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
Dropbox wants to be the heart of your cloud storage experience, and it's making that more feasible with the addition of extensions. With the new Dropbox Extensions, you can open your Dropbox files with various web apps like Pixlr and DocuSign without tedious uploading or copying. There are only a few integrations so far, but more are on the way. Read More
Progressive Web Apps (or PWAs) are fancy web-based applications that can mimic some of the functionality of native apps while taking up minimal storage space on your device. Because they're so small, they're pretty great alternatives to installing apps you'd use infrequently. Discovering which services you use have PWAs can be tricky, though — and that's where Appscope comes in. Read More
According to Google, measurement tools have long been the number one feature request for Google Earth. Now, it's finally happening. The company is rolling out its measure tool to the Chrome version of Earth today, and it'll come to Android (and iOS) soon. 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
Allo has now existed for more than a year, and there are some people who use it. Not many, by all accounts, but some! Those brave few will today be treated to a more widely available web client. When Allo for the web was launched in August, it only worked in Chrome. Today, support expands to Opera, Firefox, and iOS (sort of). Read More
Earlier in the month, Google released an official statement on a particularly virulent phishing email imitating Google Docs that was doing the rounds. That same day, coincidentally or not, an update to the Gmail Android app added a special warning page that pops up every time a link in one of the suspect emails is clicked. Now, Google is implementing further changes to help prevent future scams of this type. 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
Chrome has offered the ability to add shortcuts to web pages on the home screen for a while now. When Chrome 51 was released in 2015, Google took it a step further by allowing certain sites to use Web App Install Banners, customize the shortcut's loading screen, and hide the Chrome UI.
Now Google is taking Progressive Web Apps a step further. Starting with Chrome Canary today and Chrome 57 Beta in the coming weeks, web apps added to the home screen will be near-indistinguishable from native applications installed from the Play Store. Read More