Readers, Babel no more. As first reported by a historically credible member of The Verge forums and confirmed today by a Tech Radar source, Google's unified messaging platform will be known as Hangouts when it's officially unveiled, and may launch as soon as Google I/O. Tech Radar's contact provided a screenshot that further lends credence to the new name: nestled among the emoticons and toolbar of the alleged interface, an expanded drop down menu includes particularly conspicuous options referencing "Hangouts," which is the closest thing to a dead giveaway that I can think of.
Well guys, after lots of wishing/hoping/praying, fullscreen is finally available on Chrome for Android. The phone-specific feature made its way into Chrome 27 – which currently just hit the beta channel – alongside a few other useful features:
The Chrome Team is happy to announce the promotion of Chrome 27 to the Beta channel for Android. Chrome 27.0.1453.49 contains a number of great new updates including:
- Fullscreen on phones - Scroll down the page and the toolbar will disappear.
Yeah, we know – it doesn't run Android, and really, it has nothing to do with Android. But it is a Google product, so by default it's at least tangentially related - call it Android's cousin. It's also Google's statement that ChromeOS is important, that it's not just some side project. It's saying that we should all pay attention. That ChromeOS is the real deal, and the Chromebook Pixel is the best experience that ChromeOS has to offer.
I've been using (and loving) Google's Chrome browser daily on my laptop, desktop, phone, and tablet for quite some time now. Heck, I'd probably install it on my toaster if it were possible. And despite any of the complaints I routinely hear about Chrome's mobile iteration (ahem, where's the "full screen" option, again?), there are a few great reasons I keep it on all my devices.
Touching on each and every one of those, the Google Chrome YouTube channel today uploaded a one-minute ad spot touting the fact that Chrome is "For Everyone, Now Everywhere," and can enhance your life with auto-filled addresses, remembered passwords, and cross-device sync.
Google's no stranger to using web technologies to do cool, innovative things. In fact, some would say that over the last few years the company has pushed (or broken) the barriers of what a web browser is, and can be – just look at ChromeOS, for example. It's an entire OS based on the idea that you can live your digital life inside of a web browser. The thought itself is bold, but the execution could be game-changing as the OS grows and becomes more polished.
There have been a few items in the rumor mill about Google either investigating or planning retail stores, not unlike the Apple stores that famously dot malls and upper-class shopping areas around the world. 9to5 Google reported a tip from "an extremely reliable source" citing a 2013 rollout schedule for a Google store. Then the Wall street Journal, itself a pretty reliable reporter of the inner workings of Google, reported the same thing.
The browser wars have seen a strange resurgence in the mobile world, as each platform brings its own-branded browser (Safari for iOS, Chrome for Android, IE for Windows Phone), and competitors see this as a new opportunity to gain more relevance after the desktop arena begins to settle. Mozilla certainly seems to think so as it starts to tease some new features it's currently working on for its Android-based Firefox app.
I hope you like Google Now, because it looks like this product is here to stay for a long time. As we speak, Chrome developers are working on bringing Popular Science's Innovation of the Year to the desktop, instead of keeping it trapped just on your phone or tablet. As it turns out, a "skeleton" framework is already in place for the search product to move in.
Google's not being shy about the existence of this product, but also isn't in a hurry to announce it, either:
Much like keyboards (which we covered last week), browsers are a dime a dozen. Google ships one browser with Android (in more recent versions, that's been Chrome), which most manufacturers then replace with their own proprietary version. And then there are the dozens (if not hundreds) of third-party browsers available on the Play Store.