A few days ago, Google released Android apps to two Chromebooks: the Acer Chromebook R11 and the ASUS Chromebook Flip. These arrived with version 53 of Chrome OS, on the stable channel. However, the Chromebook Pixel 2, which has had Android apps in beta up until now, has been waiting for the stable release. This painful period is over, Pixel 2 owners, because you too can now join in on the Android fun with the release of stable Chrome OS 53 to last year's flagship Chromebook.
From what we can tell, it works the same way as it did on the beta. Read More
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.
The PaymentRequest API in action.
Google's been getting into the virtual reality game in a big way recently, and now it's Chrome's time to join the party: François Beaufort, a Chrome developer evangelist, has posted on his Google+ about a new WebVR flag that has appeared in the latest build of Chrome Dev on Android, version 53.0.2774.4, which allows for browsing the web using a compatible VR headset, such as Google Cardboard or Daydream.
Providing you've got Chrome Dev downloaded on your device, turning the flag on is as simple as going to chrome://flags/#enable-webvr-shell and selecting 'Enable' in the dropdown. From there, certain bits of the web will be viewable in virtual reality, using a headset. Read More
One of Chrome's biggest problems is speed. It's gone from being the fastest, best browser upon release to a RAM-hog that seems to be more of a platform than an internet browser nowadays. The internet has long been calling for Chrome to get some improvements, so it fares better against other faster, more modern browsers. It looks like Google has heard our calls, as the browser is about to get a lot faster.
Chrome 53, due for stable release in September, is going to see some big optimization work; there's up to 47% improvement across the board, mostly due to GPU raster, CSS and WebGL optimizations on OS X, resulting in percentages that are multiple times better than Chrome 51, the current stable release. Read More
Want to spice up your tab view? There's a flag for that... if you're using Chrome Developer Channel v53 on Android. The newest Chrome Dev for Android adds a new flag for just that: #tab-switcher-theme-colors. When enabled, this flag will color your open tabs in the tab manager interface in Chrome, just as they're colored when viewing a single page. The tab theme-color attribute was finally added to all versions of Chrome regardless of your usage of merged tabs back in January earlier this year. I have to admit, it does look pretty sweet to see your tab colors in the tab manager UI. Read More