Read it later apps are massively popular, with examples such as Instapaper or Pocket being among the most downloaded apps on Google Play. Google is also getting into the game now, albeit in a different way, with the Chrome team adding a read it later feature to the development versions of the browser.
As alluded to, both Chrome Dev and Chrome Beta have this, but in slightly different guises. Read More
If you own a Nexus device and have updated to Android Nougat, and you use Chrome Beta or Chrome Dev, you may have noticed something. Alright, maybe you didn't notice it because you don't have the eagle eye of Artem. Regardless, the issue is there and it's not a matter of #ArtemsLuck: I was able to replicate it on my Nexus 5X too.
Both Chrome Beta and Chrome Dev do not appear under My Apps in the Play Store on devices running Nougat. Even when they're installed on your device, you won't see them in the Installed list, which means that they won't detect updates and download and install them automatically when all of your apps do. Read More
Back in April, after Google pulled the option of having tabs and apps merged in Recents, it became apparent that the Chrome team was trying to work out how to move forward. The team placed a new flag in Chrome Dev 52, #tab-management-experiment-type, with five 'flavors' of tab management: Asine, Basil, Chive, Dill, and Elderberry. In Chrome Dev 54, this has now come to a head, with Elderberry being the only option remaining.
A lot of apps have built-in link handling with Chrome Custom Tabs - we're all so used to this now that we hardly think about 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
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
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
Google has nearly completed the process of removing the merged apps/tabs option from Chrome after the option was pulled from the recent beta build. But what comes next? The Chromium bug tracker hinted at a new feature called Herb in Chrome v52, and indeed, there are several flavors of Herb in the new dev update. Read More
We already know at least one improvement with the latest Chrome Dev build (v51): the complete removal of the 'Merge Tabs and Apps' option. Well, here's the second improvement: a brand new widget. Or rather, a revamped version of an older widget.
The bookmarks widget, formerly with big, largely useless thumbnails, has been re-designed to use a list item style instead of a grid, and material design navigation. The result is a much cleaner-looking widget, with better, easier to understand navigation to boot. It has shown me how disorganised my bookmarks are, though.
Of course, the widget won't make your bookmarks any more organised - we can only hope that feature will come to Google Now in the future - but maybe it will encourage you to organise them into folders and such. Read More
Google made a lot of changes to the Android UI in Lollipop, many of them successful. Chrome merged tabs was not one of those features. After first making the old style tab management the default again several weeks back, the latest Chrome Dev build removes the merged tabs option entirely. Read More
There's a particularly neat feature lurking in the flags in the latest version of Chrome Dev. If you toggle "enable-ntp-snippets" you'll get a handy list of content from around the web on the new tab page, complete with text snippet previews. Read More