There's no way to control a Google Assistant-powered smart home from a Windows PC, at least not yet. That's a problem, not just from the perspective of users, but for Google's ecosystem as a whole. Take this "Google Home App For PC" Chrome extension as an example—while it brazenly uses the official Google Home logo and has generic Google Home screenshots, it's merely a link to a sketchy website instructing you to install the Bluestacks emulator and then the Home app for Android.
Google has been working on an updated version of the Chrome extension API, named 'Manifest V3,' for over two years at this point. After extension developers rallied against some of the proposed changes, Google went back to the drawing board, and now the final documentation for Manifest V3 is available to developers.
It finally seems like people are becoming more aware about the importance of privacy online. Google has been working to improve its public image when it comes to user data privacy recently, including setting new privacy standards for Chrome extensions last year. Now the company is announcing an update to its developer policy that limits what developers of extensions can do with user data, as well as provides increased transparency regarding data-use practices.
Stadia is approaching its first anniversary in just a few weeks, and though the cloud gaming service has grown a lot in the past year, there's still plenty to improve upon — especially when it comes to browser support. A new Chrome extension called Stadia Enhanced aims to address some of those pain points by adding a bunch of useful tweaks and enabling cool customization features that Google has neglected to add itself.
Here at Android Police, we live and breathe in our desktop browsers. Almost everything we do from writing, researching, and communicating happens within the confines of our computer screens (or on our phones, naturally). Over the years, we found quite a few ways to make our lives easier with extensions, both for our jobs and our personal lives. For this collection, we want to share all of the extensions with you that help us manage our lives and our workday.
The internet would be nothing without links. They let us share everything from videos, to images, to articles. But what if you wanted to share a specific section of an article, or maybe highlight a sentence you found particularly impactful? Until now, that's been relatively difficult. A new Chrome browser extension called Link to Text Fragment promises to make the process much more seamless.
Earlier this month, Google whitelisted a few extensions for kids' Chromebooks managed via Family Link, like Zoom, Hangouts, and some educational tools — only installable with parental permission, of course. This makes life easier for those who need to rely on video conferences for learning during these stay-at-home times, but it's still a tiny selection. To improve the situation, Google is now testing support for all extensions on managed Chromebooks in Chrome OS 83+ (we tested using Dev 83 and 84).
Remote viewing parties have never been more popular, which should surprise no one. For those of you who have been watching TV shows and movies with your friends through the interwebs, you might be pleased to hear that Scener, which touts itself as a virtual movie theater, has just added official support for HBO GO and HBO NOW.
With millions of children currently studying from home, and most likely using cheap computers like Chromebooks, glaring omissions in Chrome OS have come under the spotlight. For example, those who were using Family Link to manage their kids' Google accounts and Chromebooks noticed that they can't install any extensions on them. Maybe that was designed as a security measure, but it hindered the use of video conferencing tools like Zoom and Hangouts. Now that's changing.
The Chrome Web Store is undergoing a transformation, as Google seeks to phase out Chrome apps entirely. Extensions are still sticking around, but now the company has placed a ban on paid extensions, leaving some developers frustrated.