Google Chrome 53 is making its way to Android devices, with several exciting new features for both users and developers alike. Luckily I'm both, so I get to be double excited! Let's dive into the changes.
Android Pay support
This is, at least in my opinion, the biggest new feature. Chrome 53 now supports the official PaymentRequest API developed by the W3C (the organization that creates standards for the web). This means that once websites begin to adopt it, you will be able to check out using Android Pay instead of spending time filling out payment information for every site.
Google is preparing to make a significant change to how users are informed of security online. Beginning in January 2017, Chrome will subtly mark password and payment pages as non-secure if they use HTTP instead of HTTPS. This is just the first step toward marking all HTTP pages as non-secure with a more visible notice. Read More
I know how badly you want to be able to use extensions on Chrome for Android, and you maybe skimmed the title of this post thinking this might be it, but I'm sorry to disappoint you. It isn't. Chrome extensions are still limited to desktop versions of the browser, not mobile ones, despite how many prayers we all say each night for the contrary.
But here is what this post is really about. You know how sometimes you may get a link to a Chrome extension either from a search result or while browsing or even from some friend who thinks you'll really enjoy it? Read More
On both mobile and desktop, downloading things from the internet is pretty obviously a big deal. Since it launched in 2008, Chrome has had a download manager, and now the Android version is following suit, with a Download menu appearing in the latest version of Chrome Dev, version 54.0.2840.6.
'Downloads' is in the overflow dropdown menu. It's basically exactly what it says it is: a manager for files downloaded through the browser. However, it seems like it's a bit broken at the moment, as some files don't show up in the UI while others do. I downloaded an MP3 file and it didn't appear despite being on my phone, while a picture did show. Read More
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. Read More
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. Read More
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