Improved support for photo cropping is coming to the Chrome OS Gallery and Image Editor in the near future.
Free-form cropping of images is already supported in the Chrome image viewer but, right now, it’s not currently possible to select a predefined ratio (e.g., 1:1, 4:3, etc.) or constrain the proportions of a free-form crop.
Users coming from other apps on other operating systems often expect to be able to constrain the proportions of a crop rectangle when holding down a modifier key, such as Shift. It’s a feature of many photo editing applications, including Photoshop, Pixelmator and GIMP. Maintaining consistency in expected behavior is always a plus.
Later this year, Google will update Chromecast so that anyone can choose and control the content being streamed through the device – even if they’re not on the same Wi-Fi network as the tiny dongle.
In short, Chromecast owners will have the option to authenticate nearby users. This means that if a person is on a cellular network – either because they can’t be bothered to type in a Wi-Fi password, or because you just don’t trust them with it – they can still control the Chromecast connected to your TV.
Google is also introducing a new feature called Backdrop, which lets you contribute photos to the default slideshow that appears on your TV. It’s a neat trick that should make the Chromecast feel more personal and welcoming. Google will offer curated topics too; images based on the news, lifestyle, specific places and what’s trending on its Google+ service, for instance.
If you want to quickly open Gmail’s address book, you can bookmark google.com/contacts or type the URL in the address bar. Another option is to add a shortcut to the standalone Google Contacts page in Google’s app launcher:
1. go to google.com/contacts and sign in
2. click the app launcher icon
3. click “add a shortcut” next to the Contacts icon
4. you can move the icon using drag and drop
You can add similar shortcuts for other Google services: Google Keep, Google Sites, Google Groups, Google Play Music, Webmaster Tools, Patent Search, Google Voice.
Google is also planning to launch an accompanying Google My Business app for Android and iOS. This will allow businesses to manage their information on the go, although the company wouldn’t say when to expect a launch other than “soon.” Update: Google tells us the Android app will be launching later today; you can grab it now from Google Play.
We do know, however, how it will look like on Android:
You’ve been asking us when the next round of updates were coming. Well, they’re coming later this week! We know it’s been a little while, but this is a big one and we think it’s well worth the wait. Here’s what you’ll find in the new release:
Kit Kat for Glass – Our most exciting update is subtle, but big. We’ve been working on a significant upgrade to a new version of the Glass software. It’s not a change you can see, but it brings improved battery life and makes Glass more reliable and easier to update in the future. And now that Glass runs Android Kit Kat, developers can write Glassware using the latest Android SDK goodness, along with new features from our GDK.
Photo bundles – This one has been a long-standing request from our Explorers: now when you scroll through your timeline, your photos, videos and vignettes from each day will be organized in bundles so that you can swipe less and see more.
Photo replies in Hangouts – Photo sharing has been really popular amongst our Explorers, so we’ve added new ways to send photos in Hangout messages. The next time someone asks “what’s up,” tap “Reply” and then take a photo to show them. (If you already took the perfect photo, you can still tap to “Send” it in a Hangout message.)
Sending feedback – We always want to hear feedback from you on ways we can make Glass better so we’re making it even easier. Tap on the device info card in Settings and tell us what’s on your mind. If you need help, you can still send us an email, call us, or post in the Explorers Community.
Voice command sorting – With new features and Glassware, your voice command menu has grown pretty long. When you tap or say “ok glass,” voice commands are now sorted by recency and frequency, making it easier to see the commands you use most often and faster to access them from the touch menu.
Video calls – We hold ourselves to high standards for the features that we build, and video calls aren’t living up to these standards. Explorers have told us so directly, and fewer than 10% of them use video calls. For this reason, we’ve made the hard decision to remove video calls from Glass until the experience is better. We don’t know when that will be, but in the meantime, keep an eye on MyGlass as more Glassware is built and released – we’re already seeing the developer community work on other video streaming services. We’ve always said that feedback from Explorers shapes Glass, and this is no exception.
…and more – This is a massive update and we couldn’t fit all the changes into this post, so watch the Glass Journal in the Explorers Community to see the rest.
The NEW update to 2.0.15007.9964 brings two small features to the app. The Google Wallet app will now automatically track your online orders and notify you when they have shipped. Also, you can now view your order history all in one place providing information on when the order was placed and when the item was delivered. If you click on one of the transactions you are given even more information. These are great additions to an already great app.
iPhone (and now, iPad) users should soon be getting a significant overhaul for their Hangouts apps, including the unusual iOS-first launch of two major features: stickers and short video messages.
One of the most significant additions is “Stickers,” large animated emoticons which take up an entire message and include backgrounds. They look very similar to the Moods you’ve seen in your Google+ stream, which can be attached to posts from the Google+ app, but there are a lot more of them. Confusingly, these are different from the moods in Hangouts, which display regular emoticons next to your profile picture for a period of time.
Stickers are probably a response to the popular Facebook Messenger feature, which was in turn a response to the same service in LINE, a massively successful messaging app from Japan. What with Facebook’s recent purchase of WhatsApp, a product Google was apparently very interested in, it seems Google is going to make sure Hangouts is as appealing and fully-featured as possible.
Right now, Stickers for Hangouts are much more limited than their older counterparts: in total they comprise what would be just one set out of dozens in LINE and Facebook Messenger. In both of those apps, each set uses a strikingly different set of themes, styles, and characters, including famous brands like Pusheen and Vocaloid. Sets can be downloaded separately in a Sticker Store, allowing some of them to premium in-app purchases at around $2 each.
For better or for worse, Hangouts has started with a smaller set of more generic, pre-installed moods which do a good job at conveying emotion but lack the nuance and charm of a dragon riding a bus or a roll of toilet paper with a face on it. Hangouts could open up a Sticker Store of its own, but considering Google’s recent moves to deeply integrate their emoticons with other products like Google+, Android, and even Chrome, my guess is that they’ll opt for simplicity.
With the app update you’ll also be able to record 10-second videos and send them to everyone in a Hangout, all from within the app. Considering the viral success short videos have seen from mobile apps like Vine and Snapchat, not to mention WhatsApp, this will probably become a widely-used feature on a lot of platforms. This 10-second default for quick videos first appeared in Google Glass, one of the platforms which will hopefully get this update soon.
It’s worth mentioning that these videos are saved to albums associated with each Hangout (like photos already are) and don’t go away once they’re viewed.
A Fresh New Look
The app has been completely redesigned to be consistent with iOS 7’s flat design, compatible with iPads, and generally much more beautiful. There are many more ways to swipe and tap you way around the app. You can switch accounts, view contact information, share your location, and video chat with your friends using the more modern picture-in-picture layout seen on Hangouts for desktop. Favoriting conversations for easy access is another minor but useful iOS-exclusive.
All in all, this is one powerful messaging service: group IM, group video calls, emoticons, moods, device sharing, read receipts, archives, photo sharing, video sharing, location sharing, snooze, and favoriting, all for free. It’s clear that Google has been heavily invested in messaging ever since Hangouts merged most of Google’s chat services at I/O less than a year ago. If Google follows through on the hotly-anticipated integration of their final outlying communications service, Voice, their Google+ and Hangouts platforms will be technically capable of delivering virtually all forms of messaging.
If you haven’t yet checked out Hangouts for iOS yet, make sure you hit the download link under the source at the bottom of the article and let us know what you think.
Why is iOS getting these features first? When will it be everywhere else?
There probably isn’t any conspiracy theory here, Android fans. The announcement was made by a member of the Google+ for iOS team, which is one of several groups of Googlers who work on iOS apps separately from engineers on Google’s own platforms. It’s likely the app overhaul was in progress for a long time, and these new features fit in perfectly with the update’s time frame. Because Hangouts for Android and Chrome is developed by a different set of people, it’s hard to say exactly when this update will roll out to all users, but it probably won’t be much of a wait. Sit tight!
People who have multiple profiles using Chrome OS can attest to the inconvenience that comes up when you are logged-in as one profile and need to switch over to another one just for a moment; and then switch back. It required logging out of one profile, logging in to another; emailing the info that you need; sharing a file via Google Drive or placing the item into a flash drive; then logging out of that profile and logging back into the first profile where you need the info. Even if you have a NEW lighting fast Chromebook, the process can still be tedious. With a NEW flag that was introduced into the Chrome OS Dev channel, it is now possible to log into multiple profiles as needed without logging out.
* At the time of the writing this article, I was not able to see how to ‘sign out’ of one of the profiles once you are logged into two or more. The only option that I could find was ‘Sign Out all’.
To login to another account, click on your profile shown in the menu. You will then see a drop-down that says ‘Sign in another account’. When you choose that option, you are presented with a small banner advising you of the risks of being logged in and no longer needing a password to access your accounts while in that open session. When you click-through that message, you then are given a screen with the accounts currently available to you on your Chrome OS device that you can login to. Once you successfully login into another profile, in the bottom right corner you will see the icons of the profiles that you are currently logged in as. You change between the two different profiles by clicking on the icons. You can also switch between them in the menu.
#google #googleplusdaily #chromeosupdate #kofc
It’s been almost four months since support for Folders in the Chrome App Launcher was formally confirmed by Google developers in a bug report.
With Aura now enabled in the stable builds of Google Chrome on Windows, and due to land on Linux in the next month or so, we’re edging closer to the arrival of this long-awaited feature that will allow us to:
- Add (and remove) apps to Folders
- Name (and rename) folders
- Sync Folder settings
But how’s the feature coming along since our last hands on preview of it back in November of last year?
What a great news! Google Drive file/folder creation is now possible in the Files App even when we’re offline in the last Dev update,
François Beaufort said on his Google Plus post today. Here is the official crbug.
So next time you are offline, go ahead and create files or folders on your Google Drive and it will automatically be synced to your cloud storage on Google Drive next time you connect to the internet.
That’s one more item off the offline feature wishlist for Chrome OS. What is next in your list? ( Story via Chrome Story )
Don’t like the Chrome OS music player? Google is working on improving it. The latest Chrome OS Dev update brings a much better-looking music player, as well as more functional.
The new player comes with a new design and extra functionality. Shuffle, repeat and volume are added to the interface, making it much easier to play your music from the Files app.
How to activate the new player
Like most new features in Chrome OS Dev, the music won’t be automatically enabled. You will have to go into the flags and enable it yourself.
- Go to the chrome://flags/#enable-new-audio-player flag.
- Toggle and enable the flag.
- You are ready to go!
It’s a very easy process, so you should be able to test it in a few seconds if you want! Just remember, you have to be using Chrome OS Dev.
Enjoy! ( Story via Chrome Spot )
JP Morgan analyst Mark Moskowitz says Apple may be preparing to release a platform he dubs ‘iAnywhere’ that would let you dock your iOS device into a display turning it into a full blown desktop computer.
“While not a new idea, our global tech research team believes Apple could be on the cusp of introducing a new category with iAnywhere, a converged MacOS-iOS operating system that allows an iPhone or iPad to dock into a specially configured display to run as a computer,” Moskowitz said. “In our view, this category would be a leapfrog event, potentially jumpstarting iPhone and iPad growth as well as peripherals and cloud-based software and services sales.”
It’s said that Apple could introduce ‘iAnywhere’ within 12 to 18 months.
What do you think about this concept? Would you want to be able to connect your iDevice to a new cinema display and have it function similar to a Mac? Let us know in the comments.
Minor improvements are on the way to the ‘Ok Google’ voice search feature in Chrome OS.
The latest Canary builds of Google’s web-centric operating system features support for opening applications and launching websites directly using voice commands alone.
Canary channel ninja Will Greene, who told us about the changes by e-mail, reports that he was able to open ‘Google Keep’, ‘Files’ and ‘Get Help’ by name after trigging the voice search feature in the App Launcher using the ‘Ok Google’ hot word.
Similarly, Greene says adding a ‘.com’ suffix to a voiced search term will open the relevant website directly, rather than, as now, returning a list of search results.
For example, to launch this site one would only need to open the App Launcher, say ‘Ok Google’ to trigger voice search, then speak ‘omgchrome dot com‘.
It’s not yet know precisely when — or if — these changes will filter down to Dev builds of Chrome OS. But, with recent builds of Chromium on the desktop enabling ‘Ok Google‘ support to the Chrome omnibar, it’s clear that integrating voice search into Chrome ranks highly on Google’s list of priorities for right now.
What is Chromoting?
It has been a while since we discussed Chromoting, so let me start with a brief intro for those who are reading about it for the first time:
Chrome Remote Desktop is a Chrome app that lets you remotely access other computers from Chrome. Administrators can control their users’ access to Chrome Remote Desktop in several ways.
There is a Chrome extension available already and Google is preparing an Android app for this, which I have already tested. Now, to the iOS app.
While it seems likely that Apple is intending to eventually establish iBeacon as a wireless electronic wallet system, rather than the existing NFC system commonly used in parts of Europe and Asia, apatent filing published today incorporates both protocols. It also allows for other forms of Bluetooth payment.
The secure payment system Apple describes would work in much the same way as the chip-and-PIN cards which are well-established in Europe. Instead of transmitting your actual card details to the payment terminal, the card details are used to generate an encrypted code which is sent instead. The terminal is able to validate the code and identify the account without ever having access to the card details themselves.
As we always note with patent stories, Apple patents huge numbers of things, most of which never make it into products. But while Apple is adopting its usual wait-and-see policy where new technologies are concerned, the question of using iPhones for payment is almost certainly when andhow rather than if.
Google Now cards are available in the latest Chrome Canary build for Windows and Mac (34.0.1788). You only need to go to chrome://flags/#enable-google-now , then switch from “Default” to “Enabled” and click “Relaunch Now” at the bottom of the page to restart the browser. Chrome Canary and the stable Chrome can run at the same time, but the Canary version is updated daily, has the latest features and it’s for developers and early adopters. ( more on this article… )
Did you know that Chrome OS has a hidden Canary Channel setting? Until recently, neither did I.
Much like the desktop browser version, Canary mode contains the latest development changes, new features and interface tweaks.
But, unlike the desktop version that can be run safely alongside regular stable Chrome, there is a good reason why it is hidden on Chrome OS: it’s buggier than a swamp full of rotting meat.
Crashes, half-implemented features, and a general lack of polish on UI changes; unexpected hardware issues, broken external monitor support and runaway resource-hungry processes are all scenarios that Chrome OS Canary can throw up.
Sounds like a nightmare. If, despite the potential for headaches, you do want to enable Canary mode you can. The awesome Kenny Strawn has detailed the entire switching process on his blog – from enabling developer mode to accessing the command-line prompt needed to issue the update edict.
But be warned: this is not a procedure to be carried out by the curious or inexperienced and there is no easy way to revert back to a stable build after updating.
Story courtesy of OMGChrome
With the latest Picasa program for Windows, Picasa now includes Google+ Auto Backup for the Desktop. I haven’t sign-in yet to the Picasa app but this morning I was presented with small sign-in window called Google+ Auto Backup asking me to log-in to my Google account. The instructions are pretty straight forward and very easy. If you have m multiple Google accounts associated with you then you are prompted on which account you want to log into and move forward.
You are then presented with a Google+ Auto Backup menu which asks which devices and folders do you want to sync with Google+. You have the photo size options on whether you want to upload full-size images or standard size. Then you click ‘Start backup’. Then a browser window opens indicating that the Auto Backup process has began and provides you info about the task manager icon and options and so on.
Even though it required installing Picasa even though I probably won’t use the desktop version, this is a great way to get images from multiple devices and/or locations and place them in your Google+ Photo Albums. You can place them in Google Drive and have your Google Drive images showing in your Google + Albums, but then they aren’t exactly organized the way you want them. They are just visible to you from another folder. Anyway this is a great step forward I think in Google helping us organize our images and albums just like the way we are able to with Picasa.
A couple of days after Google started inviting Glass Explorers to upgrade to the second generation model, Google employee Brian Matiash posted photos showing Glass mounted on a pair of prescription glasses – then later removed them. You’d have thought Google of all companies would know you can’t erase things from the Internet …
It appears that the modified Glass unit has a slot in the top into which the glasses are fitted. It looks from the photos like quite a few designs of prescription glasses and sunglasses would be compatible with the unit.
Roll-out of Glass Explorer program is very gradually expanding, with existing Explorers recently invited to buy Glass for a friend after previously being given three invitations to pass on back in September.
Second photo of the prescription glass model below …
Just a day after Google launched a physical card to allow you to more easily withdraw cash and spend your Google Wallet balance, the company has released an update to the Android appallowing you to add additional cards just by photographing them. Add a credit/debit card just by taking a picture. Both the number and expiration date will be captured automatically … ( Story by 9to5 Google )
Your Chromebooks will soon get the magical “OK Google” voice command, just like the Android brotherhood.
So saying something like “Ok Google, find a bakery near me” will list suggestions for “find a bakery near me” – in this case just a normal Google Search.
How to activate “OK Google” in a Chromebook
As mentioned above, be sure to be on the Chrome OS Dev channel.
Enable the experimental app launcher start page flag – chrome://flags/#enable-app-launcher-start-page.
Yes, Chromebooks (Chrome OS) now has the ability to initiate a search when you say “OK Google”.
Google has added a “voice recognizer plugin” to make this feature work offline too. So, even when you are offline, you can get things (that do not need a connection) done using this command.
François Beaufort, of Google mentions this should just be the beginning. Right now you can only search, but eventually Google should optimize voice actions to work system-wide (much like with Android). Ideally, this will turn into a Google Now variant for the Chromebook. It will probably be able to perform actions like “Open Gmail”, “Open Google Play Music” and more.
Possibilities are limitless François says. This feature is just in its early stages, so we will soon see pretty useful things coming our way.
You can imagine the potential with this type of feature.
With the Google website already supporting more complex voice searches and Google Now features slowly creeping into Chrome itself, it’s only a matter of time before “Ok Google” becomes the fastest – and best – way to search on your Chromebook.
Google Wallet users in the US can now get a physical card from Google. It’s free, but you need to verify your identity, which means you’ll have to provide more information to Google: the last four digits of Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) and more.
“The Google Wallet Card is a physical prepaid debit card that allows you to access your Wallet Balance in the real world, at ATMs, banks, and wherever MasterCard® Debit is accepted. If you’re in the US, and you have already verified your identity, you can request a Wallet Card from the desktop site at wallet.google.com, or from the mobile app. Once you receive and activate it, you’ll be able to pay with the Wallet Card at online and physical stores that accept MasterCard® Debit, and make cash withdrawals at ATMs or banks.”
#google #googlewallet #googlewalletcard
You can now see your friends’ device and mood statuses in Hangouts on the desktop.
The feature, introduced in the latest version of Hangouts for Android and iOS allows you to express your mood in the form of emoji, as well as letting people know what device you’re currently using, such as a laptop, phone or tablet.
The feature remained absent for desktop Hangouts, that is until today. The update should be rolling out to everyone now, but works slightly differently to the mobile apps.
#google+ #google+hangouts #google+ios #google+android
Google today announced it’s adding a handy new feature to its Google Flight Search tool that allows users to find and book flights. Now, when viewing a flight on Google Flight Search on the web or your mobile device, you’ll be able to hit a small star icon that will save your flight to a “Save Flights” section. More on this article
#googleflightsearch #googlesearch #googlenow
Google Chrome Beta for Android has been updated…
Google Chrome for all iOS devices has been updated to 29.0.1547.11
A new breed of Chrome Apps
Google Editor’s note: Today marks the 5th birthday of Chrome, a project we started to push the web platform forward. From a humble beginning of static text, images and links, the web has grown into a rich platform teeming with interactive content and powerful applications. We’ve been astounded by how far the web has come and are very excited to see what developers around the world will be able to do with the new generation of Chrome Apps.
Today we’re unveiling a new kind of Chrome App, which brings together the speed, security and flexibility of the modern web with the powerful functionality previously only available with software installed on your devices. (Think apps designed for your desktop or laptop, just like the ones for your phone and tablet.) These apps are more powerful than before, and can help you get work done, play games in full-screen and create cool content all from the web. If you’re using Windows or a Chromebook, you can check them out in the “For your desktop” collection in the Chrome Web Store (Mac & Linux coming soon).
Here’s what you can expect with new Chrome Apps:
- Work offline: Keep working or playing, even when you don’t have an internet connection.
- More app, less Chrome: No tabs, buttons or text boxes mean you can get into the app without being distracted by the rest of the web.
- Connect to the cloud: Access and save the documents, photos and videos on your hard drive as well as on Google Drive and other web services.
- Stay up-to-speed: With desktop notifications, you can get reminders, updates and even take action, right from the notification center.
- Play nice with your connected devices: Interact with your USB, Bluetooth and other devices connected to your desktop, including digital cameras.
- Keep updated automatically: Apps update silently, so you always get all the latest features and security fixes (unless permissions change).
- Pick up where you left off: Chrome syncs your apps to any desktop device you sign in to, so you can keep working.
- Sleep easier: Chrome apps take advantage of Chrome’s built-in security features such asSandboxing. They also auto-update to make sure you have all the latest security fixes. No extra software (or worrying) required.
- Launch apps directly from your desktop: To make it quicker and easier to get to your favorite apps, we’re also introducing the Chrome App Launcher for Windows, which will appear when you install your first new Chrome App. It lives in your taskbar and launches your apps into their own windows, outside of Chrome, just like your desktop apps. Have lots of apps? Navigate to your favorite apps using the search box.