2012, the competition was in a dead heat: Android led with nearly 22%, followed by Opera at 22%, then Safari on iOS with 21% according to StatCounter. Google’s (GOOG) Android has cemented a solid lead since then with 31%, iOS at 24%, and Opera trailing with 15%.

The stock Android browser pulled ahead of Opera and Safari for iOS last summer.
That shouldn’t come as a surprise, given the proliferation of Android devices. According to the analytics firm IDC, Android phone makers shipped 162 million devices during the first quarter of 2013; Apple (AAPL) shipped 37 million. (And in case you’re curious, Windows Phone came third, with 7 million.)

RockMelt, a desktop-focused web browser that launched in late 2010, recently announced it was changing course. In the two-and-a-half years since launch, the innovative browser which integrated social network and RSS feed integration right into the browser window, only signed up 4.5 million users. Like it or not, the desktop market is a landscape ruled with a virtual iron fist by the likes of Microsoft (MSFT) Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Chrome. “Browsers today are just big dumb windows in [consumers'] way,” Rockmelt co-founder and CTO Tim Howes told The Wall Street Journal recently. Rockmelt recently announced Rockmelt for Web, a content aggregator any Internet user with a browser can access.

On iOS, there’s no shortage of Web browsers to choose, from Opera to the lesser-known Atomic Web Browser, all of which try to put their own spin on mobile Internet browsing to stand out: features like accelerated Web site loading, different ways to juggle Windows, bookmark syncing, among others.
MORE: Where online shopping is killing retail

But there’s a problem for third-party developers. Much like Internet Explorer is the pre-loaded browser on Microsoft Windows, Android is the default browser on the Android operating system, as Safari is on iOS. Which is why, according to StatCounter, such offerings are at a distant fourth place right now. “The thing is, Safari and Android are default recipients of your link, and what’s going to overcome that?” explains Forrester analyst Charles Golvin. You can download other browsers, but there isn’t a setting like on the PC that makes a browser like Firefox or Google Chrome the go-to browser. “Until that’s the case, we’re not going to get as much real competition.”

Still, companies like Maxthon, which The Journal reports has 120 million users, is pushing forward with its own desktop, mobile, and in-car browser offerings, which includes a deal this year with Pioneer Electronics where drivers and passengers can surf the web via touch-screen device.

Translation: The browser war is far from dead. They’re just more cross-platform than ever.

SOURCE

Geek Insider: ‘The 4 Best Specialized Web Browsers’

Saturday, May 25th, 2013

Via Geek Insider

By  Mohseen Lala •  geekinsider.com • May 15, 2013
Getting bored of the same old browsers? Then welcome to the 4 best specialized web browsers, all of which sport special features and uses you won’t find in traditional desktop web surfing portals.

Specialized Web Browsers
Sometimes, there is a need for precision, special features and even a change of scenery in one’s web browsers. There are times when the big five, Firefox, Google Chrome, Safari, Opera and Internet Explorer just don’t cut it anymore. Times when we need new blood that’s faster, more specialized and just plain different.

So, without any further buffering, let’s get started.

#4
Lunascape
Lunascape is unique for the three rendering engines that it is built upon, namely Gecko (Firefox uses Gecko), Webkit (Safari uses Webkit) and Trident (used by Internet Explorer). The browser was developed in Tokyo, by the Lunascape Corporation, and is currently available on Windows, all iOS devices and Android. Although Android users should note that it doesn’t work very well on low end processors. The Mac OS X version is tagged as “Coming Soon” on their website.

The Lunascape browser is not as add-on friendly as Firefox, or as fancy looking as Safari when on Windows, but its three engines (they can seamlessly auto switch) means that there isn’t a website, image, video or web code it cannot display. This specialized web browser is perfect for web developers and designers to use as a compatibility and comparability tool for the websites they build.

#3
Zac Browser
The Zac browser is the only specialized web browser developed from the ground up to help teenagers and children with autism, and the homepage shows that. The project kicked off in 2009 when developer John LeSieur’s grandson, Zack, was diagnosed with severe autism at the tender age of 13. Of course, normal browsers were simply too frustrating to use, and so John got to work modifying the KidCD browser into Zac Browser. Keep in mind that although it is free, the Zac specialized web browser is proprietary software and does restrict access to certain websites.

This specialized web browser is currently  available for both Mac and PC, and requires a free download of Adobe Air before installation can proceed. But it’s absolutely perfect, as it is simple and very efficiently organized for people with autism, EDD and various other attention issues.

#2
Songbird
Do you ever wish your web browser and music player were the same thing? Apparently so did a certain Rob Lord and friends at Pioneers of the Inevitable. They got to work making Songbird, which is a specialized web and music player that allows users to access the internet and download, purchase, listen, play, import and sync music while surfing the internet. Users can also have Songbird scan their local hard drives and import playlists, songs and albums. So, even if there’s no internet, there still is a music player to listen to.

This musically specialized web browser/music store can play all the common music formats (MP3, AAC, Ogg Vorbis, FLAC, Apple Lossless, WMA), is highly customizable via skins referred to as “Feathers” and is cross platform with full support across Windows, Mac OS X, iOS, Android. The Linux version is christened Nightingale; audiophiles  and netizens of the world, this is the perfect music browser for you.

#1
Maxthon
The world is now one giant, interconnected hub of vitally trivial information, and that’s where Maxthon shines. A cloud based alternative web browser, that prides itself on its “stop anywhere, pick up anywhere” functionality. Maxthon is Geek Inside’rs best specialized browser, for it does everything Google Chrome can do, but more efficiently. The browser is designed to take full advantage of dual core CPUs, and this makes it feel smooth, fast and quick even in older systems.

Originally known as MyIE2, the browser uses a passport system, and can work across any range of mobile or stationary devices that are signed up to an individual user’s passport. History, tabs, information, password and preferences are all saved in a cloud, which can also be used to share files, videos and images. Maxthon is the proud winner of CNET WebWare 100 Awards in 2008 and the following year, and ranked number 97 on  PCWorld’s list of the 100 Best Products of 2011.

There you have it, the best specialized web browsers if you’re into online music, deal with autism, enjoy tinkering on the web and love the convenience of cloud browsing. Which are your favorite web browsers? And why do you like them? Tell us in the comments below!

 

SOURCE

Wall Street Journal: Web Browsers Are Reinvented

Tuesday, May 14th, 2013

By JESSICA E. LESSIN

Mobile phones, wearable devices and self-driving cars are generating buzz as the future of technology. But the old Web browser is being reinvented too, in a trend with implications for how consumers work and entertain themselves online.

Companies from Google Inc. GOOG -0.31% to small startups are introducing new features, such as taking and syncing notes and files within the browser, voice-recognition, video calls and messaging. They are also reinventing the browser for newly connected devices like cars.

In one new front of experimentation, browser company Maxthon Ltd. will next month offer users the ability to sync downloads and local files across devices via its browser, in potential competition with file-sharing services like Dropbox Inc. Consumers will be able to download or send the data to a cloud storage account or other device running the browser from a drop-down menu within the browser. The company already offers the ability to take and sync notes in the browser.

Maxthon
Browser company Maxthon Ltd. will next month offer users the ability to sync downloads and local files across devices via its browser.

The little-known software, which Maxthon says has some 120 million monthly users, more than half of them in China, aims to capitalize on consumers’ desires to access their files from a range of devices. The company offers browsers for desktops, mobile phones, tablets and even in-car systems. Earlier this year, Maxthon announced a deal with Pioneer Electronics to enable users to browse the Web from an in-car touch-screen device.

“It’s clear we’re shifting to a multi-device world and that creates a lot of pain points,” says Karl Mattson, vice president and general manager of Maxthon, which has about 220 employees. “The browser is the natural frame for this,” he says.

The browser industry may have appeared staid in recent years, with the market dominated by tech giants such as Microsoft Corp., MSFT +1.04% Google andApple Inc. AAPL +0.39% Microsoft’s Internet Explorer remains the market-share leader for desktop browsers, according to Net Applications, with a 56% share of the desktop market globally. Apple’s Safari browser leads on mobile phones and tablets, with 59% share, thanks to the popularity of the iPhone and iPad.

But behind the scenes, many companies have quietly been enhancing and reimagining the Web browser, as new technologies have made it possible to do numerous activities in the browser instead of through software downloaded to a computer or mobile device. The set of new programming techniques enabling the features is often referred to as HTML5.

Companies have opened up to “add-ons” and apps, allowing users to access features like games and third-party software from a homescreen. Earlier this year, Google, which develops the Chrome browser, released software that allows developers to add voice-recognition to their Web pages, so users can browse the Web by speaking. It also released a Chrome app for its Google Keep note-taking service that syncs notes directly with its Google Drive storage service.

Microsoft has been tailoring its Internet Explorer browser for touch, focusing on making it responsive and fast for tablets like its Surface. The latest version of Internet Explorer also is designed to work well with its SkyDrive storage service.

Maxthon
A Maxthon browser

Apps have stolen some thunder from browsers, especially as consumers find apps faster and more convenient to use than the Web. That has spurred some of the latest browser innovation.

Jay Sullivan, chief operating officer of browser maker Mozilla Corp., says browsing is going to become more social through new and easy ways to share what people are browsing with friends. “It will be more lively, quick and fun,” he says.

Mozilla’s Firefox browser has rolled out new features, such as the ability to integrate with social-networking sites so users can see updates and messages from Facebook Inc. FB +0.52% within the browser’s frame. It is also testing the feature with Sina Corp.’s SINA -0.76%Weibo for Chinese users.

Mozilla also is working on embedded communication features. For instance, consumers could open up a chat screen within their browser and drag a video from a Web page into the screen to share immediately. Mozilla is also trying to persuade websites to adopt a new identity system called Persona that aims to eliminate passwords. It allows users to log into websites using existing accounts and passwords.

Past attempts to spiff up browsers haven’t always taken off. Onetime Web-browser startup Rockmelt, which once trumpeted its integration with Facebook, says its desktop browser had 4.5 million users but will be discontinued in the next few months. It has changed course to become a discovery service for finding interesting Web content.

Tim Howes, Rockmelt co-founder and chief technology officer, said in a statement that “browsers today are just big dumb windows in [consumers'] way.”

Some new browser features, like file-sharing, aim to replicate functions or Web services that are already easy to access across multiple devices through services like Google Drive or Dropbox.

Mr. Mattson of Maxthon says integrated features are more convenient for users. He likens some of the stand-alone services to “using a five-pound hammer to kill a mosquito” when something simpler within the browser will do.

Write to Jessica E. Lessin at jessica.lessin@wsj.com