background Stories August 26, 2015

Background audio from a video or ad that starts playing in a tab you’re not using is arguably one of the most annoying experiences in modern web browsing. Slowly but surely, web browsers have started to recognize this annoyance and the Chrome team has been one of the best at introducing solutions. Chrome has an icon telling you which tab is playing the audio, recent builds of Chrome let you mute these annoying tabs with a single click, and now Google’s browser is introducing another feature: Backgrounded tabs will no longer autoplay media at all until you bring them into the foreground. Hallelujah. expand full story

background Stories April 2, 2014

Google continued its April Fools tradition with a long list of pranks yesterday, one of which included announcing a new “Shelfies” feature for Gmail that let users snap and share selfies to use as background in Gmail. The feature, which was completely functional within Gmail yesterday, was clearly just a bit of fun for April Fools day, but Google announced today that it will actually stick around as a new custom theme sharing feature.

While Gmail has allowed users to create custom themes since 2012, it will now provide an option to “Share your theme” within settings. The Gmail team will also be sharing some of its favorite themes shared by the community through its Google+ page. Here’s how it works: expand full story

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