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chrome

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Chromebook Pixel 2 discontinued, no replacement announced yet

The Chromebook Pixel 2015 (or the Pixel 2, as it is more commonly known), is just as interesting a device as its predecessor. It offers a fantastic build quality, touchscreen, dual USB Type-C ports, and more recently, the full Google Play Store. The Pixel 2015 was sold in two configurations, the base model for $999 discontinued in April, and another at the $1,299 price point with a faster Core i7 CPU, 64GB of on-board storage, and 16GB of RAM.

But now we say goodbye to the Pixel 2015. It has been out of stock since at least August 28, usually indicating the end of a product's life on the Google Store.

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Google Cast now fully integrated with Chrome, allows casting to Hangouts

Google has been testing Cast support in Hangouts for over a year, with the most recent sighting back in July. The feature never rolled out widely or was officially acknowledged by Google, until now. Casting directly to Hangouts is coming to everyone soon thanks to full Google Cast integration with Chrome on the desktop.

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Moving Chrome apps to desktop apps is now easy, thanks to Electron Chrome

Earlier this month, Google announced they were killing off Chrome apps for Mac, Windows, and Linux. While it makes logical sense to remove a feature that almost no Chrome users actually used, there are still hundreds of excellent Chrome apps affected by the decision. Google recommends that developers move their applications to Electron (another way to run web apps on the desktop), but doing that would require rewriting every component using Chrome's APIs to the Electron equivalents.

Koush, developer of the Chrome app Vysor (among other projects), has made porting Chrome apps to Electron incredibly easy. With his tool, aptly named Electron Chrome, developers can compile their existing Chrome apps into Electron applications in seconds.

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Google is phasing out Chrome apps except on Chrome OS, will no longer work by 2018

Google Chrome has been undergoing a massive amount of changes recently. From massive optimizations, to the Android New Tab page showing Google Now cards, to Progressive Web Apps blurring the line between native and web apps.

But in another change, although not entirely shocking, Google will be phasing out Chrome apps on the Chrome Web Store. If you've never used the Chrome Web Store, most of the items listed are branded as applications, but are in fact simply links to websites or web applications.

These are called 'hosted apps', which are allowed in the Chrome Web Store alongside 'packaged apps.' Packaged apps are based on web apps, but are hosted locally and have more control over their windows and the host computer.

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Google prepares the way for WebAPKs and Progressive Web Apps in latest Chromium for Android build

Google's very hot on the whole web apps topic, with it promoting things like Chrome Apps on both Chrome OS and Android, as well as things like Instant Apps, introduced earlier this year at I/O. Well, it seems like Google is preparing another assault, this time with 'Progressive Web Apps,' a way to make web apps more powerful and useful to end users, plus make it easier for developers to put them together.

A Progressive Web App is a powerful web application that can be used anywhere, on any OS. As you use the app more and more, it gradually will get more powerful.

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Google Now-powered New Tab Page is coming to Chrome

Google makes frequent changes to the New Tab Page in Chrome, and they show up first in Chrome Dev. It looks like Google is toying with a New Tab Page powered by Google Now, and you can take a look at it right now in Chrome Dev. You might need to toggle a flag, but it seems to be live for everyone. It also works a little bit in Chrome Beta, but not at all in stable.

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[APK Download] Chrome for Android Beta 53 enables the new Payment Request API, allows muted video to auto-play

There are some neat things coming to Chrome in the future, and if you'd like to test them out before everyone else, you're probably already using either the Beta or the Dev version of the Android app. Keep an eye on the former: it's getting some of said features right now. The most interesting addition in version 53 is a new API for quickly checking out on mobile online purchases. It's sort of like the streamlined payment options already offered by PayPal and Visa, but it works with any payment system and it's built into the browser. Check it out in the video below:

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Chrome updated to v52 with improved video performance and other tweaks

Look, Chrome updates are not usually glamorous or particularly interesting, but they are often important. You use Chrome a lot, and even little changes can make your overall experience better. In the latest build to hit the stable channel (v52), video performance has gotten a boost, and it'll use less data.

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Google explains how Chrome will become WebView in Android 7.0

Android has long provided a way for developers to show web content in apps without implementing a full browser with WebView, but the nature of this component has changed a lot over the years. It became Chromium-powered, was unbundled from the system, and then got a beta channel. Starting in Android 7.0 Nougat, WebView will actually be Chrome.

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Flag to enable a virtual reality shell appears in Chrome Dev 53

Google's been getting into the virtual reality game in a big way recently, and now it's Chrome's time to join the party: François Beaufort, a Chrome developer evangelist, has posted on his Google+ about a new WebVR flag that has appeared in the latest build of Chrome Dev on Android, version 53.0.2774.4, which allows for browsing the web using a compatible VR headset, such as Google Cardboard or Daydream.

Providing you've got Chrome Dev downloaded on your device, turning the flag on is as simple as going to chrome://flags/#enable-webvr-shell and selecting 'Enable' in the dropdown. From there, certain bits of the web will be viewable in virtual reality, using a headset.

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