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

ASUS Chromebook C201

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

Chrome extensions will soon require Chrome Web Store distribution for all Mac & Windows users

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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

How to overcome tab overload in Google Chrome using Tab Wrangler

Tab overload.

Tab overload.

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

Tip: Add muting to your Chrome speaker tab icons with one simple command

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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:

chrome://flags/#enable-tab-audio-muting

Once there, you’ll see a line like this:

Screenshot 2015-05-02 09.25.07

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 new Edge browser will take on Chrome with near-complete extension compatibility

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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.

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Google launches dev channel for Chrome on Android

Chrome-Dev

Today Google released a new Chrome Dev app, a way for developers to access the latest Chrome builds and experimental features before they’re ready for beta and public releases.

Google has always had a developer release channel for Chrome, allowing devs to get access to the latest builds and features even before regular users are encouraged to start testing through its beta and public release channels. Previously the dev channel was only for Windows, Mac, Linux, and Chrome OS, but today the company is bringing it to Android.

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Google launches Password Alert tool to detect sign-ins, protect against phishing

Google-alerts

Google today is launching a new tool called Password Alert that will allow users to keep track of sign-ins on their account with notifications and change their password if necessary. The new tool comes in the form of a Chrome extension and allows users to easily change their password if a fraudulent sign-in attempt is detected. Read more

Chrome 42 for Android introduces website notifications, improved ‘add to home screen’ function

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Google has pushed out version 42 of its Chrome browser for Android. Like the desktop counterpart that debuted yesterday, Chrome 42 for Android introduces support for push notifications from websites, allowing you to keep up with changes to your favorite sites without having to constantly check back.

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