Yesterday, I wrote about the massive number of changes that Chrome Beta 54 brought along. Chrome 55 hasn't been in development for quite as long, but there are still a few noteworthy changes. Come along with me as I journey into the wonderful world of alpha-quality software.
Chrome 54 Beta is now available on the Google Play Store, for you adventurous beta testers out there. This beta brings some very useful new features to Chrome, so let's dive right in!
New Tab page
Chrome 54 brings a redesigned New Tab page, and honestly, I'm not sure I'm a fan. The changed New Tab page still maintains the Google logo and the search bar, but does away with the Bookmarks or Recent Tabs buttons. Read More
Google's Safe Browsing feature has been around since 2007, and has protected millions of people from harmful threats on the internet. It's a blacklist of harmful websites, such as those distributing malware and phishing scams, that Google actively updates every day. The database is used by Chrome, Firefox, and even Safari to ensure users can be as safe as possible online.
Back at Google I/O, Google announced they would make an official API for applications to check a given website in the Safe Browsing database. Starting with Google Play Services 9.4, developers can finally use the API in their apps.
The Safe Browsing API uses the latest version of the Safe Browsing Network Protocol, meaning it's designed to be as quick (and use up as little cellular data) as possible. Read More
One trend I've noticed with Google over the years is that they don't usually advertise on TV. There's been some commercials for the Nexus devices over the years, and recently some ads for Google Photos, but not much else. Google just uploaded a series of ads for Google Duo, their new video chat application, and they're absolutely adorable. Check them out: Read More
You can see the same emails on your phone as you can on your computer using Gmail, but these devices have a number of fundamental differences. The way emails render on a large screen device won't always make sense on a smaller one, so Google is getting ready to implement responsive design for emails in Gmail. Read More
After rolling out to new countries and devices without a Project Fi SIM just under a week ago, Google has made Wi-Fi Assistant even more useful. The Assistant can now connect to non-secure public networks that are connected to manually, instead of only being able to secure networks that it connects to automatically.
This solves one of those caveats mentioned in the post last week. Without this functionality, WiFi Assistant could only secure a network if it identified it was open and could connect automatically, which is by no means certain. However, as of Play services 9.6, if you're hunting for open WiFi networks and connect manually, Assistant will now offer to secure it with the VPN, meaning you can browse the web, check emails, stream music, or anything else without worrying if your connection is going to be compromised. Read More
Android 7.0 Nougat was officially released over three weeks ago, and people instantly went insane over the lack of any factory or OTA images available for the Nexus 6 (but not so much for the Nexus 9 LTE, since they didn't sell too many). We reached out to Google, and it seems like you guys are gonna have to wait for just a few more weeks. Read More
Google's Project Tango, that awesome tech that allows a gadget to map out three-dimensional spaces, is really cool. But it's taking its damn sweet time getting here: Tango was first announced over two years ago and offered as a developer kit tablet last summer, and the first Tango-capable smartphone was supposed to arrive from Lenovo this month. That seems less than likely now - the store page for the Phab 2 Pro has been adjusted from "coming this summer" to "coming this fall." Read More