Latest Chromium build tests prompting users to install web apps for sites they visit often

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If you’ve been following the latest with Chrome for Android, you probably know that Google has been making a big push with web apps. In Chrome for Android beta 42, Google added banners that recommend users install web apps to their home screens, and in beta version 43, the Chrome for Android app now has banners that push native apps on users as well. Now, in the latest build of the Chromium—the open source project that is the basis for Chrome—browser, Google is testing banners suggesting that users add sites to their app shelf. Read more

How-to: Make your own text-replacing Chrome extension like ‘Millennials to Snake People’

A couple weeks back you may have seen a lot of news coverage about a Chrome extension that, when installed, replaces all instances of the word ‘millennials’ on the webpages you visit with ‘snake people’. The media seems to have this non-stop desire to write think piece after think piece about how snake peoples are a smartphone-obsessed, basement dwelling generation who expect everything on a silver spoon. If these posts are driving you crazy, Millennials to Snake People will ease the pain! There’s also an older one called ‘Cloud to Butt Plus’ which, while pretty self-explanatory, cuts straight to a kind of taboo topic that makes us uneasy and/or nervous, the feelings which are oftentimes best dealt with through laughter.

But maybe there’s some other word or phrase driving you mad that these extensions haven’t addressed. Thankfully, I’m here to help. And you don’t even need to have any web development experience, as I’ve already gone ahead done all the elbow work! When you’re finished you’ll be able to run this extension in the Chrome browser on your computer absolutely free, or for $5 you’ll be able to pay Google for the right to publish it to the Chrome Web Store where anyone can download it. So, here’s how to make a Chrome extension that replaces any word or phrase with the one of your choosing: Read more

Chrome for Android 44 beta experimental New Tab page renders large icons instead of thumbnails

 

We learned back in March of an experimental feature the Chromium team was testing in its canary channel that replaces the thumbnails of your most frequently visited sites on the New Tab page with simpler large icons (the site’s respective favicon) for each site. The thinking goes that the screenshot Chrome takes of the sites you frequent don’t always look great, and sometimes the browser’s cache of screenshots doesn’t refresh for a while, so large icons prove to be a much cleaner solution.

Above you can see an example of the current desktop New Tab page on the left and the new suggested page on the right. Now, though, the change can be enabled in Chrome 44 beta for Android…

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Momentum extension keeps you on task with reminders & motivation on Chrome’s ‘New Tab’ page

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The Internet can be a double-edged sword – a window to the world’s knowledge at one end, and at the other a window to the world’s favorite cat pictures. And since on the web all sites are treated equally (save for the “deep” web, I guess) if we don’t have a strong, lasting motivation to get work done it can prove all too easy to get distracted browsing places that aren’t a valuable use of our time. While that lasting motivation must come from within, there are certain tricks and tools you can try that may just give you the boost you need to power through that next email or essay. The one I’d like to share with you today is an extension for Chrome called Momentum.

Momentum quite simply replaces the default New Tab page of Chrome with a “personal dashboard,” as the developer calls it, like the one you see above. For reference, here’s the New Tab page: Read more

Google Chrome aims to improve laptop battery life by intelligently pausing Flash content

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Google has been working with Adobe to improve battery life drain caused by Flash and today flipped the switch on a new Chrome feature that does exactly that. The new feature aims to detect Flash on a webpage that is actually important to the main content and “intelligently pause content” that isn’t as important. The result is to hopefully make the web experience with Flash more power efficient to improve battery life on your laptop. Here’s how it works: Read more

Chrome OS update brings credit card info autofill, physical keyboard autocorrect, more

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Google this evening has started rolling out an update to the stable channel of Chrome OS that bumps it to version 43.0.2357.81. The update brings a handful of new features that are certain to please Chrome OS users. First off, Chrome OS can now autofill credit card information from Google Wallet to browser fields that ask for such information. Other browsers, such as Safari on OS X, offer features similar to this.

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Pro tip: Chrome already has similar granular permission controls to Android M

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One of the big additions to Android with the unveiling of Android M last week is more granular permission controls, allowing developers to ask for access to things like the microphone or GPS only once they need them, and for users to be able to revoke one or all of these permissions when they’d like. What wasn’t discussed on the keynote stage, however, is that the Chrome browser already has these features. Here’s how to use them:

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Netflix Android app adds support for Google’s new Smart Lock password manager

Yesterday, as part of the company’s Google I/O dev conference keynote presentation, Google took the wraps off Smart Lock, a new password manager that makes logging into apps in Chrome or on Android much more painless. Now, some of the first apps to support the new feature are being updated starting with Netflix. Read more

Google Hangouts Chrome app updated w/ redesigned interface, OS X support

Screen Shot 2015-05-21 at 8.29.15 PMGoogle 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.

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Gartner: Chromebook sales up 24 percent over 2014, still huge in education

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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.

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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

Google’s ‘Tone’ Chrome extension lets you share URLs with nearby computers using only sound

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