browser Stories January 21, 2016

Chrome 48 released to stable channel, better performance coming in future updates

Chrome on Mac, Window, and Linux is being updated this week to version 48. The latest update contains the usual bug fixes and improvements for the desktop browser, but mobile devices will see the bulk of the improvements. Future updates to Chrome, we’ve learned, will bring a new compression algorithm that will help the browser load faster pages and use less power on all platforms.

browser Stories January 20, 2016

‘Brotli’, Chrome’s new compression algorithm rolling out soon, saves up to 25% data use

While online content continues to develop, grow and become increasingly complex and media-rich, Google has been working to keep it fast and efficient. Last September it announced a new compression algorithm called Brotli which the company claims can get between 20-26% higher compressions ratios over its previous algorithm, Zopfli.

Googler, Ilya Grigorik announced on his G+ page that Brotli has reached ‘intent to ship’ status, which means it’s rolling out very soon to your Chrome browser.

Once widely rolled out, it won’t just see desktop pages load quicker, it should see mobile devices using less data and less power. Customers using an Android phone on a prepaid, or postpaid plan with a low data limit could benefit.

It’s worth noting that Brotli is currently restricted to HTTPS connections, but has seen some significant savings in html, javascript and css:

Advantages:

  • Brotli outperforms gzip for typical web assets (e.g. css, html, js) by 17–25 %.

  • Brotli -11 density compared to gzip -9:

  • html (multi-language corpus): 25 % savings

  • js (alexa top 10k): 17 % savings

  • minified js (alexa top 10k): 17 % savings

  • css (alexa top 10k): 20 % savings

If you’re using Chrome Canary, Google’s beta/developer version of Chrome, you can access a Brotli demo link via chrome://flags#enable-brotli. Google hopes that other browsers will support the new Brotli format in the near future, although so far, only Mozilla Firefox has given any public indication of its plans to do so.

 

browser Stories January 13, 2016

Future versions of Chrome will have Chromecast support built-in

As of today, the ability to cast content to your Chromecast from the desktop comes in the form of a Chrome extension called Google Cast. As of the latest beta build of Chrome, though, you can now cast content from the web without said extension installed. All you have to do is right-click the content and use the “Cast…” menu…

browser Stories December 2, 2015

gear_vr_browser

With the consumer version of the Gear VR now available for purchase in stores, Samsung is ramping up what owners can do with their $100 purchase. Besides playing immersive games and watching Netflix in a faux home theater, users can now surf the web on their virtual reality headset…

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browser Stories December 1, 2015

chrome-data-saver

Google’s latest Chrome feature includes more ways to improve your web browsing experience by reducing data consumption by up to 70%. Chrome’s Data Saver achieves the impressive consumption savings by blocking images when the web page initially loads, although it does give users the opportunity to manually select to show images if they want to. Google announced the development in a blog post yesterday

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browser Stories October 7, 2015

Screenshot_20151007-100259

With the debate over ads and the speed of the mobile web growing every day, many web companies like Apple and Facebook have pushed for publishers to hand over their content in the name of a better experience for users. But content creators — for the most part — don’t want to do that, and Google knows that. So today, the Mountain View company has announced the Accelerated Mobile Pages initiative, a plan it’s leading to make the mobile web faster… expand full story

browser Stories June 30, 2015

Update: Check out a new video showing off Gello below.

There’s not much to know about this yet, but CyanogenMod staff member Joey Rizzoli has come out on Google+ today to announce a new browser project the team has been working on. It’s called “Gello,” and while we don’t know many real details at this point, it seems apparent that it’s built at least in some capacity on Google’s open source Chromium project (which the Mountain View company’s flagship Chrome browser is based on as well). expand full story

browser Stories June 26, 2015

Here’s what happens when you open 100 tabs in Chrome for Android

Google employs a lot of engineers. Most software engineers know that when you have a box which can contain a variable amount of content – say, an input field or the title section of a blog post like the one above – that you need to make a decision as to what happens when more content than can initially fit into the box is inputted. Maybe you take the lazy way out and simply limit what the user can do so that their input doesn’t end up exceeding the character limit of the box, for example. Google has done something even lazier in Chrome for Android.

Let me preface this by saying that what I’m about to show you isn’t new, but I just learned about it so I’m sure it’ll be new to some of you too. Also it’s Friday, so why not see some neat stuff. With that out of the way, here’s what it looks like when you have any amount of tabs open in Chrome for Android under 100 tabs (images courtesy of Reddit user /u/Hamsna):

 

Normal, right? Right. Here’s what it looks like when you have 100 or more tabs open:

 

Let me help in the event that you haven’t noticed anything different in that second image:

 

It seems that someone at Google decided that it’d just be more work than it’s worth to come up with a more pragmatic solution, so it used an emoticon instead to say¯\_(ツ)_/¯ And how many people actually use more than 100 tabs, in a mobile browser no less? Only psychopaths, probably.

browser Stories May 8, 2015

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… expand full story

browser Stories February 11, 2015

Google brings smooth Safari-like zoom to Chrome Canary for Mac

The latest build of Chrome Canary for Mac packs a great new feature that’s likely familiar to those who use Safari on a daily basis. While current stable builds of Chrome have a jaggedy pinch-to-zoom functionality that only zooms in 10% increments, the latest build of Chrome Canary provides a smooth buttery zoom experience like Apple’s browser.

As of right now, it looks like the feature works a little bit less fluidly than Apple’s offering, but that’s to expected in the most experimental public release version of Chrome. Zooming works the same way that it does in Safari and current versions of Chrome, so all it takes is pinching two fingers on the Trackpad.

If you’re sticking with Safari on your Mac for this reason or others (battery life, anyone?), it looks like this feature—once it makes its way to the stable release—will give you one more reason to switch over to Google’s browser. If you want to give it a try, head over and download the latest build of Chrome Canary.

browser Stories January 21, 2015

Microsoft’s upcoming ‘Spartan’ browser to support Chrome extensions

Microsoft has a big day today at its Windows 10 press event, where in part it is expected to unveil a brand new web browser called “Spartan” as part of its latest operating system. ZDNet reports that Spartan will not simply be another Internet Explorer release, but rather a lightweight web browser that looks and functions more like Chrome, Firefox and Safari.

browser Stories March 26, 2014

GPlay_MusicFeatureDragDrop_v01_r03

Google’s Play Music service previously required installing the Music Manager app to upload music to the cloud service on Mac, Windows, and Linux. Today that changes as Google adds the ability to drag-and-drop your music collection to upload it directly through the browser within the Google Play Music web interface. It’s still in “lab” beta mode, but you can easily enable it:

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browser Stories January 28, 2014

Google’s Build With Chrome is a Minecraft-like virtual LEGO builder in the browser

Google announced today that it’s opening a new Build With Chrome website to the public that originally started as a Chrome Experiment. In collaboration with LEGO, Build With Chrome uses WebGL 3D graphics technology to let users build any creation they can think of using virtual LEGO in an extremely slick web-based interface. The site also features the ability to explore creations by others and share your own through Google+ as well as “Build Academy” that features charcaters from the upcoming The LEGO Movie film.

The Build With Chrome site is already featuring a number of creations from the community and is now open for all to play with. 

browser Stories January 23, 2014

‘Ok Google’ voice search arrives as native Chromium feature without browser extension

Google’s open-source Chromium evangelist François Beaufort shared some interesting details today about new voice search integration in the latest Chromium build— Google’s open source browser project that is often used to develop and test features coming soon to its Chrome browser. While users have been able to download a browser extension for Chrome since November that allows them to activate a voice search with the “Ok Google” voice command (just like on Android), it appears Google is testing the command as a native feature without the need of the extension. Beaufort notes that the latest Chromium code shows the ability to toggle the feature through settings:

browser Stories July 10, 2013

Opera for Android updated to include new version of Chromium, speed improvements, more

The Opera Browser for Android has been updated with a host of new features this morning. Earlier this month the browser officially switched from Opera’s Presto engine to Google’s Chromium, and with version 15, the app now includes the newer Chromium 28. The start up time has also been improved with this version of Opera, as has general page loading. You can also now download video files from within the browser.

The full change log follows:

  • Based on Chromium 28
  • Improved startup-time
  • Download video. Possible to download video files that can be played in Opera
  • Set download location (where your files are downloaded to)
  • Improved tab-UI animations
  • Opening files from external SD Card now possible
  • New “open in private tab” context menu
  • Cookie clearing mechanism improved
  • Fix for bug causing Opera to be uninstalled from selected Samsung devices
  • Memory leaks plugged and general stability improvements.

The update is available on the Play Store now

browser Stories May 15, 2013

Screen Shot 2013-05-15 at 1.31.14 PM

Google+ will receive a card-based interface redesign featuring a new three column view. The new interface is responsive to the user’s display size. The new multi-column view is customizable meaning you can toggle back to the previous single column view if you prefer.

Google+ will also begin rolling out intelligent hashtags for photos, meaning if you post a photo of the Eiffel Tower, Google+ can automatically recognize the subject and appropriately tag it for you.

Users will now be able to view related photos by clicking on the current photo and seeing related hashtags on the flip side of the photo. A video below highlighting the related hashtag feature is below.

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Google today announced a new service called Google Play for Education that allows schools to easier find and distribute Google Play content to Android devices in schools.

The Google Play Education store will allow schools to search for content by subject matter and grade level and provide content that has been recommended by other educators. Google is teaming up with partners such as NASA and PBS for content but it will also begin accepting app submissions from developers this summer before the education store launches this fall.

Rather than using credit cards in an education environment, teachers will be able to purchase bulk quantities of apps and charge licenses against a balance from the school’s purchase order. The Google Play for Education service will also allow school’s that use Google Apps to instantly distribute an app to multiple devices in a school by setting up a Google Group

Google Play for Education will be launching this fall. You can learn more at https://developers.google.com/edu/.

Google: Chrome is the most used browser with 750+ million active users

At its I/O keynote taking place right now, Google is going over improvements it’s made to Chrome and to kick things off the company announced that the browser is now home to over 750 million active users across all platforms. That’s means the company has added over 300 million users since it announced 450 million active users at its I/O event last year.

browser Stories February 21, 2013

Screen Shot 2013-02-21 at 8.28.38 PM

Chrome version 25 was released with a new Web Speech API that allows web developers to integrate speech-to-text dictation into their web applications.

The other feature of importance on the new version is the removal of “silent extensions.” Silent extensions are web-browser extensions that install without your knowledge. From now on, every web extension installation must be manually approved.

The updated version is available here, but Chrome’s auto-update feature may have already installed it for you.

browser Stories May 4, 2012

Google facing tens of millions in fines in FTC’s iOS Safari privacy investigation

We knew that Google would likely face fines in the Federal Trade Commission’s investigation into its method of bypassing Apple’s default iOS Safari browser settings. Last month, reports claimed the FTC would make a decision on the fines within 30 days. Today, Reuters reported sources close to the situation have confirmed Google is currently negotiating with the FTC over fines that “could amount to tens of millions of dollars”:

Google Inc. (GOOG) is negotiating with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission over how big a fine it will have to pay for its breach of Apple Inc. (AAPL)’s Safari Internet browser, a person familiar with the matter said. The FTC is preparing to allege that Mountain View, California-based Google deceived consumers and violated terms of a consent decree signed with the commission last year when it planted so-called cookies on Safari, bypassing Apple software’s privacy settings, the person said.

Cross-posted on 9to5Mac.com

browser Stories April 10, 2012

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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browser Stories March 14, 2012

Google is designing a version of Chrome to run in touch-friendly Metro of Windows 8.

Windows 8 is the upcoming edition of Microsoft Windows and features a new Metro-style user-interface with input for touchscreen, mouse, keyboard, and pen. The platform’s Consumer Preview was just released Feb. 29.

A Google representative told Mashable that Chrome for Windows 8 is based on the desktop browser and not the Android form. The browser will highlight touch support to compliment the company’s interface principle that spans across many of its products and services, such as Xbox 360 and Windows Live. With that said, Chrome for Android indicates Chrome for Windows 8 might feature automatic syncing, swipe-able tabs, and a multitude of extensions.

“Our goal is to be able to offer our users a speedy, simple, secure Chrome experience across all platforms, which includes both the desktop and Metro versions of Windows 8,” announced a Google representative. “To that end we’re in the process of building a Metro version of Chrome along with improving desktop Chrome in Windows 8 such as adding enhanced touch support.”

More information is available below.

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browser Stories March 6, 2012

Ubisoft unveiled the above teaser for the critically acclaimed “From Dust” videogame by Creative Designer Eric Chahi and announced it is coming to the Google Chrome browser next month.

“Chrome users will be able to play a High-End console game within their very own Google Chrome browser,” contended Ubisoft, the game’s developer.

More information is available below.

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browser Stories January 12, 2012

After being introduced in August, Google just announced improvements to its Gmail offline Chrome app. The first improvement, which the Chrome team called their favorite, is the ability to choose whether you want to synchronize 7, 14 or 31 days worth of mail. The second improvement includes attachment support, keyboard shortcuts, and enhancements when it comes to performance. You can download the Gmail offline Chrome application in the Chrome Web Store.

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browser Stories January 3, 2012

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.

browser Stories January 1, 2012

Just a few years ago, Microsoft’s Internet Explorer owned the browser market with three quarters share and the only real alternative was Mozilla’s Open Source Firefox.  However, in 2008, Google noticed Apple’s WebKit Browser engine and built their own Chrome browser.  In late 2009, Chrome started to break out of the “other” category in StatCounter’s figures and started its rise to what will likely to be the world’s most used desktop browser in 2012.

A few months ago, Chrome passed Firefox and if you look at the slope of the graph over time, it looks like Chrome’s rise is still accelerating.  Even if it only grows at its 2011 rate and IE continues to fall at its 2011 rate, Chrome will pass Internet Explorer in late Summer 2012 according to Statcounter’s numbers.  Below, I have extrapolated IE and Chrome’s 2011 numbers over the first half of 2012…

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browser Stories September 1, 2011

While it might feel like yesterday in comparison to the other browsers, Chrome is celebrating its third birthday this month after having launched the Windows beta in September of 2008. In celebration, Google has posted an interactive HTML5 graphic charting innovations of Chrome that you can check out here.

They’ve also posted some of Chrome’s highlights over the years including innovations in prerendering technology, the Chrome Web Store, hardware accelerated 3D CSS, and the launch of the Chromebook.

Chrome has come a long way in just three short years, having released support for Mac and Linux a year in with its sixth release, and not long after moving to a six-week release cycle. Recent stats have Chrome steadily growing in market share and recently benchmarked as the fastest browser for real world use. expand full story

browser Stories August 23, 2011

When we think of Google and browsers we usually think of the latest Chrome build, the fastest real world use desktop browser around. While the browser currently shipping on Android is nothing to sneeze at, Google’s real innovation in the browser space is arguably happening with Chrome. That’s why it’s surprising we haven’t heard more about a potential port of Chrome to Android, a project the Android team is now actively working on with the open source WebKit community.

Googler Andrei Popescu, along with a couple others working on the project, took to WeKit-Dev group today (via TechCrunch) to announce their focus on the port:

We would like to give an update about WebKit on Android. A while ago, we started the effort to upstream the Android port of WebKit. For a variety of reasons, this work took longer than anticipated and was never finished. We realize that the incomplete Android port that exists today in WebKit ToT has caused quite a bit of confusion and inconvenience to the project as a whole and we are very sorry for that.

In case you’re confused, the browser currently running on Android was originally based on the WeKit layout engine and Chrome’s V8 Javascript engine, but also varies from the desktop version of Chrome enough that two separate teams work on the two browsers. expand full story

browser Stories August 16, 2011

Firefox 6 was officially released on the desktop today, and along with it comes Firefox Mobile 6.0 for Android. The 6.0 browser offers a great alternative to Android’s stock browser and other browsers like Opera. Full release notes: (via Pocketnow)

1. Higher-quality image rendering and smoother zooming 2. First wave of optimizations for tablets and large-screen devices 3. Improved interaction with touch-optimized sites (e.g Google Maps, games) 4. Improved form helper 5. Visual refresh for phones running Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) 6. Continued performance and memory management enhancements

Download

browser Stories August 2, 2011

If you are a mainstream Chrome user like I imagine most of you are, the first stable version of Chrome 13 is now available for auto upgrade.  Why upgrade?

Google Instant Pages prefetches links so that page load times increse dramatically.  Linux and Windows users will now also get a print preview (Linux before Mac?! oh ChromeOS :P)

To manually upgrade, go to about Chrome and hit the upgrade button (below): expand full story

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