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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New Android head says 'It’s not a time when we have much in the way of launches of new products or a new operating system'

Newly-appointed Android head Sundar Pichai says the company will focus on "all of the kinds of things we’re doing for developers" at this year's Google I/O conference, due to begin this Wednesday. In an interview with Wired, Pichai, who also heads up Google Chrome, says that it isn't a time when the company has "much in the way of launches of new products or a new operating system," suggesting major device launches won't be the focus of the conference.

Having recently taken over from Android co-founder Andy Rubin, Pichai offered his thoughts on a variety of subjects, including Android updates, Google's relationship with Samsung, Facebook Home and the challenges of managing two operating systems.

Some bite-size snippets --

  • On the relationship between Chrome and Android: "Android and Chrome are both large, open platforms, growing very fast. I think that they will play a strong role, not merely exist. I see this as part of friendly innovation and choice for both users and developers."
  • On Facebook Home: "It’s exciting that Facebook thought of Android first in this case. Android was intended to be very customizable. And we welcome innovations. As for the specific product, my personal take on it is that time will tell."
  • On Samsung's Android dominance: "The relationship is very strong on a day-to-day basis and on a tactical basis. So I’m not that concerned. Historically the industry has had long stable structures. Look at Microsoft and Intel. They were very codependent on one another, but it served both of them well."
  • On future Nexus hardware: "You will see a continuation of what we have tried to do with Nexus and Chromebooks. Any hardware projects we do will be to push the ecosystem forward."
  • On slow Android updates: "We are thinking about how to make Android handle updates better. We see ways we can do this. It’s early days. We’re talking with our partners and working our way through it. We need time to figure out the mechanics, but it’s definitely an area of focus for me and for the team."
  • On what to expect from I/O this year: "Both on Android and Chrome, we’re going to focus this I/O on all of the kinds of things we’re doing for developers, so that they can write better things. We will show how Google services are doing amazing things on top of these two platforms."

Hit the source link to check out the interview in full.

Source: Wired

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What's in the boxes isn't nearly as important as what them being there means

Look at that pallet of swag. Some people think it may be a pile of Chrome devices to give to attendees, others think it's T-shirts and some are guessing it's box after box of fancy pens. Alex is certain that it's "so many bags of Doritos." I'm not particularly concerned about what it is (don't go to Google I/O for the swag), but what it means.

Chrome OS is due for some serious loving from Google. It's been progressing along nicely, but it's high time that it gets some of the special treatment we saw Android get way back when the Nexus One came out with Eclair. Remember how much better Android became -- and so quickly -- once Google started focusing on it? Yeah. Let's do that with Chrome. T-shirts and Chromebooks (or Doritos) will get us excited, but I'm really excited about what we'll see at the keynote and in the developer sessions. 

Just a few more days.

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Quickly add, delete and modify your Google Keep items in a new window

We haven't heard a whole lot of news about Google Keep since it was launched just a few weeks ago, but if you are a Keep user then we've got a handy little Chrome extension that may appeal to you. The aptly named "Google Keep Extension" in the Chrome Web Store isn't fancy, but it does provide a pretty neat way to get at your Keep items. Rather than keeping it open in a new tab at all times, this extension gives you the option to open Keep in its own small window either by hitting a quick launch button to the right of the address bar or from a right click anywhere in the browser.

Developer Paul Eiche is quick to point out that without a proper Keep API there's not much else that can be done with it, but this is certainly still functionality that Google isn't adding into Chrome itself just yet. Head to the source link below to download the free extension to your browser.

Download: Google Keep Extension

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Initial work focuses on internal improvements and brings very little change for web developers

Update: Chrome developer Alex Russell has an excellent read on this for those interested.

On the Chromium blog, Google just announced that they have split off WebKit to create and further develop the open source Blink rendering engine. Blink will, over time, diverge away from WebKit and evolve in "different directions" with a focus on speed and stability. If all goes according to plan, developer channels of Chrome and Chrome OS should see a Blink-powered version in short order.

The reason behind the decision, according to the Chromium blog post, is that Chrome handles all the different processor architectures a bit differently. Forking their own model will alleviate future issues in both the WebKit code and Chrome itself.

Chromium uses a different multi-process architecture than other WebKit-based browsers, and supporting multiple architectures over the years has led to increasing complexity for both the WebKit and Chromium projects. This has slowed down the collective pace of innovation - so today, we are introducing Blink, a new open source rendering engine based on WebKit.

Because WebKit is open source, Google has long been one of the main contributors. Blink will also be open source, and qualified developers will be able to become "official" contributors if nominated by the group. 

On the surface, Blink won't bring much, if any, visual change. The changes are under the hood, and users should see no difference. Of course, with software anything can happen. This is a big undertaking, and we wish the best of luck to the entire Chrome team.

And yes, Blink sounds very Google Glass specific. There is no mention of the wearable device, and we're not going to speculate.

Source: Chromium blog

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Chrome 26 for Android hits the stable channel, also brings improved performance and bug fixes

Google Chrome for Android has hit version 26, bringing with it the ability to sync passwords and auto-fill data from the desktop browser. If you've been running the beta version of Google's browser then this may sound familiar, as it's been in testing in the beta channel for a few weeks now.

Chrome 26 also fixes a bug where a blank page would be displayed instead of the requested URL. In addition, there's the standard assortment of performance improvements -- and we have to say Chrome for Android feels pretty speedy on this latest build.

Head to the Google Play Store app to update, or hit the link above if you're a first-time installer.

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Don Melton, former Engineering Director of Internet Technologies at Apple, talks to Guy and Rene about open-sourcing Mozilla, building Nautilus, creating WebKit -- the rendering engine now used by the Android browser, Chrome browser, and ChromeOS -- teaching bears to dance, and cleaning cusses from code bases.

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Google's Chrome Experiments are wacky technological showcases designed to demonstrate what's possible with a modern web browser. And the latest of these experiments is a doozy -- World Wide Maze lets you turn your favorite website into a 3D marble-based puzzle.

To get started with World Wide Maze you'll need the latest desktop version of Chrome, and a phone running iOS 5 or Android 4.0 or greater. Next you synchronize your desktop and mobile browsers by entering a code, or using the Chrome Tab Sync feature. Then use a keyword search to find a site to turn into a maze -- an image heavy site like Android Central works pretty well.

Once Google's finished crunching the site in question, it'll be presented to you on your PC as a multi-level 3D maze -- think Marble Blast or Super Monkey Ball -- controlled by your smartphone's accelerometer and on-screen touch controls. Pretty cool!

Check out the Google Chrome World Wide Maze at the link below. Alternatively we've got an official video after the break.

Source: World Wide Maze; via: Engadget

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With the recent news that Chrome boss Sundar Pichai will be taking over from Andy Rubin as head of Android, together with Android features like Google Now starting to show up in Chrome OS, there'd been speculation that the two platforms would eventually merge into one.

Not so, says Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt, who spoke to reporters at the Big Tent conference in India today. According to Reuters, Schmidt said that the two would remain separate, but that there'd be more "commonality" between them. So while we may see more overlapping features, the two operating systems will remain technically independent. And it would seem there are no plans to roll Chrome OS and Android into one super-OS spanning both mobile and desktop.

Schmidt also dismissed speculation that he himself may be leaving the company, saying "Google is my home."

Source: Reuters; via: The Verge

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Google has announced today that Android founder and longtime leader Andy Rubin will be leaving the Android team to explore a "new chapter at Google." Larry Page posted the announcement on Google's Official Blog, which delved into how much Android has grown since its inception and under Rubin. Google says that Sundar Pichai, who currently leads Chrome, will take over. Sundar will continue to work on Chrome as well as take on Android, so he will be taking on quite the workload.

It's a big deal when one of the original founders leaves Android and he will be missed. But it sounds like he has found other opportunities at Google that he would like to explore.

Where will Android go under Pichai? Leave us with your best idea in the comments!

Source: Official Google Blog

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The latest Chrome Experiment out of Google shows off the power of sync between devices with a fun little game called "Super Sync Sports". Head to chrome.com/supersyncsports on your computer and g.co/super on your phone or tablet (Android 4.0 and above), enter the code to get them synced up and you're off to the races. Literally. You use your phone or tablet as a controller, with the computer display as just a portal to view the game. Select a character, and you can run, swim or bike against the computer or friends that you invite.

It's a fun game to play, especially with more than one device, but it what it really shows off is the power of Chrome to provide real-time syncing between devices using just a browser. When on Wifi, there isn't any perceptible lag between actions on the phone and the response on the screen, which is quite impressive considering that you're just using an HTML5 game in two browsers.

Google loves to do fun little experiments like this, and when they show it off to the public it's even better. Hopefully this means that it is planning to leverage these technologies in user-facing Chrome products in the future. Head to the source links to learn a bit more about how it works and to play the game for yourself.

Source: Google; More: Play Super Sync Sports

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The stable version of Chrome for Android has received a major upgrade, from version 18 all the way up to 25 -- the version that was in beta until recently. Major changes include significantly improved scrolling performance, improved JavaScript and HTML5 processing speed and speedier pinch-to-zoom.

The new build is rolling out right now, so hit fire up the Play Store to update your devices. Alternatively, if you've yet to try Chrome for Android, you can pick it up using the Google Play link to the right.

When you're done updating, be sure to hit the comments and let us know how you're getting on.

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Google has once again updated the Chrome beta channel for Android, bringing the pre-release browser up to version 25.0.1364.74. The new update fixed compatibility issues with the Samsung Galaxy S2, while addressing the long-standing beta bug that caused the tap disambiguation popup to appear more often than it should. That's in addition to fixes for some other bugs.

But what we're noticing most in this beta update is the performance improvement brought by the latest Chrome graphics architecture. This was actually added in an earlier Chrome Beta release last Friday, but a bug which throttled scrolling speed on many pages prevented us from enjoying it. In this latest version it seems that's now been fixed, allowing us to get the most out of Chrome's new graphical goodness.

We should point out that this is still beta software, and performance on older devices like the Galaxy Nexus remains slow and laggy. The usual warning about software bugs alplies here, too. But if you're using a newer phone like the Nexus 4 and have been put off by the jankiness of earlier Crome betas, you may want to give this latest one a try. Hit the Google Play link above if you like to live on the edge when it comes to mobile web browser.

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The screenshot above, while not Android, is extremely interesting regardless because of what it may be showing off. Posted by developer François Beaufort, what's seen here is a Chrome OS desktop with both a new notifications system and more interestingly a new app icon that we've never seen out of Google before. The "rich notifications", which show messages, calls and Google+ activity all in-line and within one pane are displayed in a new Jelly Bean and Google Now design. The new icon, to the right of the Google Drive app in the dock, shows four cascading Google-themed chat boxes.

This screenshot raises a whole lot more questions than it answers, and instantly gets us speculating as to whether or not this new notification system and app are a sign of something bigger than just Chrome OS notifications. Could this finally be a unified messaging service from Google? This could quite easily be just Google+ notifications -- missed hangout calls, Google+ Messenger messages and picture shares -- but we surely hope it's more than that.

Now of course this isn't Android, but it could have a huge impact on Android users if this turns out to be a true unified messaging service from Google. A unified messaging system that brings together Google Voice, Talk, Google+ and others would be a huge step forward for the integration of Google's often-disjointed services.

Source: François Beaufort (Google+); Via: Droid-Life

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Full screen browsing is top of many an Android fans wish list for Google's mobile version of the Chrome browser. On smartphone screens in particular, display space is important. It seems it might not be all that far away, as a recent discovery has shown off a hidden full screen browsing mode. 

Shared by Reddit user smackel, there is a bit of light work to be done to bring it about. So, while there, our thinking is that this is something to be rolled out properly in future updates. It's also a little buggy, but doesn't take any genius level work to enable. Click on past the break and we'll walk you through it. 

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Since a proper Chrome Beta channel app came into the Play Store, we knew we'd be in for some frequent updates. Alongside a new icon that has a black/white "BETA" tag on it, rather than the angled grey/white one before, this update brings many small fixes:

  • 165783 - Enable compositing scrollable frames on Android
  • 168368 - Chrome progress bar should be displayed as soon as the user clicks a link
  • 165244 - Text handler jumps or disappears when moving
  • 162486 - iframe scrolling broken

There are still some glaring bugs, as is the case with Beta releases, such as yahoo.com page links not working and some intense graphical glitches on certain devices. This is all part of the fun though, and we know what we're getting into when moving to the Beta channel of a browser.

You can't find Chrome Beta by searching the Play Store, so if you're interested in staying on the bleeding edge of browser updates you can install it directly from the link at the top of this post.

Source: Chrome Release Changelog

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Good news everyone! The Chrome Beta channel for Android kicks off today with version 25.0.1364.8. Like the Beta channel for the computer, it's a preview of features and fixes that has already passed the development channel and is running through the final testing before it makes its way into the final version. That means it's a great way to try out things that may be broken, but still allow the software to work as a whole. Today's release comes with the following bugs:

  • Performance is sluggish, noticeably on Galaxy Nexus and Nexus S
  • Frequent freeze on devices with specific versions of Qualcomm GPU driver
  • Text autosizing may break formatting on some sites
  • 164632 - Editing bookmark feature is broken
  • 165244 - Text position handler jumps or disappears when moving
  • 163439 - Clicking on links in yahoo.com not navigating on Nexus 7
  • 166233 - Unable to submit comments on Facebook posts in desktop version of Facebook
  • 165244 - Text handler jumps or disappears when moving
  • 167351 - Youtube video controls are lost after returning from fullscreen video mode
  • 162486 - iframe scrolling broken

Scary, but you get used to it if you run the Beta channel on the desktop. On the plus side, Chrome 25 brings huge improvements in HTML5 support and JavaScript performance, so it's worth it to many.

To get on the Beta track, you'll need to directly click this link, as it's not publicised or available via search in Google Play. It installs along side your current version of Chrome for Android, so you always have a fail-safe. Grab it, and have fun!

Source: Google Chrome Releases

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Google just keeps on closing the gaps between its products, as today we're seeing that the Chrome team is getting ready to put Google Now into the Chrome browser. An eagle-eyed user spotted code being merged into the Chromium project that is "creating a skeleton for Google Now for Chrome implementation." We'd expect to see more being put in as the feature gets closer to a true launch.

We're not so sure how the concept of Google Now fits into the browser, but it will be interesting to see how it ends up being implemented. Surely as devices like Chromebooks become more widely accepted -- many of which have 3G data access -- something like Google Now makes sense on more than just phones and tablets.

Source: François Beaufort (Google+); Via: CNET

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Chrome for Android has been updated to fix some stability issues, says Google.

This news comes on the back of Google’s announcement last week on their Google+ page that it will bring mobile Chrome version numbers up to speed with desktop versions by early next year. With desktop Chrome at version 23 right now and mobile Chrome at 18, we can expect releases to be streamlined eventually.

For reference, the stable channel for the latest Android Chrome release for ARM devices is 18.0.1025469 and 18.0.1026322 for x86 devices.

Thanks to everyone who sent this in!

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Reports from the Far East starting to emerge are suggesting that Google is looking to further expand its Chrome OS device portfolio with an own-brand offering in Q1 2013. A report in the China Times claims that Google has approached Taiwanese manufacturers Compal Electronics and Wintek to handle the hardware. The kicker -- this Google branded Chromebook is said to be a 12.85-inch device with a touch based input. 

Google is of course in the midst of another round of Chromebook pushing at the moment, with low-cost offerings currently on the market from both Acer and Samsung. The reports of touch input are interesting, especially considering Google's recent push into the tablet space with both the Nexus 7 and the Nexus 10. A touch based Chromebook would offer a different experience to an Android tablet. It could be seen more as a move to compete not against Google's own products, but more so against the likes of the Microsoft Surface and the other Windows 8 based touch-input laptops and tablets. 

Touch input alone may not be enough to increase adoption of Google's cloud based OS, but price could have a much bigger effect. We've seen with the recent launches of the Nexus 4, 7 and 10 that Google is capable of offering a premium experience at an attractive price point. If Google were to offer an own-brand Chromebook, sold exclusively through the Play Store, margins could be stretched as thin as they wanted with a potential for an attractive price for consumers. 

Source: China Times via The Next Web

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More than a few jaws hit the floor when Google announced its latest Samsung Chromebook at the amazing price of $249. Well, they've just one-upped that price with an Acer model that hits the magical price point of $199. The new Samsung model kept the price down by shrinking the battery and tossing in an ARM processor, but this Acer model is all Intel still. The spec sheet lists an "Intel Core Processor" -- still to be determined which model -- 11.6-inch screen and a 320GB hard drive along with the same 100GB Google Drive offer. It's a bit thicker and heavier than the Samsung at 1-inch and 3lbs, but offers more ports in exchange. It has 3x USB, HDMI, VGA, ethernet and a Kensington lock slot.

If you'll recall back to the previous iterations of Chromebooks from 2011, the Acer model was the cheaper of the two to start, but we're still left wondering how the price can get so low on these new models. It seems one place where they've cut back is the battery, as the rated life is a not-so-impressive 3.5 hours, compared to that of the Samsung at 6.5.

The new Chromebook goes on sale tomorrow in the Google Play Store, as well as other retailers such as Best Buy that are carrying current Chromebooks.

Source: Google Official Blog; Google Chromebooks

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