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Articles Tagged:

web apps


Chrome Dev 48 Rolls Out With Early Bluetooth Web API Support On Chrome OS Dev Channel And Android Marshmallow

Google's Chrome development team regularly implements new APIs to extend the possibilities for web apps to behave more like their native counterparts. The most recent addition to the Chrome dev channel allows web developers to use Bluetooth to communicate with nearby hardware. This could be used for things like an online fitness tracker that gets data from a heart rate monitor or for a controller to drive a Sphero, all without installing a native app.

These things are possible with the new Web Bluetooth API. Still in the early stages of development, this allows a web application to query for Bluetooth devices based on their capabilities, then pass messages back and forth with little or no friction.

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[Update: It's Fixed] Google Play Music All Access Web App Is Not Working In Firefox, Internet Explorer, Or Safari On Desktops

As of this morning, most users are finding it back up and running normally

Starting early in the AM on July 14th, reports started coming in that Firefox and Safari can both use the web app again. IE users should be good to go, too. My own testing confirms this as well. Happy listening!

With no obvious cause, numerous subscribers to Google Play Music All Access have suddenly found that just about any non-Chrome browser cannot use the web app to stream songs.

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Netflix On The Web Is Getting A Brand New Look, The Rollout Begins Today

After paying a lot of attention to the mobile and connected TV experience, Netflix has announced a major overhaul of their browser interface. Before you sign in and get confused, today is just the beginning of the rollout, which they say will complete in a couple of weeks. Netflix bills this as the first major update in four years, though its look has certainly gone through several iterations over that time span. For a refresher, here's a side-by-side comparison of old and new (click to embiggen):

Fullscreen_6_15_15__2_30_PMNew_Netflix_Website_EN_png__PNG_Image__1600 × 988_pixels__-_Scaled__72__

Left: current/old Right: new

Orange is the new black? Maybe, but black is the new white.

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Chrome Beta v42 Includes New Prompt For Adding Web Apps To Your Home Screen

Along with site notifications, the latest Chrome Beta v42 has another new feature for improving the web app experience. The ability to add a website to your home screen from Chrome has been there for a while now, but not all web pages are created equal in this regard. These shortcuts work best for fully-fledged web apps and now Chrome will let you know when you have visited a good candidate for home screen placement.

To get an idea of how it works, check out this GIF from HTML5 Rocks:


Perhaps the most important aspect of this feature is that it will not appear every time you visit a qualifying site.

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Samsung Creates Web Player For Its Milk Music Service, Non-Samsung Users Welcome On Desktop Browsers

Samsung has been pushing its fancy new Milk brand hard lately, adding video and teasing virtual reality. But before today, listeners' biggest barrier to access was the fact that the app was only available on their Samsung-branded phones and tablets. That changes this morning with the launch of Milk Music for the web, accessible from desktop and Chrome OS browsers at Log in using your Samsung account and you'll have access to the same songs and stations that you do on mobile.


Unlike the mobile version, the website's free service is available to everyone - you'll need a Samsung account to log in, but it will let you through even if you make a new one with no associated devices.

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Google+ Gets A Much-Needed Facelift For Mobile Browsers And Changes URL Structure To Match Desktop Version

Have you ever used Google+ on a mobile browser? It has never been very fun. Trying to share something or make sense of a link was no better. However, after over a year without noticeable improvements for mobile browsers, it has finally gotten a revamp. In fact, it's arguably a better experience than the current Google+ app for Android.

Here's a look at the new mobile web app.

Screenshot_2015-02-26-10-55-38 Screenshot_2015-02-26-10-46-32 Screenshot_2015-02-26-10-54-23

If you don't remember how it was before, here are a couple snaps from Google's out-of-date mobile web apps page:

Our reader Connor has provided us with better pre-update screencaps.

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[Lollipop Feature Spotlight] WebView Is Now Unbundled From Android And Free To Auto-Update From Google Play

Not all of the changes to Android 5.0 Lollipop are meant to be seen by regular users, but that doesn't make them any less important. One of the core components of the operating system is about to break free from the shackles of firmware updates and join the Play Store and Google Play services in receiving automatic updates directly from Google. As of Android 5.0, the WebView component will be a distinct apk, allowing it to be upgraded separately from the OS. Not only will this ensure important security updates find their way to our devices, but it will also make new features and APIs available to developers of applications that rely on WebView.

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Google Drive Gets A Shiny New Interface On The Web, Rolling Out To Users Starting Now

Quick, if you're on a desktop browser, open a new tab and head for Google Drive. You might just see a new interface for Google's document and storage service, first announced back at Google I/O. Drive is getting a makeover to make it more like navigating files in a desktop file manager, complete with thumbnail views for all items and keyboard modifiers that let you manage multiple files at once. Here, check out Google's slick intro for the new features.


  • A new default view that uses a thumbnail grid instead of a list
  • A combined "new" button for creating new documents
  • File details available from the home screen
  • Desktop-style selection tools, including click-and-drag, Ctrl-modifiers, and drag-and-drop

The new UI seems to be spreading out slowly.

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Google Drive Docs, Slides, And Sheets Web Apps Can Now Delete Files Without Leaving The Editor

Google Drive/Google Docs isn't the best online office suite in the world, at least in my experience, but it is a pretty great way to get a competent and instant editor for quick tasks. The only problem is that this tends to leave you with dozens of semi-finished items in your Drive, a bunch of quick paragraphs and hastily-formatted emails that need to be deleted one-by-one in the list view. Today Google Drive has solved this minor annoyance, if only on the web.

Screen Shot 2014-06-06 at 1.44.22 PM

You can now delete the Doc, Slide, or Sheet that you're currently working on without closing it and going back to the list view.

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Google Launches Developer Preview Of Chrome Apps For Android And iOS, App Submissions Start Immediately

We've known for a while that Google had plans to bring Chrome apps to Android, the first tangible sign of that project appearing early last month. Today, the first developer preview of Chrome Apps for Mobile went live on GitHub. Now developers can construct apps based on web standards (HTML, CSS, and Javascript) and run them just like any native application built from the Android (or iOS) SDK. These apps don't run inside of a browser or require an Internet connection; plus they can be submitted to the Google Play Store and Apple's App Store.


The platform behind this project is Apache Cordova, an open-source framework that enables web apps to be compiled much like native applications, allowing them access to native operating system functions and hardware sensors like the camera and accelerometer.

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