Hangouts on the desktop has always been a mess. First, there was the Chrome extension that always sits in your taskbar/menubar, with separate windows for every conversation. Later, Google released a Chrome app that looked (and functioned) much more like the Android app, with all of your conversations in one window. For some reason, both have remained on the Chrome Web Store.
Recently, Google announced that they will phase out Chrome apps, with Google recommending that existing apps be converted into extensions or Progressive Web Apps. The official Google Apps blog quietly announced today that an updated version of the old Hangouts extension will be available soon, with a user interface that looks almost identical to the current Chrome app (if the screenshot above is accurate).
By now you may have seen YouTube's experimental new web player UI. The new interface has been popping up for some users for a while now, but if you haven't used the new player yet and you're feeling left out - good news. Today we've learned there's a way to enable the UI for yourself using a simple Chrome extension.
Kiersch says (and shows) that Ultra Violet will present significant interface changes for Hangouts, including a new Chrome extension that would introduce a floating, Chat Heads-style icon on the desktop, which users could move around freely.
Once the circle is clicked, Kiersch says, the Hangouts welcome screen would appear to introduce users to the new experience. We can also see from Kiersch's images that new ongoing Hangouts conversations would spawn new floating buttons with familiar profile images.
There are a lot of ways to get text from your computer to your Android device, but perhaps none of them are quite so simple as the new Belt.io app and service. Simply install the app on your phone and you can send text and links from the web service after signing up. Naturally Belt.io also offers browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox, so you don't even have to go to the website to use the service.
The browser extensions also tie in with the Android app, sending any selected link or text directly to your Android phone and giving it an optional notification as well.
PushBullet version 12.2 has just hit the Play Store, and it brings with it a healthy selection of incremental updates that round out an already pleasant user experience. One new such feature is the ability to set how long mirrored notifications stick around on your computer before fading away.
The app also now shows upload progress when pushing a file and gives users the ability to tap a download to cancel it.
Perhaps more interesting than these new features are the changes in store for the Firefox add-on. The extension has fallen behind its Chrome peer as of late, but an upcoming update will give it the boost it needs.
PushBullet has made a name for itself by making it painless to move files from your computer onto your phone. Now the app is taking a bold step towards making it just as easy to move data in the opposite direction. The latest update to version 11.3 introduces push-to-Chrome, a promised feature that should make it possible to get links, notes, pictures, and other content onto any computer running Chrome. The update also introduces the ability to push lists for the first time, and when you create a new push using the app, you can now select what you want to push directly.
If your device runs a fairly stock version of Android, there's a good chance you've got DashClock set up front-and-center as a lockscreen widget or somewhere on your home screen. While we receive seemingly endless notifications throughout the day, relatively few applications provide support for DashClock to display that information. This is where DashNotifier comes in. It leverages the NotificationListener service added in Android 4.3 to read and display notifications from selected applications as if they had provided extensions of their own. After about a month of development on XDA, DashNotifier is now available on the Google Play Store.
To set up DashNotifier, you just have to add one of the numbered extensions to DashClock, then configure it with the application notifications you wish to see.
The developer behind some of the best extensions to the popular Tasker automation app has released another plugin into the Play Store, one that expands on how users can launch and access apps. AutoLaunch offers two primary functions: the ability to dynamically launch apps and the option to pull up app queries. You can head over to the plugin's website for instructions on how to get set up, but first, see the new functionality in action in the video below.
The video above shows AutoLaunch working in conjunction with AutoVoice, a separate Tasker plugin, to launch specific apps using voice commands.
If you've ordered (or picked up) your Chromecast dongle and you're raring to start sharing content from your devices to your television, you can take one more step to get ready by downloading the official Google Cast extension.
Community Manager Moritz Tolxdorff posted to Google+ earlier this evening encouraging users to download the extension, which will allow the sharing of media and tabs straight from Chrome to a Chromecast-connected TV.
For those who missed the news or need a refresher, the Chromecast is sort of like a Nexus Q in thumb drive format (though it uses HDMI) – it allows users to stream video, music, and Chrome tabs to just about any television it's plugged into with the tap of a button.