Stephen and I are off to Google I/O 2015 this week (the first time we’ve sent 2 people – for double the coverage!) but we wanted to preview what we we’re excited about this week. I’d run through the list of expectations but Chance already made 90% of the list when the sessions were launched. Go check it out. Here’s what I’ve been hearing… Read more
Google just announced that it’s making Roboto, its signature font used in Android and across other Google products, open source for all.
The font files for the Roboto family of fonts were first released under the Apache license as part of Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) in 2011. With this launch, we are making Roboto a true open source project, with a revamped font production toolchain that is completely based on open source software.
In addition to Android, Google uses Roboto in Chrome OS and recommends it as the default font for all apps employing its Material Design guidelines. Most recently, the company started experimenting with the font on YouTube:
Launched in September 2008, Google’s Chrome browser is now dominant in its share of the desktop web browser market, with approximately 1 in 4 Internet users interfacing with the web using the browser. What many Chrome users probably don’t know, however, is that it’s actually based off the open source Chromium browser, also developed by Google. Up until today Chrome for Android differed from its desktop counterpart in that it’s codebase wasn’t open source – meaning, the code for the app wasn’t publicly available for other developers to view, modify, and build upon. That changed today.
Google today updated its Hangouts Chrome app with an entirely new interface. Perhaps more notably than that, the app has support for Mac OS X users in addition to the trio of Windows, Linux, and Chrome OS. The UI has been refreshed to be more similar to the Android version of the app, a trend that has been increasingly common for Google services over the past few months.
Gartner today released the results of a report finding that Chromebooks in 2015 have continued to see double-digit year-over-year growth for Google with education still as the primary market for browser-based computers. 7.3 million Chromebook units are expected to be sold in 2015, a 27 percent increase over 2014, while 72 percent of those sales are expected to be from the education sector.
In the above chart breaking down Chromebook sales for 2014 by region and segment, you can see education held the lion’s share in all the major markets Google sells to, with consumer sales coming in second, and sales to the business segment trailing far behind – save for in Asia Pacific, where those latter two are reversed. Read more
Researchers at Google have today launched a wacky new experimental Chrome extension that lets you share the URL of your current browser tab with nearby Chrome users only using sound. It’s called ‘Tone’ and to use it, both you and receiver of the link you would like to send need to be in earshot of one another, be using Chrome with the Tone extension installed, and have computers with decent speakers and microphones… Read more
Back in May of last year, Google started enforcing a policy that requires Chrome extensions be hosted on its Chrome Web Store, but only on Windows. The goal was to prevent malware hidden in extensions installable from outside its store, and it even started disabling extensions already installed on users’ systems that weren’t hosted on the Chrome Web Store. Now, Google says it will bring that requirement to Mac Chrome users over the coming months, as well as the Chrome developer channel for Windows that wasn’t previously enforcing the policy: Read more
One of the things I struggle with on a daily basis—and forgive me, I know it’s a first world problem—is an overload of Google Chrome tabs. I have a bad habit of just opening countless new tabs without even thinking, and I’m really bad about managing them and closing the ones I’m no longer using. Chrome just makes it way too easy to end up with a few dozen tabs open, while only actually using a few.
I figured it wasn’t possible that I was the only one that struggled with this. With just a quick Google search, I found a free Chrome extension called “Tab Wrangler” to help rectify the situation. It’s a nifty little plugin. Without hardly any set up, it will help manage your tabs for you and close the ones you don’t need—and it will even keep you updated on your negligence with a little red badge telling you how many tabs it has closed for you… Read more
The speaker icon in Chrome browser tabs is one of the amazingly helpful features that makes Chrome my default browser. But wouldn’t it be nice to be able to mute a tab without going into the actual page that’s making all of the noise? It turns out that the Chrome team is actually working on such functionality and it is available as a beta product by putting the following URL into Chrome:
Once there, you’ll see a line like this:
Simply click “enable” and restart Chrome. I’ve been playing with it for about 30 minutes and it seems to work well but isn’t 100% effective on Adobe’s Flash volume according to a thread on the matter. As someone who usually steers clear of Flash, it isn’t a big deal and it makes life a little better.
Microsoft’s Build conference revealed a new passion for cross-platform development today, and the theme has continued with the announcement of the company’s new Edge browser. Edge will replace Internet Explorer as the default browser on Windows 10, and will introduce support for a new type of extension.
Up until now, Internet Explorer extensions have been separate from other browsers. Starting with Windows 10, however, the app will support extensions that are almost identical to Chrome’s. With only a few tweaks, developers will be able to bring their extensions to the new browser.
Google has today started sending out a new round of invites for the “Contributor by Google” program it announced in November of last year. The service, which removes AdSense ads from your daily browsing for the price of a $2-10 monthly subscription, also saw some notable changes from when it was first shown to the world. Google has now detailed new tiers which will be available to those who have been invited to try out the expanded program…