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Chrome Beta 47 Can Show Splash Screens For Web Apps Launched From The Home Screen, Display A Snackbar When Downloads Are Complete, And More

Browsers are a core part of the mobile phone experience, but I don't find them particularly exciting. I do with my browser largely what I did ten years ago: open it up, go to a URL, and scroll through the page that appears. I don't really use bookmarks or search predictions, though combining the search and location bars together was pretty nice. Custom search engines are fun too.

I say this to convey my general apathy towards covering the updates that come to web browsers. But the latest beta version of Chrome comes with changes that even folks like me will have a hard time ignoring—things we've already highlighted before when they appeared in Chrome Dev, such as a snackbar that now appears at the bottom of the screen when you complete a download.

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PSA: Default Apps For Browser, Phone, SMS, And Assist Action Have Their Own Setting In Marshmallow, And It's Why Your Defaults Are Misbehaving

The thing about Marshmallow is that it added a lot of granular control over your apps, but it did so in such a confusing and redundant way that it kind of made things worse in my opinon. Apps now have their individual properties page where you can control their notifications (despite that being also available in Sound & notification), permissions (despite that being accessible in one list under Settings -> Apps -> cog icon -> App permissions), and defaults and supported links (despite that also being accessible in that same cog setting). It's this last part that we'll talk a little bit about today, but brace yourself, this will be baffling, inconsistent, and unnecessarily convoluted.

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Google Rolls Out The Accelerated Mobile Pages Project To Help Webpages Load Instantaneously On Your Phone Or Tablet

What's more annoying than a slow webpage? A slow webpage on your phone. Ain't nobody got time for that when a connection is bouncing back and forth between 3G and LTE. And that means a publisher somewhere is missing out on traffic. It's a lose-lose situation.

Unfortunately this is the hole we find ourselves in. Webpages aren't the simple creations they used to be. Sites plug in to other sites, meaning you have to wait for third-party ads, widgets, and comment sections to load up before you can start browsing the way you'd like.

To address this, Google is introducing what it calls Accelerated Mobile Pages.

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Opera 32 Lets You Add Websites To Your Homescreen, Sync Typed History, Pull To Refresh, And More

The latest version of Opera has arrived, and it comes containing all the features we detailed when we took a look at the beta build last month. But there was one feature we didn't say much about at the time, and this is the one Opera has chosen to emphasize in its announcement post.

In short, version 32 is eager to sprinkle shortcuts to your favorite sites all over your homescreen. No having to open the browser first and type in URLs. No searching through a list of bookmarks. Just tap on a website's icon as though it were an app, like you would when clicking on a bookmark widget from Chrome or your phone's default browser.

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[Update: More Details And Video] CyanogenMod Team Teases Gello, A New Chromium-Based Browser With Tons Of Customizations

There is no shortage of third-party browsers available on Android. While most of us use Chrome, there are plenty of worthy alternatives and valid reasons to choose them. The CyanogenMod team (notably distinct from, but connected to, the Cyanogen Inc. company) is throwing its hat into this crowded ring. The new project is called Gello, it's based on Chromium's open-source code... and that's about all we know for sure at this point.

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Opera For Android Updated With Speed Dial Syncing And Native Text Selection In Version 30

About three weeks ago the beta version of Opera for Android added a handful of new features. Today most of them graduate to the standard version, marked as v30.0.1856 on my phone. The biggest change (at least according to Opera's official blog) is that the sites saved to the "speed dial" homepage will sync across Android and desktop versions of Opera. That's provided, of course, that you're logged into your Opera account on all devices. If you prefer different Speed Dial options for mobile and desktop, that's an option too.

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Perhaps more notable from a technical standpoint is an upgrade to the Chromium 43 rendering engine.

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Some Chrome Users Can Now Cast Tabs Directly To Video Hangouts Sessions

Google keeps patiently improving the ecosystem surrounding the Chromecast and its various software tie-ins. But the latest trick is casting not to a gadget or screen, but to a conversation. At least some users are now able to cast tabs to a video Hangouts session, allowing the recipient to watch the video (or whatever else you've got in that tab) without a cumbersome link. It doesn't seem to be live for everyone, but check out your Chromecast extension if you'd like to try it out.

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The system seems to prefer an active conversation. It won't let you cast to a Hangouts conversation that only includes you, for example, and it won't go for a Hangout which someone has opened but not yet joined.

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InBrief
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Opera For Android Beta Adds Speed Dial Synchronization, Native Text Selection, And More In Latest Version

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AdBlock Plus Creates Its Own Android Browser Based On Firefox, Now Available In Beta

Do you hate advertising, and by extension, the vast majority of free content on the planet? Do you spend hours defending your decision to block ads on the Internet, television, video games, apps, and in real life via an intricate system of automatic blinders? Then the ever-growing crop of Android web browsers has a new entry just for you. This one comes from AdBlock Plus, probably the most recognizable name in browser-based advertisement blocking.

2015-05-20 15.59.57 2015-05-20 15.59.47 2015-05-20 16.25.55

Adblock Browser for Android is now available in beta form using the Google+ Community method - they've also got a direct APK download on the Community page.

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Firefox 38 Goes Stable With A New Welcome Screen, Numerous Minor Visual Tweaks, And More

Firefox Beta exists in the Play Store as a separate app that's open to the public, but regardless, there comes a time when things should go stable. For Firefox 38, now's that time.

As you would expect, version 38 comes with a number of new features. In addition to the changes we detailed in the past, this release also greets users with a redesigned launch screen. The old pop-up has been replaced with a landing page that is inherently less jarring.

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Left: old, Right: new.

While we're talking visuals, the developers have provided the browser with an ever-so-slightly more material look.

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