web apps Stories August 19, 2016

chrome-apps

Google has put considerable effort into making the web more app-like by pushing various standards that allow for notifications and offline access. The company now believes that the web is powerful and feature-rich enough to phase out packaged and hosted Chrome apps on Mac, Windows, and Linux over the next two years.

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web apps Stories March 22, 2016

Google is removing the rarely used app launcher in Chrome

Following the removal of the notification center last year, Chrome is now getting rid of the app launcher in Mac, Windows, and Linux. It will be a slow process, but the rarely used launcher for Chrome and web apps will be fully removed for all users in July.

web apps Stories December 1, 2015

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The stable channel for Chrome has been updated to version 47 on Windows, Mac, and Linux. The update contains the usual fixes and improvements, but Google hints at upcoming new features and big efforts that they’ll share in the coming days. Besides the removal of the notification center, the update is relatively unexciting, but Chrome 47 is however introducing interesting new features on Android…

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web apps Stories October 22, 2015

Chrome 47 beta brings splash screens for Android web apps, notification management for desktop, more

Google is releasing the beta of Chrome 47 today that introduces as number of new features across platforms including new splash screens for Android web apps, improved management for push notifications on the desktop, enhanced multitasking and more.

For the new splash screens, developers will be able to take advantage of splash screens when their web apps are launched from an icon saved on the homescreen. Google points out that  “apps can take a few seconds to load” and presenting a nice looking splash screen will “allow apps to show something meaningful to users as the app loads, improving perceived performance” for users.

In addition, Chrome 47 beta brings an improved push notification experience for desktop users on Mac, Linux, Chrome OS and Windows by introducing auto dismissing notifications:

“Sites such as social media or email can generate a large number of push notifications that take up screen space and aren’t particularly relevant unless viewed soon after posting. The new version of Chrome now allows developers to configure automatic dismissal of desktop notifications, improving the experience for these kinds of notifications. Sites can set NotificationOptions.requireInteraction to indicate the notification should remain onscreen until the user dismisses it.”

And lastly, the 47 beta release brings what Google refers to as “Cooperative multitasking with requestIdleCallback()”, something developers can take advantage of to improve performance by allowing apps to run during “idle time” when resources aren’t being used by other tasks.

Google has more info on the release here.

web apps Stories August 11, 2015

Google Chrome Dev Summit tickets now available

Google this morning made tickets available for its Chrome Dev Summit held at the Google Quad building. The event runs for two days between November 17th and 18th and is exclusively designed to help Chrome engineers and developers build better, faster and more attractive web apps. The company warns that places are limited and anyone seeking to go should register for their ticket as soon as they can.

Google’s Chrome Dev Summit will feature short talks, collaborative discussions and code labs among other events. For those who can’t make it in person, Google will stream all presentations live and make them available to watch on YouTube afterwards. Keep an eye on the Google Developers YouTube channel to stay updated during the event.

Tickets to this November’s event are available now from Google’s Chrome Dev Summit home page.

web apps Stories July 27, 2015

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Google Chrome 21 ratio

As the Google Chrome web browser and web-based Chrome OS operating system continue on their ever quickening path towards divergence and feature parity with the native Android smartphone operating system, all of which are overseen by Google CEO Larry Page’s number two, Sundar Pichai, Chrome for Android is getting some new functionality that brings it closer to what developers can get out of native apps.

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web apps Stories April 22, 2015

Google pushes mobile web apps forward, launches new ‘Spotlight’ page to feature them

Earlier this week, Google began rolling out Chrome 42 with support for website notifications and an improved “add to home screen” function. With those two new features, Google is clearly making a big push towards web apps on both the desktop and mobile. Now, Google has launched a new Spotlight page to highlight some of the best mobile web apps.

web apps Stories March 13, 2015

Google released Chrome 42 this week through its beta channel for Android, Windows, Mac, Linux and Chrome OS. The latest Chrome beta previews a couple of interesting features that make web apps more like native apps including push notifications and saving web apps to your Android home screen faster… expand full story

web apps Stories July 1, 2014

 

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In 2010 Google took steps towards separating its Chrome browser and the way its apps operated. Unlike traditional web-based applications, the software didn’t have URLs or navigation buttons, making it feel more like native desktop programs. This new breed of Chrome apps were also capable of working offline, connecting with peripherals and delivering desktop notifications.

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web apps Stories January 28, 2014

Google-Apache Cordova-Chrome

After letting us know last month that it was getting ready to release a toolkit to let developers easily bring their Chrome web apps to iOS and Android, today Google released a developer preview of the tool. In its blog post, Google explains the tool is based on open-source framework Apache Cordova, which allows devs to build native apps for iOS and Android using CSS, HTML, and Javascript. It’s also making a lot of its own core Chrome APIs available to developers through the preview. It essentially means devs will be able to bring their Chrome web apps to the App Store and Google Play, but it will also let them build new cross platform apps in CSS, HTML, and Javascript. Google explained how it works: expand full story

web apps Stories October 3, 2013

Chrome 31 Beta released with shortcuts for web apps on Android & more

Google today announced the release of Chrome Beta 31 for Android and desktop that includes new web app shortcuts on Android, an improved auto complete experience for payments, and much more.

The new application shortcuts for Chrome for Android allows you to add a shortcut to a webpage to your Android home screen. While you could already save a similar type of shortcut on Android, Google is now giving the sites an option to open in a special fullscreen mode without all the browser controls:

Sites launched in this way will open in a normal Chrome for Android window, unless they include themobile-web-app-capable meta tag. Those sites will instead open in a special fullscreen Chrome for Android window that doesn’t display tabs, buttons, menus, or the Omnibox. Try adding a shortcut to weight.aerotwist.com to see this in action.

Chrome 31 also includes a smoother experience for autocomplete on Android, Windows, and Chrome OS (soon on Mac) that makes it easier to fill out forms online starting first with payments:

requestAutocomplete() makes it easier for users to fill out online forms by offering web developers programmatic access to the browser’s autocomplete information (with the user’s explicit permission). For this first release, we’ve made it work for web payments. On sites with requestAutocomplete(), users will be able to either use their existing payment data stored with the browser or enter new details through a browser-provided interface. As a developer, you can continue processing payments with your existing payment processor.

The release has a ton of other new features and improvements including new Chrome Apps APIs, the ability for developers to execute native code with Portable Native Client (PNaCl), Speech recognition with the JavaScript Web Speech API, and much more. A full list of what’s new is available on the Chromium blog.

web apps Stories May 10, 2013

Update (3:24 ET): I’m back online. are you?

If you are having issues with Google Drive, you aren’t alone. We’ve just lost our access to our online documents though our local sync seems to be working fine. Google’s Apps status page just went code orange indicating they are investigating the issue. Now let’s start talking about how safe your documents are in the Cloud.

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web apps Stories April 25, 2013

Google Drive offline now lets you create & edit drawings, automatically access Docs, Sheets & Slides

On top of rolling out some new features to Google Drive earlier this morning including profile pictures and one-click group chat, Google also just announced some new additions to Drive’s offline mode.

When using Google Drive in offline mode, users will no longer have to worry about what files have been made available offline. Google will now automatically make Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides available offline as long as you have enough storage. Users will also now be able to create and edit drawings in offline mode.

The new offline features will be available to users in the coming days alongside the new group-chat and profile pictures features.

web apps Stories August 19, 2011

 

Apple and Google are clearly the two front-runners competing for market share in the mobile world, which is why it’s no surprise we think of iOS and Android when we think of apps. With the growth of the smartphone industry also came the resurgence of native apps (thanks largely in part to Apple’s App Store which still dominates the space). However, Mozilla hopes that web apps will soon mature to provide a comparable experience for end users and an even better alternative for developers.

“We are aiming at providing all the necessary APIs to build a basic HTML5 phone experience within the next 3-6 months”

While Chrome OS has shown promise, it isn’t the only browser-based platform planning on entering the web app space… If Mozilla has its way, developers can use the results of their new WebAPI project to build an “HTML5 phone experience” that’s compatible across all operating systems (whether it’s Android, iOS, Windows Phone, etc).

A report from CNET claims Mozilla has plans for the APIs to “interact with a phone’s dialler, address book, contacts list, and camera”, essentially giving you access to the same functionality of native apps but directly in your device’s browser.

The WebAPI project certainly isn’t trying to create a full-blown operating system. However, working hand in hand with Mozilla’s Boot to Gecko project, which aims to build a “complete, standalone operating system for the web”, it could create a potentially compelling alternative to Google’s browser-based Chrome OS.

It appears that Mozilla is serious about the project, as a report from CNET claims they’re in the process of hiring full time programmers and plan to have the basics in place by February. expand full story

web apps Stories August 2, 2011

Stunning 45-degree views are now available in Maps for more places in the US and abroad.

Never content with resting on its laurels, Google have been iterating their products at a pace faster than ever before. Here’s a quick overview of some of the noteworthy changes we spotted in Google’s popular services, such as Docs, Tasks, Chrome Web Store, Blogger and Maps. The latter now features breathtaking 45° imagery for many more US cities (full list here), including international locales, such as Córdoba, Spain. If you haven’t yet seen highly detailed aerial photography in action, definitely give it a try now by checking out the Córdoba, William P. Hobby Airport or the Houston Ship Channel 45° views from all four directions.

Chrome Web Store, the Google-ran online repository of web apps, now supports more markets, having added sixteen new countries for 31 countries in total. In-app payments in web apps distributed on Chrome Web Store are also a go-go: Google confirmed paid transactions in web apps will be available to users in twenty countries “later this year”. Zyngas of this world will love it, that’s for sure. More features in other services right below the fold.

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