Google kicking toolbars, “multipurpose extensions” out of the Chrome Web Store

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Google’s Chromium Blog just announced intentions of the search engine giant to knock out toolbars and “multipurpose extensions” out of the Chrome Web Store. The update to the policy is basically summed up as: “extensions in the Chrome Web Store must have a single purpose that is narrow and easy-to-understand.” That sounds simple enough, no?

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Google is about to stick a Chrome Apps link in your Bookmarks bar


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Some new stuff from Canary build this morning above on left (compared to stable on right). Notice the Apps shortcut  icon which can be removed by unchecking the “Show Apps shortcut” icon (below) in the dropdown menu.

This is interesting especially as Google appears to be ready to push an Apps button to its iconic search page. Will Chrome apps finally get their day in the sun? Read more

Google+ update brings Local reviews tab, bigger cover photos & new ‘About’ tab

Google just announced on Google+ that it will roll out a few changes to the desktop version of the service starting today. Some of the updates include a new tab for local reviews for easy access to restaurant reviews from the sidebar, updates to the ‘About’ tab that making editing easier, and larger cover photos up to 2,120-by-1,192-pixel:

- A new tab for your Local reviews. In addition to your photos, +1′s and YouTube videos, there’s now a place for all your Local reviews. Highlight your favorite restaurants, or hide the tab completely via settings — it’s completely up to you.

- An easier way to edit your info. The ‘About’ tab now consists of separate cards (like Story, Places, and Links) — each with its own prominent edit link. As always: you can share specific fields with specific circles, or keep them just for you.

- Bigger cover photos, with a better aspect ratio. Cover photos are much larger than before (up to 2120px by 1192px), and they display in 16×9 when fully expanded. This way more images can be used as cover photos, and there’s more room for your selection to shine.

Google said it would roll out the new features gradually to all users.

Latest Chromium build testing search box right on new tab page

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The Chrome team has announced a new addition to the Chromium (beta version of Chrome) browser this afternoon, changing the way many users will search for content online via Google and other search engines. Google is testing/experimenting with an added search box to the new tab page, a page that has historically just listed recently viewed websites, and the new search box will not only include Google search but will also be accompanied by Yahoo, Bing and others. Google said the reasoning behind the change is: “we’ve found that many people still navigate to their search engine’s home page to initiate a search instead.”

Google is also allowing search engines to display what a user has searched for right in the omnibox, potentially doing away with a second search box on the actual search page. Additionally, Google has made a new Embedded Search API available so other search engines can implement what’s new. The features outlined today are available for testing from the Chrome Developer Channel that includes a select few Chrome OS and Windows users (Mac will be coming soon). Sadly, Mountain View gave no word on when the features will hit an official build.

Source: Chromium Blog

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Facebook slams Google Chrome, replaces recommendation with Opera

And war has begun: Facebook slammed Google’s Chrome browser today with the above unsupported web browser message [cache], which recommended Opera, among others, as a better alternative for viewing the social network.

FavBrowser first discovered the change and noted Facebook’s rumored plans to acquire Opera. This is noteworthy, because Google+ is Facebook’s direct competitor. The infant Google service is tackling Facebook head-on with its executives consistently criticizing Facebook, like when CEO Larry Page accused Facebook of holding users hostage last week. Only now it appears the back-talking has turned into actions, because Facebook no longer recommends Chrome to its nearly 1 billion active users.

According to StatCounter, Chrome passed Internet Explorer during the week of May 14 to May 20 to become the most popular browser in the world. Microsoft’s Internet Explorer still has a commanding lead in the United States, but growth for Chrome is steadily increasing in regions like South America, India, and Europe. The browser also surpassed Internet Explorer, although for just a day, in March. These statistics indicate that Chrome is too large for Facebook to ignore.

Meanwhile, Google’s CEO Larry Page said in a statement to investors in April that the company’s own social network Google+ now has more than 100 million active users, which is up from 90 million total users in January. To him, the network is an integral product that will help Google bring the next generation of search to life. Despite these bold goals, Facebook still reins king in the social network market with its nearly 10 times larger userbase.

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Chrome Beta update makes tabs accessible everywhere, also available on Chrome for Android Beta

A new Chrome Beta update now makes open tab information available on multiple devices in different locations.

In Chrome Beta, when users are logged into Chrome, the tabs open on one device are now accessible on all their devices under the “Other devices” menu on the New Tab page.

“Imagine you’ve looked up directions to a cool new restaurant on your home computer. Later, when you’re leaving work, you realize you can’t quite remember how to get there. If only you could quickly pull up the same directions on your office computer with one click,” explained Software Engineers Nicolas Zea and Patrick Dubroy on the official Google Chrome blog.

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