After seeing the update to Chrome's beta channel recently, it was inevitable the same build, slightly improved, would reach the stable version. So here we are, Chrome for Android v39. It's not a huge update, but not like you're going to skip it or anything.
The recent app list in Android 5.0 is much more vibrant than it was in KitKat with support for colored header bars, but not all apps are taking advantage of that. As of Chrome v39 (current beta release), developers can add an HTML tag to their site that does the same for Chrome tabs. It's not only the multitasking header—the tag also affects the status bar in Chrome. It's kind of crazy.
We've been seeing bits and pieces (and fully functional prototypes) of Google Stars for a long time now. The tool, which for now acts as a replacement for Chrome's bookmark manager, has been in development even longer, but it looks like the Chrome extension might finally be ready to roll (assuming it doesn't get pulled again) as Google released "Bookmark Manager" to the Chrome Web Store earlier today.
Despite the new name, the extension takes over chrome://bookmarks just as before, with options to organize bookmarks into folders, give those folders descriptions, and even share folders with others.
People are still waiting to get their hands on invites to use Inbox by Gmail, but as those trickle in, Google's pushing out more ways to access to service. We've already provided a hands-on look at the Android app. Users can also interact with their spiffy new inbox in a web browser by heading to inbox.google.com.
For people who prefer a handy shortcut, or for Chromebook users who want something that kind of feels like a dedicated email client, Google has released an Inbox by Gmail app into the Chrome Web Store.
The beta edition of Chrome for Android is getting a small update before the changes go into the primary release. The biggest new addition in version 39.0.2171.37 is an "undo closed tab" option. When you swipe away a tab on the "all tabs" page, a contextual menu will appear at the bottom allowing you to instantly bring it back.
Google's two-factor authentication system is a great way to keep your email and other accounts safe, especially if you've always got a smartphone (or even a dumb phone) around. Today Google is adding even more options beyond the current phone call, text message, email, and app-based verification. The latest update to the desktop version of Chrome lets you use a USB key as your two-factor security token, ensuring access via both your physical presence and your login password.
We've known Google was looking to bring Chrome into the app switcher since we learned some details of "Project Hera" earlier this year (and confirmed at I/O). The framework for making that happen appeared in Chrome beta in September, but now it finally works in the new developer preview.
When you open Chrome Beta on Android 5.0, you will get the above splash screen telling you where to find all your tabs.
Recently, we took a look at Ultra Violet, a new Hangouts app for Chrome that - at the time - was still in testing. It promised floating chats similar to Facebook's Chatheads feature, but for your desktop. Today, that app is finally a reality and available for download.
The premise is simple - as the video below demonstrates, a Hangouts bubble floats on the side of your desktop, opened from Google's Chrome app launcher, and subsequent conversations float above that.
The stable version of Chrome for Android has reached version 38, which came to the beta channel last month.
Google hasn't posted a changelog just yet, but we can surmise what's going on from the last update of the beta. Update: Changelog below. This isn't going to be a radical departure for the app, but it might fix a bug or two that's been gnawing at you.
You can now use at least some Android apps as stand-alone Chrome extensions on your laptop or desktop, with a little bit of hacking. The handy Chrome APK Packager made that process much easier... at least until Google booted it off of the Play Store, presumably for a copyright violation. The creator of the tool, who goes by "bpear96" on XDA, said that he would have to change the name in order to keep the app on Google's playground.