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Introducing Chrome for Android

February 10, 2012 · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Featured, Google 

, Chrome for Android Beta is focused on speed and simplicity, but it also features seamless sign-in and sync so you can take your personalized web browsing experience with you wherever you go, across devices.

Speed
With Chrome for Android, you can search, navigate and browse fast—Chrome fast. You can scroll through web pages as quickly as you can flick your finger. When searching, your top search results are loaded in the background as you type so pages appear instantly. And of course, both search and navigation can all be done quickly from the Chrome omnibox.

Simplicity
Chrome for Android is designed from the ground up for mobile devices. We reimagined tabs so they fit just as naturally on a small-screen phone as they do on a larger screen tablet. You can flip or swipe between an unlimited number of tabs using intuitive gestures, as if you’re holding a deck of cards in the palm of your hands, each one a new window to the web.


One of the biggest pains of mobile browsing is selecting the correct link out of several on a small-screen device. Link Preview does away with hunting and pecking for links on a web page by automatically zooming in on links to make selecting the precise one easier.

And as with Chrome on desktop, we built Chrome for Android with privacy in mind from the beginning, including incognito mode for private browsing and fine-grained privacy options (tap menu icon, ‘Settings,’ and then ‘Privacy’).




Sign in
You can now bring your personalized Chrome experience with you to your Android phone or tablet. If you sign in to Chrome on your Android device, you can:

  • § View open tabs: Access the tabs you left open on your computer (also signed into Chrome)—picking up exactly where you left off.
  • § Get smarter suggestions: If you visit a site often on your computer, you’ll also get an autocomplete suggestion for it on your mobile device, so you can spend less time typing.
  • § Sync bookmarks: Conveniently access your favorite sites no matter where you are or which device you’re using.


Chrome is now available in Beta from Android Market, in select countries and languages for phones and tablets with Android 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich. We’re eager to hear your feedback. Finally, we look forward to working closely with the developer community to create a better web on a platform that defines mobile.

Posted by Sundar Pichai, SVP, Chrome and Apps

(Cross-posted from the Chrome blog and on the Mobile blog)

Chrome’s Homepage Penalized for Paid Links

January 4, 2012 · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Featured, Google 

If you search for [google chrome], you’ll notice that Chrome’s homepage is no longer the top search result.

The explanation is that a video ad for Chrome was used in a lot of blog posts that promoted Chrome and one of the posts linked to Chrome’s homepage without using the nofollow attribute.

“Buying or selling links that pass PageRank is in violation of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines and can negatively impact a site’s ranking in search results,” explains a Google article.

Even though Google didn’t actually buy links, it’s strange to see that a Google Chrome campaign generated a lot of low-quality posts. Danny Sullivan says that “the bigger issue in this has always been the garbage content that was produced by the campaign, ‘thin’ material that Google has fought to keep out of its own search results. I’m still trying to understand how Google failed to understand that the marketing companies it engaged with would produce this.” Actually, the whole story is difficult to understand. “Google seems to have contracted with Essence Digital to have a video ad campaign be run across the web. Apparently, Google had no idea how Essence Digital was going to actually run the campaign or make the video ads appear across the web.”

A Google spokesperson says that the campaign wasn’t authorized by Google, but “Google should be held to a higher standard, so we have taken stricter action than we would against a typical site”. That’s the reason why Google “demoted www.google.com/chrome and lowered the site’s PageRank for a period of at least 60 days”. As Matt Cutts explains, “after that, someone on the Chrome side can submit a reconsideration request documenting their clean-up just like any other company would. During the 60 days, the PageRank of www.google.com/chrome will also be lowered to reflect the fact that we also won’t trust outgoing links from that page.”

Google already uses text ads for Chrome, sitelinks still point to the demoted page and the top result for [google chrome] is a Google page, so users will manage to find Chrome’s homepage, but it’s impressive to see that Google penalized one of the most important Google products because of a small mistake. After all, the videos used a DoubleClick redirect to link to Chrome’s homepage and only one of the posts linked directly to the page. That post has been removed by the blog author, so Google could have claimed that there were no paid links.

In 2009, Google Japan hired an Internet marketing company to promote one of its features. The company used paid posts and Google dropped the PageRank for Google Japan’s homepage from 9 to 5.

New Google Chrome Remote Desktop

October 10, 2011 · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Featured, Google 

Chrome Remote Desktop is a new Chrome extension that lets you remotely control a computer from your browser. It’s the first software that uses a technology code-named “chromoting” and it’s especially useful if you have a Chromebook.

The goal of this beta release is to demonstrate the core Chrome Remoting technology and get feedback from users. This version enables users to share with or get access to another computer by providing a one-time authentication code. Access is given only to the specific person the user identifies for one time only, and the sharing session is fully secured.

One potential use of this version is the remote IT helpdesk case. The helpdesk can use the Chrome Remote Desktop BETA to help another user, while conversely a user can receive help by setting up a sharing session without leaving their desk. Additional use cases such as being able to access your own computer remotely are coming soon.

Chrome Remote Desktop BETA is fully cross-platform, so you can connect any two computers that have a Chrome browser, including Windows, Linux, Mac and Chromebooks.

I’ve installed the extension on a Dell laptop that runs Windows 7 and on a Samsung Chromebook. The extension has more than 17 MB, so you have to wait a little bit until it’s downloaded and installed. After installing the extension on my Dell laptop, I clicked the new icon from the new tab page and Chrome Remote Desktop asked me to “grant extended access permissions” to my computer.


Chrome Remote Desktop is a special extension because it can be used to control your computer. It’s interesting that the extension uses Google Talk’s technology to send messages.



When you decide to share your computer, Remote Desktop generates a code you need to enter on a second computer.


Here’s what happens after installing the extension on my Chromebook:



The performance is pretty good, but it depends on your Internet connection and the computers you’re using. The extension is especially useful for businesses and it will make Chromebooks even more attractive for companies.

{ Thanks, Venkat. }

Google Redirects Some Chrome Users to the Encrypted Search Interface

September 11, 2011 · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Featured, Google 

Google’s encrypted version has all the features of the standard version and Google could redirect users to the more secure interface. You can now search images, use Google Instant, Instant Preview and other features that were missing from Google SSL. The navigation links are still missing and Google Maps doesn’t support SSL yet.

A Google employee says that Google is “running an experiment with some percentage of Chrome 14 users where we send them to SSL search. The experience is meant to be completely comparable feature-wise to non-SSL search. It is independent of the Chrome 14 installation.” So if you’re using Chrome 14 Beta, you might be redirected to Google SSL.



“With Google search over SSL, you can have an end-to-end encrypted search solution between your computer and Google. This secured channel helps protect your search terms and your search results pages from being intercepted by a third party. This provides you with a more secure and private search experience,” explains Google. An important downside is the loss of performance, but Chrome uses SPDY for all Google URLs, so SSL pages load a lot faster.

{ Thanks, Libran Lover. }

A Chrome Extension for YouTube Activity Feeds

December 24, 2010 · 1 Comment
Filed under: Featured, Google, YouTube 

Slave Jovanovski, an engineer at YouTube, has put together a Google Chrome extension that should be of interest to the YouTube API community. It’s called
YouTube Feed, and after installing and authenticating with your YouTube account,
it automatically will fetch your YouTube social activity stream (both
subscriptions and friends’ actions) while you use Google Chrome. When a new
event, like a YouTube friend uploading or commenting on a video, takes place,
the extension will notify you and provide details on the activity, as well as
links to view the actual video. You have control over which types of activities
you’d like to be notified about, as well as how frequently you’d like the
extension to check for updates.

While you’ll hopefully find the extension useful on its own merits,
the fact that the source code has been released as part of an open source project means that the extension’s code can serve as inspiration (or a
jumping off point) for writing your own JavaScript code that interacts with the
YouTube API. Curious as to how to use OAuth to authenticate YouTube accounts
from a Chrome Extension? Or request JSON data with a JavaScript callback? The
answers await you in the source code!

Cheers,
–Jeff Posnick, YouTube API Team

Chrome 9 Sandboxes Flash and Adds WebGL Support

December 17, 2010 · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Featured, Google, Technology News 

Google Chrome 9 beta is now available and, unlike the previous two versions, it comes with a lot of new features.

The built-in Adobe Flash plugin is now sandboxed, just like Chrome extensions and tabs. “The sandbox adds an additional layer of protection to further guard against malicious pages that try to hijack your computer or steal private information from your hard drive. Based on this groundwork in the beta, we’ll be bringing the sandboxed Flash Player to Chrome for Mac and Linux in future releases as well,” explains Google. Right now, the sandboxed Flash plugin is only available if you use Windows.

Google Chrome 9 enables WebGL support by default. “WebGL is a new web technology that brings hardware-accelerated 3D graphics to the browser without installing additional software” and it can be used to create cool applications like Google Body Browser, Field, Aquarium and more.


Chrome doesn’t have many opt-in features. The latest feature that’s not enabled by default is Instant Search, an extension of Google Instant that previews search results as you type and lets navigate to your favorite pages with only a few keystrokes. It might be useful to go to Gmail by just typing “m” in the address bar, but this feature could also be annoying if you actually wanted to visit miniclip.com. “The Instant feature can help you search and browse faster on the web by showing search results and webpages in the browser window as you type in the address bar, even before you press Enter. If you don’t see the results you want, just keep typing and the results dynamically update,” informs Google.

To enable Chrome Instant, go to Options > Basic and check “Enable Instant for faster searching and browsing”.


Chrome Instant is not just annoying, it’s also buggy. For example, Chrome’s suggestions sometimes cover Google’s first results.


Another new feature is the integration with Google Cloud Print, but there are no web apps or mobile applications that support this technology.

If you want to hide the button added by a Chrome extension, you can do it by right-clicking on the button and selecting “Hide button”. When you change your mind, go to Tools > Extensions and click on “Show button” next to the corresponding extension.

You can now create desktop shortcuts to your favorite web apps from the new tab page and open web apps in a new window.

To install Chrome 9 beta, visit this page. If you use Chrome 8 beta, open the About dialog to manually update.

A curious guide to browsers and the web

November 30, 2010 · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Featured, Google 

Twenty years ago this month, Tim Berners-Lee published his proposal for the World Wide Web. Today, the web is an explosion of pages and apps teeming with videos, photos and interactive content. These powerful new web experiences—such as “The Wilderness Downtown,” our HTML5 collaboration with the band Arcade Fire—are possible thanks to cutting-edge web technologies that bring all this content to life in the modern browser.

But how do browsers and the web actually work? What is HTML5—or HTML, for that matter? What do terms like “cookies” or “cloud computing” even mean? More practically, how can we keep ourselves safe from security threats like viruses when we’re online?

To help answer these questions, we collaborated with the wonderful illustrator Christoph Niemann to publish an online guidebook called “20 Things I Learned about Browsers and the Web.” This handy guide is for those of us who’d like to better understand the technologies we use every day.


“20 Things” is written by the Chrome team, and continues our tradition of finding new ways to help explain complex but fascinating ideas about technology. Many of the examples used to illustrate the features of the browser refer back to Chrome.

We built “20 Things” in HTML5 so that we could incorporate features that hearken back to what we love about books—feeling the heft of a book’s cover, flipping a page or even reading under the covers with a flashlight. In fact, once you’ve loaded “20 Things” in the browser, you can disconnect your laptop and continue reading, since this guidebook works offline. As such, this illustrated guidebook is best experienced in Chrome or any up-to-date, HTML5-compliant modern browser.

For things you’ve always wanted to know about the web and browsers but may have been afraid to ask, read on at www.20thingsilearned.com (or, you can use the handy shortened URL at goo.gl/20things). If you find “20 Things” informative, don’t forget to share it with your friends and family!

Posted by Min Li Chan, Product Marketing Manager, Google Chrome

Chrome Extension for Google OS Blog

September 1, 2010 · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Featured, Google 

Jay Wang developed a Google Chrome extension for this blog. The extension lets you read all the posts, it keeps track of the posts you’ve read and it notifies you when there’s a new post. The search feature lets you find posts from this blog and from Google’s official blogs.


Jay Wang’s extension is a great combination between Firefox’s live bookmarks and Google Reader, so it might eventually be used to subscribe to any site.

{ Thanks, Jay. }

Google: Use Chrome like a pro

July 16, 2010 · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Featured, Google 

We’re proud of the Chrome browser and the great extensions that its developer community has created, and we hope you enjoy them! They can all be found at chrome.google.com/extensions.

  • Opinion Cloud: Summarizes comments on YouTube videos and Flickr photos to provide an overview of the crowd’s overall opinion.
  • Google Voice: All sorts of helpful Voice features directly from the browser. See how many messages you have, initiate calls and texts, or call numbers on a site by clicking on them.
  • AutoPager. Automatically loads the next page of a site. You can just scroll down instead of having to click to the next page.
  • Turn Off the Lights: Fades the page to improve the video-watching experience.
  • Google Dictionary: Double-click any word to see its definition, or click on the icon in the address bar to look up any word.
  • After the Deadline: Checks spelling, style, and grammar on your emails, blog, tweets, etc.
  • Invisible Hand: Does a quick price check and lets you know if the product you are looking at is available at a lower price elsewhere.
  • Secbrowsing: Checks that your plug-ins (e.g. Java, Flash) are up to date.
  • Tineye: Image search utility to find exact matches (including cropped, edited, or re-sized images).
  • Slideshow: Turns photo sites such as Flickr, Picasa, Facebook, and Google Images into slideshows.
  • Google Docs/PDF Viewer: Automatically previews pdfs, powerpoint presentations, and other documents in Google Docs Viewer.
  • Readability: Reformat the page into a single column of text.
  • Chromed Bird: A nice Twitter viewing extension.
  • Feedsquares: Cool way of viewing your feeds via Google Reader.
  • ScribeFire: Full-featured blog editor that lets you easily post to any of your blogs.
  • Note Anywhere: Digital post-it notes that can be pasted and saved on any webpage.
  • Instant Messaging Notifier: IM on multiple clients.
  • Remember the Milk: The popular to-do app.
  • Extension.fm: Turns the web into a music library.

Posted by Jonathan Rosenberg

Opera, Safari Beat Chrome On Google’s Own JavaScript Conformance Test

Back in June, Google launched Sputnik, a suite of tools that runs over 5,000 tests to check a web browser’s JavaScript conformance. Last week, they made the tool a lot easier for anyone to use, with a version that works in the web browser. The results are interesting.

Opera, Safari Beat Chrome

Notably, both the Opera and Safari web browsers beat Google’s own Chrome browser in the test. As you can see in the picture above, Opera is the clear leader, with only 78 failures (the closer to the center, the less errors). Safari came in second with 159 errors, with Chrome in third with 218 errors. Firefox is close behind with 259 errors, while Internet Explorer is the outlier with 463 errors.

These tests were run on Windows machines, with the latest released version of each browser. Using the web tool on my Mac, though, shows similar results (at least for Opera, Chrome, Safari, and Firefox — there is no IE for Mac anymore).

While much of the focus on JavaScript is about speed (that’s what the SunSpider test measures, for example), Sputnik is interesting because it focuses on conformity, making it more like the Acid3 test, which tests web standards compliance. Chrome, Safari, and Opera have all passed Acid3, with Firefox getting very close (94/100 for Firefox 3.6). IE, meanwhile, again lags behind with just 20/100 for IE8. And even the new IE9 preview only scores 55/100.

Speaking of IE9, I tried to run the Sputnik tool in the preview build of the new browser on Windows 7. Unfortunately, it completely shut down several times after getting up to about 50 failures after only a few hundred of the 5,000+ tests — not a good sign. But again, it’s just a very early preview release of the browser, and early SunSpider results for the browser have been good.

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