Chrome Beta version 45 for Android is rolling out today (Play Store link) and includes some nice interface tweaks as well as one addition that was previously announced at Google’s I/O developer conference back in May. Chrome Beta is a build of the Chrome browser which includes features and changes that are almost, but not quite, ready for use by the masses. Showing up in the Beta build of the browser is a good indicator that a feature or adjustment will soon reach those masses, so it’s always interesting to see what’s been added.
Chromium ▪ August 3
Chromium ▪ July 21
As we reported back in late June, the Chromium team – which creates a public, open-source browser that was forked to create the popular Chrome browser from Google, and who’s updates are regularly merged into Chrome – is working hard on a “Reader Mode” for the Android version of the browser. This mode would recognize articles and pages with lots of text, display a “Make page mobile-friendly” button and, when tapped, strip a page of all extraneous content, leaving just the page’s body text, title, and images. The feature is getting ever-closer to completion, so we’re taking another look at what has changed recently.
Chromium ▪ July 11
Do you speak and write in more than one language – and often use them interchangeably? If so, you may know the frustration of having to constantly change the language Google Chrome uses for spellchecking. Fortunately, it looks like Chrome soon will be able to spellcheck in multiple languages simultaneously, as well as make it easy to quickly toggle spellchecking on and off for different languages.
Chromium ▪ July 7
Longtime users of Google Chrome may remember a period when it was possible to display tabs vertically, in a bar on the left-hand side of the screen, rather than at the top above the address bar. That feature (pictured above) was experimental, and the Chromium team, which creates public forks of the source code behind Google’s commercial browser, eventually gave up on the idea because it was believed to be a niche feature and “nobody stepped forward to do the work to drive the feature to completion.” Sidebars may be coming back from the dead in a different but similar form, however…
Chromium ▪ June 30
Chromium ▪ June 22
Update: What’s that? Oh, just the smell of change. After initially standing firm on its implementation of the hotwording module and proprietary Google extension being automatically downloaded in new installations of the Chromium open source browser, a wave of criticism has led to the team pulling it out of Chromium 45 and onwards. The module that manages whether the hotword listening extension is enabled will be “disabled by default” and the proprietary technology that actually listens for “Ok Google” will not download. A member of the team says simply:
In light of this issue, we have decided to remove the hotwording component entirely from Chromium. As it is not open source, it does not belong in the open source browser.
The original story continues below.
It all started with a blinking LED light. Ofer Zelig wrote on his blog today about an odd case where the LED light on his computer, that turns on whenever the microphone or camera is activated, seemed to blink every few seconds or so while he was working on his PC. He investigated in the Windows Task Manager to look for any process that might be to blame – no dice. He shut down some suspicious processes that might have been causing it and says he didn’t have any malware installed, but still to no avail. Turns out, the culprit was none other than Google’s Chrome browser…