Those not into home development and tinkering may not be aware of the Raspberry Pi or what it is. Put simply, it is a small, affordable, yet relatively powerful ARM (News - Alert)-based computer board that was released in the beginning of 2012 for about $35. Since its launch, the Raspberry Pi has seen some official upgrades, most notably a boost in memory from 256MB to 512MB late last year, as well as of course unofficial ones.
Interestingly, a new software addition to the Raspberry Pi — a modern, HTML5-capable Web browser — falls somewhere in between official and unofficial.
Technically, you could say the browser falls safely under an official addition to the Raspberry Pi; after all, the Raspberry Pi team is porting this over through collaboration with software consultancy Collabora. But, since the browser is still in early beta and may break parts of the system, according to Hot Hardware, it’s not quite a must-have update yet.
As such, those interested in trying out the browser in its current state should probably back up their Pi’s SD card first, just to be safe. Such is the nature of the Raspberry Pi, though.
Lack of a proper browser has long been a point of criticism against the Raspberry Pi and this browser — a port of Web, formerly known as Epiphany — seems poised to address this complaint completely. Indeed, the browser will offer multi-tab features, ARMv6-optimized 2D rendering and accelerated image and HTML5 video decoding.
Even though some mobile app developers are frustrated with HTML5 at the moment, the number of HTML5 apps is undoubtedly on the rise. As such, the Raspberry Pi now has access to a pretty broad range of apps and features that should run fairly well thanks to the work being put into its new browser.
Edited by Cassandra Tucker