Chrome OS - Featured Articles

Emoji translation in Google Chrome

Chrome for Android will translate the web into emoji

Lest you think you'd have to wait for April 1st for all of Google's April Fools' Day jocularity, there's more to be had tonight: try translate to emoji in Chrome on for size. That's what Google has in store for Chrome on Android, but they very cleverly intended it be saved for the day itself —...
Drag and drop uploading Google Play Music

Experimental Google Play Music Chrome app brings drag and drop uploading and mini player

Google Labs Chrome app also allows music uploading from your Chromebook There's a new entry in the Google Labs section of Google Play Music, and enabling it brings a whole new way to upload — and listen to — your own music. The feature — which is still experimental, thus the "Labs" label —...
Google now

Google Now rolling out to Chrome desktop users

Roll out begins today, should be available for all in the next few weeks We've seen Google Now for Chrome on the desktop for folks using beta builds, but starting today it's pushing out to all users. You won't need to fiddle with any settings or flags or do any sort of wizardry, but you will...

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Chrome Remote Desktop

Chrome Remote Desktop app exits beta, controls your computer on any ICS and above device

Just a couple of weeks after a full-fledged Chrome Remote Desktop app entered closed beta testing it has been opened up for all to use through the Play Store. The completely free app will let your Android device — assuming it's running Android 4.0 or above — connect to and control any computer...
Microsoft Word Online

Office Online arrives in the Chrome Web Store

Microsoft has made Office Online available on the Google Chrome Web Store. While Office Online has always worked in Chrome, Chrome users install Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote Online in the Chrome App Launcher. Office Online will go head-to-head with Google's productivity apps right in...
Google fixes Heartbleed

Google updates back-end in light of Heartbleed vulnerability

If you've been online at some point in the last 36 hours, chances are you've heard of 'Heartbleed', a flaw in OpenSSL that has exposed data to theft on approximately 2/3 of servers in use around the globe over the past two years. It's not known how bad the damage may be, but the revelation of the...
Chrome update on HTC One

Chrome update fixes audio bug that plagued the HTC One

A quick heads up, folks, that the Chrome browser for Android has gotten an update today. The changelog is vague in the usual ways, noting "stability and security updates." But for those who are using an HTC One, you'll need to download this new version right away, as it fixes a pretty annoying...
Google now

Google Now rolling out to Chrome desktop users

Roll out begins today, should be available for all in the next few weeks We've seen Google Now for Chrome on the desktop for folks using beta builds, but starting today it's pushing out to all users. You won't need to fiddle with any settings or flags or do any sort of wizardry, but you will...
Drag and drop uploading Google Play Music

Experimental Google Play Music Chrome app brings drag and drop uploading and mini player

Google Labs Chrome app also allows music uploading from your Chromebook There's a new entry in the Google Labs section of Google Play Music, and enabling it brings a whole new way to upload — and listen to — your own music. The feature — which is still experimental, thus the "Labs" label —...
Google Chrome

Chrome Remote Desktop enters closed beta on Android

As far as power user features go, a remote desktop app is up there in terms of hardcore functionality. That doesn't mean there aren't plenty of options even on mobile, and Google is getting ready to get in on the game with its Chrome Remote Desktop app that has just dropped into Google Play....
Google Chrome

Chrome for Android updated to version 33, brings minor user-facing changes

New version will roll out to users over the next few days Google has updated the Chrome browser for Android today, bringing the version number up to 33.0.1750.132. Along with the usual performance and stability tweaks, there are several changes highlighted by the Chrome team. Download progress...
Google Now on Desktop

Google Now is (unsurprisingly) coming to your desktop

In what should be considered an inevitable (and welcomed) move, Google Now notifications are coming to Chrome for Mac and Windows — and you can try them out today. The latest version of the Chrome Canary app (that's Chrome's dev version, basically) includes a flag for turning on the notifications...
Google hears all

Yes, Chrome may be listening — because you told it to

Windows with permission to listen to your microphone keep listening until they are closed There's news today about a new exploit in Chrome, that centers around the recently-introduced listening features. The new feature is not just limited to Google search, and any webmaster can implement it on...

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Important improvements to Motorola's first-party software for its new devices

Motorola has just pushed out an update to its Motorola Connect Chrome extension to improve the overall look and fix several bugs. The Motorola Connect extension works in conjunction with software on one of Motorola's latest devices — that'd be the Moto X or a new Droid on Verizon — to display text messages and incoming call information on your computer, saving you from having to pick up the phone as often.

The newly designed extension improves on the initial release with a better design that is easier on the eyes, along with a bunch of unspecified bugfixes. Motorola Connect is still a good leap away from what other third-party apps have done and far from what Google Voice offers, but it's a simple solution to managing calls and texts for folks who just want something that's baked into the phone out of the box.

Source: Chrome Web Store

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New navigation paradigms are more natural, cut down on accidental actions

Chrome Beta has just received a notable update that changes many of the usage and gesture paradigms in the browser. Most notable are the new ways to switch tabs — a swipe down on the toolbar expands the tab switcher (previously only revealed with a tap of the tab button), and swipe left or right along the toolbar to switch between open tabs. This is a far more intuitive way to manage your tabs, and completely prevents accidental tab switching when scrolling pages.

For navigating the Chrome Beta menu, you can now tap the overflow menu button and keep your finger pressed, sliding down the menu options and releasing your finger on the one you'd like to select. Google has also implemented a new one-finger zooming paradigm that is most memorable from Google Maps — double tap the screen and hold the second tap to either slide up or down to zoom in or out on the page.

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Usability tweaks and behind-the-scenes improvements for nearly all Chromebooks

The Stable channel of Chrome OS is being updated today to version 29.0.1547.57 for all Chromebooks (except the Lenovo Thinkpad X131e) with several improvements. First up is a new "immersive mode", which hides some of the chrome (pardon the pun) around windows and provides a nearly full-screen experience. 

The app launcher has also received a few tweaks, letting you pin apps to the shelf from the launcher with a simple drag-and-drop. The app launcher search has learned a few new tricks as well — it will dynamically learn what you search for most regularly, prominently highlight apps and offer web store results if you don't have an app installed.

Some behind-the-scenes improvements like a move to kernel version 3.8, wallpaper sync across Chromebook devices, two finger history navigation and fixes for monitor scaling are all included in this update as well. Be on the lookout for the download on your own Chromebook today.

Source: Chrome Releases

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Real time communication without plugins now available on Chrome for Android

Chrome for Android has been updated today, and along with improved scrolling and startup performance, there's also a pretty cool new feature — support for WebRTC.

WebRTC is a free, open project that enables web browsers with Real-Time Communications capabilities via some simple Javascript APIs. It's been supported on the desktop in Chrome for a few versions, and is a joint project between Google, Mozilla and Opera.

That's what it is, but what it does is the cool part. It allows you to use the camera and microphone on your Android to video chat without installing any pesky plugins. A website using WebRTC will request permission, and if you grant it you'll have a persistent notification reminding you that video and voice is being transmitted. Things can get interesting if web developers integrate it into their site design.

The update is "rolling out" starting today. You can check for updates from the Google Play app on your Android, or by clicking the Google Play link above.

Source: Google Chrome Blog

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We have a new mission: Make getting the latest and greatest content from Android Central as quick and as easy as possible. And to that end, we're proud to present the Android Central Chrome Extension

As the name implies, it's an extension that lives in your Chrome browser that serves up the latest headlines from us, Android Central. No mucking about with RSS feeds. (You can find our feeds here.) No separate Android apps. (We've got a really good one here that you should download ASAP.) A full web page? Bah. (You should really check out this extension while simultaneously browsing our web page.) 

Just install, click the Lloyd icon in your browser, and you're good to go. It's quick, it's easy, and it's available now.

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It only takes a few simple steps and you'll be up and running with Chromecast and your favorite content

Google caught more than a few people off guard Wednesday when it revealed Chromecast, a Chrome-powered HDMI dongle designed to bring the best content from any device to your TV. It doesn't seem that a single person was pessimistic about the idea though, as just a few demos of what Chromecast was capable of had the whole audience ecstatic about the idea.

Delivering precisely what was promised by the Nexus Q and more, at just one-tenth the price, the Chromecast has some serious potential behind it. We've got our hands on one, and having gone through the process of setting up and using the device we're downright giddy with excitement about this thing.

So what is it like to set up and use a Chromecast connected to your TV, controlled by your Android device? It's actually quite an enjoyable experience.

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'The easiest way to watch online video on your TV'

We've just wrapped up at the Google "Breakfast" event here in San Francisco where they announced among other things the Chromecast. This little Chrome-powered dongle is here as a simple way to "cast" content from your phone, tablet or laptop to any TV with a simple tap. The dongle connects to any TV with a HDMI input and gets additional power through MicroUSB, with no further setup required -- all administration of content and settings is handled from the phone, tablet or laptop.

With updated versions of Youtube, Google Play, Netflix and other apps on the phone side, Chromecast will offer functionality nearly identical to what we saw with the Nexus Q. While you use your phone or tablet as a remote, the Chromecast pulls down content directly from the web, again like the Nexus Q. Out of the box we're looking at Google Play Music, Play Movies & TV, Netflix and Pandora support. Google has also announced an SDK preview to let more developers in on the action.

And here's the best part; Chromecast is just $35. Stick around after the break for some hands-on pictures of the Chromecast hardware and the device in action.

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Todays large-screen Android devices can be a perfect remote viewer for your desktop, and it looks like a native app for Android to do it through Chrome is in the works.

Using your Android phone or tablet as a gateway to your desktop is already possible with apps that use various remote viewing protocols, but they all have one common barrier that keeps plenty of people from trying it -- the require a server set up and running on your desktop. While setting one up isn't difficult, it's one of those things that people aren't confident in doing, or just don't want to fool with.

Chrome has offered a built-in solution for a while with the Chrome Remote Desktop function built into the Chrome browser, and that barrier of installing and setting up a separate server goes away, thanks to using your Google account and Chrome's excellent syncing abilities. It looks like the Chromium team is determined to bring this to Android.

While at the moment the project is in its infancy, and most of the functions are still a ways off, this will be an excellent resource once it's finalized and available. We're keeping a close eye on this one!

Source: Chromium Code Review; Via: +François Beaufort

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Making your own web apps for Chrome can be a fun and useful skill to have

Our very own Jerry Hildenbrand is a big fan of Chrome OS, and as he has spent more time with his Chromebook he has learned a few things. One of those thing is how to make your own Chrome web apps from a Chromebook, where you can then use them... on a Chromebook. Being a good neckbeard as he is, Jerry has posted a fantastic tutorial on the process in our forums for all to see.

This isn't exactly for the faint of heart, but eager users willing to tinker with things in their Chromebook and write a little code can be up and running in no time. Jerry shows the process of making a web app for none other than the Android Central Forums (rightfully so), but the process can be applied to any website of your choice. And best of all, being in the forums means help on your own project is just a reply away.

We'll be showing off even more great in-depth tutorials in the forums in the coming weeks, but for now the willing Chromebook users among us can check out this Chrome web app tutorial below.

[How-To] Build a custom web app (launcher) for Chrome right on your Chromebook

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New notifications for several apps, full-screen 'Immersive Mode' and 

Google has just released a large update to the stable channel of Chrome OS to version 28.0.1500.68, which includes lots of nifty features and purported performance improvements. First up are the user-facing features, which include a newly designed Files app that now gives access to Shared and Recent files from Google drive, as well as new notification pop-ups for Hangouts, Gmail, screenshots and others. Google has also updated the Chrome Office Viewer to make handling of Microsoft Office documents just a little easier. If you decide to dive into chrome://flags, the latest version also offers an "Immersive Mode" which hides more of the browser chrome and gives a full-screen experience.

Under the hood, version 28 brings the new "Blink" rendering engine, which supposedly speeds up browser performance but offered no distinguishable performance change on our Chromebook Pixel. Speaking of the Pixel, you will now see a visual indicator of touch screen input when clicking on a link, which can be useful for non-touch-optimized sites.

Overall this update brings a tightening of the screws around several different areas of Chrome OS, with lots of little tweaks that make living in the browser just a little easier and better performing. Hang around after the break for several screenshots of the new features in action.

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Version 28.0.1500.64 has been promoted to the stable channel, now rolling out to devices via Google Play

Google is pushing out an update for the Chrome (stable branch) browser, with two very nice changes for Android users. The first, and one that everyone with an Android tablet will love, is full-screen browsing for Android tablets. This works the same as we've seen for phones, and the title bar disappears as you scroll down the page. Letting your tablet make full use of the screen real estate is a welcome change.

Also in version 28.0.1500.64 is automatic page translation via Google Translate. If your web surfing takes you to a page that's not in your device's native language, Google Translate kicks in and translates the page for you -- just like it does on the desktop. 

There's also a new optimized interface for RTL languages (including Arabic, Farsi, and Hebrew), and the ubiquitous stability and performance fixes. Grab your update via the Google Play link above.

Source: Google

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Fear not telecommuters -- phone calls via Hangouts are coming in the next few days

If you decided to take the plunge and move to Hangouts in your Gmail account or install the new Chrome extension, you might have noticed that the ability to initiate a phone call was missing. Unlike the Chat feature that came before it, where you could make a voice call to any of your contacts, you only had two options -- a text Hangout or a full-fledged video-conferencing Hangout to another party with a camera. Plenty of us missed that feature.

Now its back! Or it will be soon, according to the official Gmail blog. Included with today's news are a couple new features. Calls to the US and Canada are now free from all countries where Hangouts calling is available. And international rates remain "super, super low." Additionally, you can now add multiple voice and video participants to the same Hangout, and Google has a couple fun effects (like a laughing voice) you can use for a bit of added foolery.

The change will be rolling out to users in the next couple of days. To check if you have it, or to use it when you do, simply look for the new phone icon in the new Hangout box in your Gmail, or the "Call a phone" entry in the Chrome extension menu. Nobody here at AC has the feature enabled just yet, but we're ready.

Source: Official Gmail Blog

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Walmart and Staples in the U.S. to carry various Chromebook models

With the somewhat quiet success of Chromebook sales through its original sales channels of Amazon and Best Buy continuing, Google announced today that it is expanding retail availability of the laptops to three times the number of stores. Starting today, Walmart will carry the lowest-end Chromebook model from Acer, which comes in at just $199. This weekend Staples will begin to carry Acer, HP and Samsung Chromebook models in every one of its U.S. stores, as well as online or through its Staples Advantage B2B program if buying for enterprise. Additionally, Office Depot, Office Max, Fry's and TigerDirect will all begin to carry Chromebooks.

Google is also expanding worldwide availability in the other 10 markets worldwide that have Chromebooks available, with new retail partners such as Dixons in the U.K. and new stores in the Netherlands, France, Sweden and Australia. New countries will be announced later this year also. In all, 6,600 stores will now be carrying Chromebooks worldwide.

If it wasn't apparent before, Google is taking the availability of Chromebooks seriously, and we'll be hearing even more about them in the coming months.

Source: Official Google Blog

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A way to shut off some of those Chrome Notification pop-ups finally lands on OSX

Chrome Canary, the bleeding edge version of Chrome designed for ultra-early adopters, is a great platform to preview features that will be making their way into the Chrome stable channel some day. The Notification Center for Chrome is one of those features, and now Canary for the Mac has a much improved version, complete with settings.

Chrome notifications are those toast message boxes that can appear for certain apps, like Gmail or Google Drive. They're designed to be a little bit of a nag so that you notice them, but quickly disappear after you've had time to look. They're generally a good thing, until you get overloaded by too many apps that want to tell you things. This has been in the Windows and Chrome OS builds of Canary for a while, and the improved Notification Center is expected to appear in the Linux beta channel and Canary for Linux soon. 

If you want to give Canary a try, you can safely install it alongside any Chrome channel. Click here to give it a look.

Via: OMGChrome

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Help save that valuable mobile data with just a few taps in Chrome Beta

One of the lesser talked-about features rolled out at Google I/O last week was a new option for Chrome on mobile devices to cut down on the bandwidth used while browsing. Well the feature has been rolled out in an experimental capacity as part of the latest Chrome Beta update on Android, and it's a quick way to help save on data usage while browsing. Like most systems that work to preserve data while browsing, Google routes your browsing traffic through one of its own proxy servers, compressing it along the way as data is sent back and forth to your phone. Correctly, Google has chosen to only route HTTP connections through the proxy, and HTTPS request will always be sent directly. Google claims data savings can be as much as 50-percent, which is nothing to sneeze at.

To enable this new feature, you'll have to be running the latest Chrome Beta update (version 28, technically) on your phone or tablet. You will likely be greeted by a splash page the first time you open Chrome Beta after the update, but if you're not, head to the browser settings, scroll down to "Bandwidth management" and then tap "Reduce data usage" and hit the button at the top right to enable it. (If you don't see the option, try heading to "chrome://flags" in the navigation bar and enabling it manually.) You'll be able to come back after you do some browsing and see how much data you saved by enabling this new feature.

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Full screen browsing and simpler searching highlight the changes in Chrome 27 for Android

Chrome for Android has been updated to version 27 (27.0.1453.90 to be exact), bringing one of the most requested features along for the ride -- full screen browsing. In addition, other changes like simpler searching and tab history made it into Chrome 27.

The Chrome team is excited to announce the promotion of Chrome 27 to the Stable channel. Chrome for Android 27.0.1453.90 contains a number of improvments including:

  • Fullscreen on phones - Scroll down the page and the toolbar will disappear.
  • Simpler searching - Searching from the omnibox will keep your search query visible in the omnibox, making it easier to edit, and show more on your search result page.
  • Client-side certificate support - You can now access sites that require you to use a certificate and Chrome will allow you to select an installed certificate
  • Tab history on tablets - Long press the browser back button to view your tab history
  • And a ton of stability and performance fixes

The update is recommended, and you can get the latest version from the Google Play link above.

Via: Google Chrome

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Google Now voice search goes live in the latest Chrome desktop builds

Ladies and gents, it's time to upgrade your Chrome browser. Google Now style voice search has just went live in the latest Chrome stable version for the desktop (Version 27.0.1453.93). As far as we can tell from playing around testing things, the full contextual search isn't running like we saw in the demo during the Google I/O keynote, but the basic voice search and response is ready to go.

To get the latest update is easy. Open the settings in the Chrome browser, and click the Help line entry. Give it a second or two to start checking, and when it tells you to restart Chrome, just restart your whole browser session. When things come back, head to www.google.com and click the microphone in the search box. 

You have to give permission (look for the bar across the top of the window) to listen to your voice, then start asking questions. Welcome to the future! We've got a couple screenshots after the break just in case you're not able to update or don't use Chrome.

Thanks, Christian!

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Missed yesterday's keynote and announcements? Here's a quick-fire look everything you need to know

Google I/O 2013 kicked off at Moscone West in San Francisco yesterday, with keynote announcements from the Android and Chrome teams, as well as new features for Search and Maps, a re-vamped Google+ and a new Hangouts app, as well as a brand new music subscription service. Oh, and a Galaxy S4 running stock Android. The keynote was rounded off by a some words of wisdom from Google CEO Larry Page, followed by a Q&A session.

Although we didn't get a new version of Android or (strictly speaking) any new devices, the first day of I/O was packed with stuff you need to know about.  Check past the break for a quick run-through of all the major points.

Want to watch the full three-hour presentation instead? The video's available over here.

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Google has shown off what's new in search at Google I/O and during the keynote they announced improvements to conversational search,  Google Now and the Knowledge Graph. We've had conversational search on Android and iOS for some time, but now you'll be able to access it through Chrome on any laptop or desktop. You can click the mic to start talking or simply say "Ok Google". It looks pretty slick.

In addition, they also announced support for 4 new languages for their Knowledge Graph: Polish, Turkish, Simplified Chinese and Traditional Chinese. The Knowledge Graph is the search iteration they unveiled a while back that presents relevant, immediate data based on what you're searching for.

Follow our live coverage of the Google I/O keynote for the rest of the day's news!

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Save substantially on your mobile data usage when using Chrome and Youtube

As the Google I/O 2013 keynote gets moving along, Google is getting into some of the new technology it is using to save users data when using their products. First up is an update to the beta channel of Chrome for Android, which adds a "data compression" option in the settings to cut down on data usage. When turned on, it will use a compression proxy to pass pages through, converting images to the WebP format (which are 30-percent smaller than JPEG) and compressing all components of the page. The example given over a month of browsing with this Nexus 10 tablet above is a 46-percent savings in data usage. That's a big deal on today's limited data plans.

Also on the data usage front, Google is announcing that Youtube will start making the move to supporting the VP9 video format as a possible replacement for H.264. You don't have to know much about what VP9 does behind the scenes, but the end result is raw data savings with no loss in quality. Google used the example of a short HD video clip in VP9, which used about half of the bandwidth (~150MB vs. over 300MB) when compared to H.264. 

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