Google shying away from Chrome address cropping

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Google appears to be rethinking its “Origin Chip” initiative that would hide complete URLs when browsing the web from Chrome. Recently, Chrome team member Peter Kasting referred to the address cropping feature as a low priority, saying “”the origin chip work is backburnered” on an issue tracking website. Under the Origin Chip, Chrome’s search bar would only display a website’s domain name, opposed to its full URL. The idea was to make web browsing less distracting.

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Google teases new Incognito tab page for Chrome

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Google may be hard at work retooling the look and feel of Android, but the company isn’t stoping there. Chrome appears to be in for a few cosmetic tweaks and the company is starting this effort with a new Incognito tab page. Pictured above is a screenshot of how the private browsing tab will look in the near future. If you’re unfamiliar with Incognito mode, it’s Chrome’s privacy tab that lets users browse the web without logging in their history.

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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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Chrome OS gets visual overhaul with new window manger (photos)

The Chrome OS appeared as simply a full screen Chrome web browser in Chromebooks about a year ago, and now an announcement on the developer channel shows the operating system received its largest visual upgrade yet, which seems to blur the line between OS X and Windows.

Google’s shipped an undisclosed number of Chromebooks that have not exactly created an insatiable buzz, so the Internet giant was due to make the OS more mainstream while still keeping a web-based focus.

The Chrome Releases Blog debuted “Aura” as the new Chrome OS window manager. It gives the platform an actual desktop look, rather than just a web browser, and it adds support for wallpapers, stacked windows, an app launcher akin to Launchpad, and a task manager.

According to Chrome’s engineers, Aura is a cross-platform window manager aimed to provide “a flexible windowing system and shell for Chrome and Chrome OS on a variety of form factors.” The build also features many security and stability improvements.

A screenshot gallery is available below.

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Samsung outs new Chromebooks, Chromebox for April ship

Specs and price are similar to past models, but these are much better looking with an aluminum shell and thinner profile.

Perhaps most interesting (and fitting to the mission of Chrome) is the Chrome Box. It is a Mac Mini-looking ChromeOS device with two separate outputs for lots of Web browsing on up to two monitors.  You do not have to worry about losing an Internet connection on the ChromeBox because you are stationary and hard-wired to the Web. This is going to hit more of the target kiosk/corporate environment than the previous models of ChromeBook.  Samsung would not give a price but mentioned the loss of a display and keyboard/trackpad could save customers around $100.

All three hit stores in April, and we will be looking for a demo.

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‘ICS Browser Plus’ application adds more functionality to stock Android browser

A new application available on the Android Market called “ICS Browser Plus” adds a bit more functionality to the Galaxy Nexus’ stock browser. ICS Browser Plus is currently available in beta on the Market and includes two main features. The first feature, as you can see above, adds a quick launcher to the side of the screen where you can reload the page, open a new tab, stop the page from loading, and add the page as a bookmark, and more. For those of you who have used Honeycomb, this will feel very familiar.

The second feature will allow you to change the user agent of the browser. In other words, you can tell a website you are loading the page from an iPad, rather than a Galaxy Nexus.

ICS Browser Plus is currently only available on the Galaxy Nexus and other devices that support Ice Cream Sandwich. The developer hopes to continue adding more features, but in the mean time you can download the free app.

Google Chrome to gain WebRTC and gamepad support in 2012

Speaking at a conference in Liverpool (via Develop), Google’s Paul Kinlan revealed a few of the company’s plans in regards to making more additions to Chrome in 2012. The changes he outlined include the browser supporting plug-and-play gamepads, a cool feature that would give gamers a better way to game through Google+ games. Kinland also said the browser would be receiving the open source WebRTC platform.

Google is to add plug-and-play gamepad, webcam and microphone support to its Chrome web browser early next year, Google’s Paul Kinlan has revealed.

Speaking at Develop Liverpool, Kinlan also claimed that the search engine giant would be adding open source video and voice chat application WebRTC to its web browser.

Both additions would allow Google to offer more cloud and gaming services. We’re sure these are the first changes of many for the year of 2012.