Posts with tag chrome

Ohhh, Convergence

Android VP now the head of Chrome development




chromebookGoogle has long been heralding two very distinct platforms – Android, the company’s mobile first operating system that helped pioneer the modern smartphone market, and Chrome, which began as a humble, WebKit based web browser that grew to become an entire operating system with a not small library of developer and end user support.

Google’s two platforms couldn’t be more different, but Google is making strides towards bringing their two babies closer together than ever. According to The Wall Street Journal, Google has put the VP of engineering for Android, Hiroshi Lockheimer, in charge of the engineering team over on the Chrome side. That means that the same individual will now be responsible for building both the mobile-centric Android and the desktop-class Chrome OS. While this isn’t exactly a confirmation that the two platforms will grow closer together in terms of design and functionality, it does suggest that such a thing wouldn’t be beyond the realm of possibility.

Source: The Wall Street Journal


Depth, color, and comprehension

Google announces “Material Design” design language for Android, Chrome, and the web




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Google took to the stage this morning at their annual Google I/O Developer Conference, and one of today’s biggest announcements came in the form of what the company is calling “Material Design” – a comprehensive overhaul to Google’s design language that will be used throughout Google’s entire portfolio of products, from Chrome OS to the newly announced Android 5.0 and even the web.

Google says Material Design is all about building a design around the concept of how a digital material would act in the real world, with an emphasis on depth, color, and motion. It’s quite difficult to describe in text, really, but essentially this is one design language that’s consistent throughout all of Google’s portfolio – even going so far as using the same style guidelines for all platforms. It’s flat, its colorful, and it’s got a heavy emphasis on motion.

Google says “Our material is grounded in tactile reality, inspired by our study of paper and ink, yet open to imagination and magic,” and that’s a pretty good way to put what we’re looking at here.

Image Source: The Verge


Look, it is shiny and it is new

Google is hoping to rework favoriting with Google Stars




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I know, I know – you’ve been hoping for Google to tackle reworking favoriting (or bookmarking, if you’re that type of guy) since they took email by the horns with Gmail. You’re finally getting your wish, technology wizards – a new leak has revealed a brand new global bookmarking service called “Google Stars” that will allow you to bookmark your favorite sites to the cloud, and then manage them through folders and even search through their content from anywhere right from Google’s handy “Stars” UI.

There’s no real word on when Stars is coming or how exactly it works just yet, but the outside world has gotten its hands on a splash screen for the new Google Stars beta tool, which does give some new details – seen above. Google Stars will presumably be integrated in future versions of Google Chrome and potentially even Android, so this is something to keep an eye on.

Source: Florian Kiersch (via Google+)


Pay up or get out

Android 4.4 ships without web browser, Google tells vendors to pay for Chrome




android-hubIn a seemingly backwards change of policy for Google and their “open-source” Android operating system project (AOSP), we’re hearing of confirmation from developer Maximiliano Firtman that Android 4.4 “KitKat”, the new version of Android that shipped with the new Nexus 5 just a couple of weeks ago, is being published without a web browser. Vendors, who rely on AOSP for the operating system on their phones, are now being forced to license Google Chrome if they want  to avoid the headache of developing their own web browsers; previously, Google provided a free “Browser” application with the AOSP that had most of the basic features of Google Chrome for Android.

The change in policy comes as Google hopes to take over increasing control of Android. Google has decided that all future versions of their launcher application will remain exclusive to Android with Android 4.4, with the AOSP providing developers and vendors only the Android 4.3 version, which lacks improved Google Now integration, Google search integration, and more. Google has been under the microscope as of late for their controversial practices, which are seemingly acting against their open source, “don’t be evil” corporate policy.

Source: UnwiredView


On Macs only

Chrome locks down its password page




chrome-pwEarlier this year, Google came under fire for storing all of your logon details in a place where anyone could have at them and then said they would do nothing about it because if you had physical access to someone’s machine, it doesn’t matter what security measures are in place.

Enough people have complained about that where Google has turned back and is actually going to do something about it. In the latest Chromium build, you can set a flag that requires the user to authenticate with their local user account before allowing access into the password page. Then, you have one minute to get your passwords before you’re kicked out and have to re-authenticate. The only thing is, this new feature is only available in Mac OS X builds of Chromium and there is no word if it would make it to other platforms.

Source / Image Credit: François Beaufort (Google+)
Via: Engadget


Why was this not a Day One feature?

Google adds Google+ Photo Editing support to ARM Chromebooks for the first time




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Got yourself an ARM based Chromebook such as the just released HP Chromebook 11, but worried that your newest toy can’t take advantage of all the goodies that their Intel-based brother in have access to? Never fear, Google’s got you – today the company just announced Google+ Photo Editing support to their ARM-based Chromebooks for the first time, tearing down a confusing limitation that threatened to single handedly destroy the worth of their ARM Chromebooks as they stood.

Ok, so maybe that’s a bit dramatic, but this is still some good news. The HP Chromebook 11 is a fairly impressive, well built, and most importantly notebook that’s running the ever improving Chrome OS platform. Just because it’s been stuck with an ARM-based and not Intel-based processor shouldn’t mean that it’s any lesser of a citizen, so I’m definitely thankful Google has decided to stop beating around the bush here.

Google+’s Photo Editing abilities are based on software from the all important Snapseed acquisition that occurred about a year ago now. At the time we figured Google would be making some sort of social based Instagram competitor – little did we know what Google had in mind. Chromebook owners, goenjoy your photo editing! You’ve earned it.

Via: TheNextWeb
Source: Google+


Browse with caution

PSA: New Google Chrome update for iOS broke Incognito Mode




chrome-logo-1301044215If you’re one of the many iOS users who prefer using Google’s excellent Chrome browser on your iOS device, proceed with caution. According to various reports around the web and confirmed with my own iPad, Google’s latest version of Google Chrome, which was released just this week, has seemingly accidentally broken the browser’s private browsing Incognito Mode functionality.

Any site you visit while operating under Incognito Mode will still be saved to your browsing history, exactly as though Incognito Mode was disabled. Though the browser looks as though it’s functioning properly, displaying the proper Incognito Mode browser skin, all of your data will still go straight into your history for you and your love ones to look through, criticize, black mail, or humiliate you with.

Until Google offers a fix for this security flaw, we’d recommend sticking with Apple’s own Safari browser if private browsing is a big enough necessity to you. We won’t judge.

Via: 9to5Mac


Roping off Chrome Apps

Google introduces Chrome Apps, web applications with a native touch




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For the longest time, “Chrome applications” merely referred to shortcuts of web applications that really didn’t have a whole lot to do with Chrome. Built with the usual array of JS/HTML/CSS that websites have largely been built with since the inception of the web itself, Chrome applications were always “dumb” applications that could be used on Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari, you name it. All of that changes today as Google has announced the new Chrome Apps initiative.

Don’t let the name fool you, these new Chrome Apps share nothing with the prior crop of Chrome apps except for the name. While these new Chrome Apps can be built with all of those common web technologies you’re used to, they are also able to take advantage of “native” Chrome code to increase performance and functionality.

And because these apps are built using code propriety to Chrome, these new crops of Chrome Apps will be incompatible with other leading web browsers. Gone will be the days of using TweetDeck on IE, Firefox, and Safari – a future version of TweetDeck could very well take advantage of Chrome’s native code, meaning that you’ll need to use Chrome to access the app or bust.

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On the upside, these new applications will continue to be cross platform compatible, meaning you’ll have no problem running them on Windows, OS X, Linux, and yes – Chrome OS. Chrome OS is really the thing that gets the most benefit out of this, as developers will for the first time be able to develop things that are slightly more complex then the common web app for Google’s other platform.

Chrome Apps are available today on Windows and Chrome OS, while OS X users will have to wait a minimum of six weeks to see their update pushed through (though I’d keep an eye on the Canary/Developer streams for something resembling a sneak peak.) Chrome Apps will be able to run on separate processes than the main Chrome app, are not required to use Chrome’s window chrome, and can be pinned to the Taskbar/Start Screen/Dock just like normal native apps.

Are you excited for Google’s new breed of Chrome Apps? Ready for your web apps to get a whole lot smarter, or maybe just bummed at Google’s throwing aside of cross-browser compatibility? Let us know in the comments below!

Source: The Verge


They can even be read in plaintext

Chrome stores all your passwords in a place anyone can get to them




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Security people, take note: You can get all saved passwords in Google Chrome from the browser itself – and do you see that Show button up there? If you click that, you can see your password in plain text. All you have to do is go to chrome://settings/passwords.

So what if you have some mischievous friends over? They can copy your Facebook password, log in as you on their computer and wreak some havoc. Okay, that’s annoying, but what if your computer gets stolen? People often save things like their bank info in their auto-login systems; all the bad guys have to do is go to that Chrome address and – oh look, we have your bank account password in plain text!

What’s even worse is that Justin Schuch, head of Chrome Security, said that this is something that will never be fixed; his reasoning being that if you already have access to someone’s computer, you’re out of luck. On one hand, this is true but on the other hand, it should not be this easy to steal someone’s password.

Source: Elliott Kember, Hacker News
Via: Engadget


You blinked and you missed it

Google Chrome Canary builds already using Blink rendering engine




chrome-canary-blinkLast week a Google Chrome developer made note that Blink would be arriving in Google Chrome within 10 weeks; but no we know that the wait was significantly shorter for those of us who prefer to live life on the edge as Google’s latest version of Google Chrome Canary has officially became the first update of Google Chrome to run Google’s new Blink rendering engine, as evidenced by the browser’s version information screen above.

Google Chrome Canary, for those who don’t know, is Google’s “bleeding edge” developer snapshot of Google Chrome, only slightly less recent then the Chromium daily builds. If Google sticks to their traditional update path, the rendering engine should soon make its way to Google Chrome’s Dev channel release, then make its way to the Beta channel, and then finally see an official release in the Stable channel that mere mortals use.

For those who don’t know, “Blink” is the name for Google’s new rendering engine based on WebKit. Google announced that they would begin developing Blink last week to speed up development time of the Chrome browser.

Via: TheNextWeb


Chrome and Opera get in on the game

Google forks WebKit, announces new “Blink” rendering engine




chrome-logo-1301044215When Apple introduced their fork of KHTML to the world with the introduction of Safari back in 2003, it had huge implications on the web. That fork, which was – and is – called WebKit, and it has slowly become the default rendering engine for the majority of web users. Mobile browsers, Safari, Chrome, and dozens of applications in-between all use WebKit to this day – but soon we can cross at least one big name off that list, as Google has announced that they will cease using WebKit as the backend to Chrome and will for now on maintain their own fork of WebKit called Blink.

In the announcement, Google made it clear that the decision to develop a new rendering engine was not one that the company took lightly, saying:

This was not an easy decision. We know that the introduction of a new rendering engine can have significant implications for the web. Nevertheless, we believe that having multiple rendering engines—similar to having multiple browsers—will spur innovation and over time improve the health of the entire open web ecosystem.

Google explained that the decision also comes on the basis that Google will now be able to more rapidly make improvements to their Chrome browser.

Competitor Opera has also signed on to participate in Blink. Just last month Opera announced that their desktop web browser would switch from using their long standing Presto browser to WebKit. As it turns out, Opera will actually be using Blink as their new rendering engine.

Source: Blink


"Windows, how far is the Earth from the Sun?"

Google Now coming to Windows and ChromeOS




Latest builds of Chromium, Google’s open-source sister project to Google Chrome, reveals that the company has been working on bringing their highly praised Google Now feature, which debuted in Android last year in Android 4.1, to both Windows (via Google Chrome) and Google ChromeOS. For those who don’t know, Google Now has thus far been Android’s answer to the iPhone’s “Siri”, an intelligent voice activated feature that performs simple tasks – such as managing appointments, texting, and setting reminders – as well as answers a variety of questions. This will be the first time the feature has landed on another platform.

Interestingly, Apple has also long been rumored to be bringing Siri to OS X with the expected upcoming release of OS X 10.9.

Via: TechCrunch
Source: Chromium CodeReview