Chrome OS was ahead of its time when it was first introduced in 2011. That's not to say Chrome OS was a revolutionary breakthrough, akin to the original iPhone, but rather that it was built for a future that didn't exist yet. Web apps were commonplace in 2011, but they could only do a tiny fraction of what traditional desktop programs were capable of. Many early Chromebooks had limited amounts of free 4G data to compensate for poor offline support in web apps. Read More
Earlier today, our buds over at Chrome Unboxed spotted a new progressive web app by Google called Chrome Canvas. It's a very simple sketching/doodling app that works best on devices like Chromebooks with stylus-based input, but it will also run on your desktop or phone. The new app is showing up as an installed app on some Chromebooks running Dev and Canary channels, but you can pull it down manually on other devices right now. Read More
Little by little, web apps have started to act more like native desktop and mobile applications. They can be added to the home screen on your phone, send notifications, work offline, and more. At today's Chrome Dev Summit, Google expressed its desire to give web apps even more abilities normally only reserved for native applications — like accessing local files. Read More
An unofficial yet popular Google Play Music app for desktop has picked up YouTube Music support. Developer Samuel Attard updated the app Monday — just weeks after YouTube Music officially debuted. The app makes it easier to enjoy Google’s streaming service without having to deal with the fiddly browser experience.
Separately, a desktop app for Android Messages has also been launched. Read More
After two years in development, the web-based Google Earth 9.0 debuted earlier this year. The new version runs entirely in the web browser, but it only works in Google Chrome. This is because it used Portable Native Client (NaCl), a technology that allows C and C++ code to run in the Chrome browser. Since no other browser bothered implementing NaCl, the Earth web app was exclusive to Chrome.
That is now changing, as the Twitter account for Google Earth revealed that Firefox support is in the works: Read More
Google's newest messenger app, Allo, was released about a year ago. The app's momentum dropped shortly after release, but that hasn't stopped Google from continuing to improve it. At long last, Allo has gained a web client, but has it been worth the wait?
Setting it up
Unlike Hangouts and similar cloud-based messaging services, your phone acts as the intermediary between your computer and Allo. Anything you do (send/receive a message, start a new chat, etc) is actually performed by your phone, which sends the response back to your computer. As such, your phone will need a working internet connection for the Allo web client to work. Read More
Oh, Allo. We all wanted to give you a chance when Google announced you at I/O 2016. After months of waiting, the app has picked few of the features we wanted. Hey, it's got stickers, though. According to Google's VP of product management Nick Fox, the Allo web app is at least a month or two from release still. Read More
Not too long ago, Twitter released 'Twitter Lite,' a progressive web app version of the official Twitter app. It can do almost everything the native app can, including notifications, but it uses less data and runs entirely in a web browser. Now Instagram has done something similar, with the new web app offering much of the native app's functionality. Read More
Chrome 58 was just released on the desktop a few days ago, and in speedier fashion than usual, Chrome 58 for Android is now available. This update focuses on improvements to Chrome Custom Tabs and Progressive Web Apps, includes dozens of minor improvements, and blocks HTTPS/SSL certificates from certain certificate providers. Read More