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.
This morning while running last night’s Chromium build, I launched the browser, and with ‘Rich Notification’ extension active beforehand, a flood of notifications started popping up and cycling through in the bottom corner. No images showed up like they do for Gmail or Google Voice text messages, but exciting to say the least!
We have been hearing rumors about Android’s Google Now coming to Chrome, but today we have some solid evidence of the service’s existence. Google Now has shown up as an experimental feature in Google Chrome Canary!
Seems like there is a lot going on about notifications on Chrome and Chrome OS. What’s special? Oh wait! I know why!. Google Now is getting ready for Chrome and Chrome OS. Latest update to the Google Voice Chrome extension has added support for Desktop notifications. This feature however is experimental according to the team, and can be disabled from the options menu for the extension.
François Beaufort, known for uncovering the latest changes coming in Chrome and Chrome OS, has recently been hired by Google. We have a chat with him about his work with Chromium and his new roles within Google.
François has been posting code commits and new features coming to the Chrome browser and Chrome OS for over a year now, the self-titled “happiness evangelist”.
His work has uncovered news about Google Now coming to desktop, the codename for the Chromebook Pixel and the Chrome OS Notification Centre. His work has caught the attention of many popular news outlets, and his Google+ profile has over 13,000 followers.
Google just added a new extension for users from Russia which makes the new tab page more useful. The new design has the most used tabs, headlines from Google News Russia, current weather, and links to some Chrome apps (not from your apps menu).
The extension can be installed from here, even if you are not in Russia. I could install this on my Chromebook and it is working fine, except for the Russian language which obviously do not understand.
The first thing on this page is Google logo, and then the Google search box. This probably will display Google Doogles whenever there is one on the Google.ru page.
If there is a Chrome-related leak rolling around the internet, you can be almost sure popular developer François Beaufort is somehow related to it. The Chrome OS fan base has been blessed by his many contributions to the community. He has given us info on the Chromebook Pixel, the rumored Google “Babble” project and many more Chrome-related topics. But this may end soon, as the Google+ personality has gone under Google’s wing.
François Beaufort is now the new open-source Chromium Evangelist, and will be working closely with Google’s new and upcoming projects. We are proud of him and very glad he has found a spot where he seems to be happy, but we are also a bit sad about what may be coming.
Working with Google, Beaufort will not have the same freedom he has always had. He promises there is a lot more content to come, but we are sure he will have to answer to Mountain View if he leaks something he shouldn’t. At the very least, his leaks will be limited and come less frequently. I guess we will simply have to dig in deeper!
Have you ever been restricted from using a website because you use Chrome? Do you want to test to see what your mobile site looks like on your desktop? All is possible with the User-Agent Switcher Extension.
Even in 2013, many website still require you to use Internet Explorer to access them. However, most of these websites will still function correctly in Chrome. So how do you get past these restrictions?
The file manager on your Chromebook or Chromebox is almost similar to the normal windows or OSX file explorer you are used to. However, there are certain features that makes it stand out. In this article, I will introduce you to the file manager, its major features, and how to use it.
Somewhere between Chrome 25 (beta) and Chrome 26 (dev), the browser’s menu got bigger. It’s now optimized for touch interfaces even if you’re using a non-touch computer. I’ve checked the height of the menu and it’s now 580 pixels, instead of 420 pixels. That’s a 38% increase and it makes the interface more difficult to use for mouse users.
When Chrome first launched back in 2008, we realized that a lot of people didn’t know what a web browser was, much less which version they were using. They also didn’t know that you could choose to use a different browser. To help people learn about the importance of browser choice, we introduced whatbrowser.org, a simple site that answers the question, “What browser am I using, and why does it matter?”
Google Chrome’s new multi profile set up got a touch of avatar love today ( avatar as in profile picture btw ). It will now show your profile picture on the top left corner ( not sure if it is final ) instead of showing the email address of your profile.
It’s a small change but makes a lot of difference when it comes to the visual appeal of Chrome. It looks way better than my email address showing up there !
The file browser ( the normal windows to move around and access your locally saved files and folder ) was something that really needed some work on Chrome OS. This has started behaving more like a normal life file browser now ! You have previews of files when you select them, on the right hand side, and you have an option to change to thumbnail view.
Google Chrome is one of the best browsers available today and with the Chrome Sync feature, it allows you to easily sync all your bookmarks, passwords, extensions, themes and auto-fill across multiple browsers. Chrome Sync is definitely a good option, however, users still face a problem if they want to have separate profiles for work and home.
Just like the Chrome browser, it has long been Google’s goal for Chrome OS to have a Stable, Beta and Dev channel for feature iteration. In a move that signifies a closer move to a Chrome OS release, there now is a Stable Channel. You can find this on the latest builds of Chromium OS by going to the about section under the wrench.