I always felt like one of the big downers to web browsing on mobile was typing in passwords. Of course, the built-in password management for Chrome (and other mobile browsers) can sometimes take care of things for you. But I'm sure if you do a lot of signing in, you know there are some sites whose login system just doesn't work with the browser's password manager. With Chrome v51, now in beta, Google is taking some steps to help smooth things out.
W3C, the web standards group, has created an API to help homogenize the relevant aspects of signing into websites. Read More
The march of Chrome updates never ends, and now is the time for the beta build to advance. Google is rolling out Chrome Beta v51 on Android. Since we've already seen v51 in the dev channel, we know what to look for—and yep, the merged tabs/apps option is indeed gone. So, that wasn't a fluke.
Google has now backed down on the merged apps and tabs option that was introduced in Lollipop. It was first made non-default, then it was pulled in Chrome Dev a few weeks ago. Read More
When you come across a QR code, the experience isn't exactly seamless. You tap your barcode scanner, aim at the funny looking blocks, then watch a link open up in your browser. Then you're either looking at a website or downloading an app. Read More
Chrome Beta seems to be that sweet spot between reliability and new features - not quite as bleeding edge as the Dev build, but still packed with new stuff earlier than the Stable build. It's generally my personal favorite browser to use as primary, because checking out the new stuff once it's basically no longer buggy is always fun.
Beta 46 was announced for Android yesterday, and it brings a slew of under-the-hood improvements. Even more than that, it brings a ton of features for developers that I'm not even going to pretend to fully understand; if you're the type who likes to dig into code, however, you may want to check out the Chromium blog for more info. Read More
Want to see something new in Chrome for Android? Aside from essentially unlimited websites, of course. If so, and if you're using Android 5.0, 5.1, or the 6.0 preview, then download either the Beta or Dev version of the browser. Then go into the Settings menu and disable "merge tabs and apps." Now, go back to the main browser window, open the hamburger menu, and tap "new tab." Wey-hey, you've got a new interface to check out.
Left: new tab in Chrome. Right: new tab in Chrome Beta/Dev after disabling merged tabs.
The new standard swaps out the frequently-visited website thumbnails you're probably familiar with for icons, which are simply letters with some fancy background formatting. Read More
The latest release of Chrome Beta doesn't include many big, user-facing changes, but is instead mostly filled with incremental improvements to long-term development goals. The one goodie for end users that you may notice in normal use is the newly-added ability for websites to give you an Android notification with play and pause buttons to control audio.
For websites using up-to-date APIs, audio and video that is over 5 seconds long will result in a notification being displayed for easier control. I think of this somewhat similarly to the desktop version's indicator for noisy tabs. Read More
Fix for multi-column layouts
From a user-facing standpoint, the only directly relatable change came to multi-column layouts in Chrome. Read More
The Chrome blog has announced that version 43.0.2357.38 of the browser is being released to the beta channel on the Play Store. This update introduces the usual panoply of bug fixes and performance improvements — which seem to be quite effective this time around — along with a new feature. When purchasing an item, the process of filling checkout forms should be more streamlined and secure thanks to data from Google Wallet.
Another visual change has been implemented in this version as well. Previously, when you had your Chrome tabs merged with Recents, the status bar would take the header color specified by the site (for example, it's blue on Android Police, orange on APK Mirror), but other sites would keep a black bar. Read More
It's that time again when Chrome's beta channel updates to give those of us who can't wait for the fun stuff a chance to test things out in a pretty stable environment. The latest iteration, v43, isn't exactly groundbreaking but ships several meaningful changes.
The addition of an API for MIDI devices, like keyboards, probably doesn't affect too many people. Those who will benefit, though, will do so quite a bit. I'm not aware of any web apps that would function for a good working example, but the API added in v43 will allow connected MIDI devices to input as they would with a desktop program. Read More
Along with site notifications, the latest Chrome Beta v42 has another new feature for improving the web app experience. The ability to add a website to your home screen from Chrome has been there for a while now, but not all web pages are created equal in this regard. These shortcuts work best for fully-fledged web apps and now Chrome will let you know when you have visited a good candidate for home screen placement.
To get an idea of how it works, check out this GIF from HTML5 Rocks:
Perhaps the most important aspect of this feature is that it will not appear every time you visit a qualifying site. Read More