It looks like Mozilla isn't the only one pushing back release dates. This week Big G delayed the grand opening of the Chrome Web Store, their open marketplace for Web applications. Meanwhile, the Internet giant is shoving large sums of money at digital journalists, hoping for something magical.

Coming Soon

The one difference between Google's delay and Mozilla's delay is that Google has a target week, and it's before 2011. 

"Most developers expect to see a public beta launch on the week of December 6, though a few are holding out hope for a mid-November launch," wrote Peter Kafka. 

It's another addition to the app store frenzy, but Google's is especially notable because you don't have to have Chrome to take advantage of it. Because the apps are built with standard tools, they work with any modern browser that supports these technologies--including the long-awaited Firefox 4

This doesn't bode well for Mozilla, whose own Web app store prototype, though touted as open and decentralized, hasn't yet proven how it could possibly be more open than Google.

Meanwhile, Apple's store is still closed to all ye who do not pass whatever ultra-secret tests lie behind the curtain. 

Google Trades $5 Million for Innovation in Digital Journalism

Not that this is breaking their bank, but it's worth it to note that Google loves digital journalism so much they've invested US$ 5 million in it. The grant is split into two parts: US$ 2 million of it will go to the Knight Foundation, and US$ 3 million will go to fund international news-innovation efforts.

 "Journalism is fundamental to a functioning democracy," said Nikesh Arora, President, Global Sales Operations and Business Development, Google. "... we’re eager to play our part on the technology side -- experimenting with new ways of presenting news online; providing tools like Google Maps and YouTube Direct to make websites more engaging for readers; and investing heavily in our digital platforms to enable publishers to generate more revenue."

Knight will reportedly use the monies to expand the funding of its existing efforts as a financial resource for journalism, but the details of how the other US$ 3 million will be spent are still being worked out. According to Chris Gaither, Google’s senior manager for news industry relations, the Internet giant is looking to do something on an international scale. 

“It’s really quite a wonderful — not just a wonderful endorsement, but a wonderful encouragement,” says Alberto Ibargüen, Knight’s president. “Because they’re not saying, ‘We want you to do X, Y, and Z projects.’ They’re saying, ‘We want you to continue the kind of work you’ve been doing — except do more of it.’”

Better Gmail on the iPhone

Nothing's perfect, you say? Tell that to Google and their endless efforts to improve their offerings. The company just released a new mobile site for iPhone users to access Gmail, and it's reportedly faster than its predecessor. Back-end tune-ups on the scrolling speed have cut lag time between the motion of your finger and the motion of the in-box contents, and the interface is a bit more user friendly.

The improved utilities toolbar makes it easier to organize, open, and delete emails, for example: 





(Image credit: Google)