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. Read More
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. Read More
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. Read More
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. Read More
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: Read More
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. Read More
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. Read More
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. Read More
One of Chrome's biggest problems is speed. It's gone from being the fastest, best browser upon release to a RAM-hog that seems to be more of a platform than an internet browser nowadays. The internet has long been calling for Chrome to get some improvements, so it fares better against other faster, more modern browsers. It looks like Google has heard our calls, as the browser is about to get a lot faster.
Chrome 53, due for stable release in September, is going to see some big optimization work; there's up to 47% improvement across the board, mostly due to GPU raster, CSS and WebGL optimizations on OS X, resulting in percentages that are multiple times better than Chrome 51, the current stable release. Read More
Want to spice up your tab view? There's a flag for that... if you're using Chrome Developer Channel v53 on Android. The newest Chrome Dev for Android adds a new flag for just that: #tab-switcher-theme-colors. When enabled, this flag will color your open tabs in the tab manager interface in Chrome, just as they're colored when viewing a single page. The tab theme-color attribute was finally added to all versions of Chrome regardless of your usage of merged tabs back in January earlier this year. I have to admit, it does look pretty sweet to see your tab colors in the tab manager UI. Read More