I’m not a fan of how Chrome handles browser tabs by mixing them into the main list of apps when multitasking. I think it’s very poor design for a smartphone, cluttered and a waste of space. Thankfully there’s a way to fix this!
If you are an avid fan of Chrome then you know how useful extensions can be. Today we are looking at the New Tab Page extension for Chrome.
If you love tiles then this extension is for you. The Modern New Tab Page is chock full of customization options. This extension allows you to create a custom background image which you can change the opacity and color. The live tiles can be configured into three different sizes so you can arrange the tiles any way you want. Modern New Tab Page has a total of 26 different color themes to match your style. Setting up the Modern New Tab page is really easy to do. Continue reading “Review: Modern New Tab Page extension for Chrome”
Boasting faster and more stable performance, Google has pushed into 64-bit versions as most Windows 7 users now use 64-bit systems. The Canary version is the up to the minute version with new builds pushed out daily. It also might have more instability than the Dev version which is a more stable BETA.
You can grab either version, and Google’s full PR is below.
I kid. I kid. For you folks looking for a free way to remote control your computer while you’re away from home, the Chrome Remote App might be just the ticket. Having just left BETA, Google is releasing it for free, for any device running Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) or higher.
Running a small Chrome app on your desktop or laptop communicates with a web service, and that links up with an app on your phone or tablet. This allows you to see what’s on your computer screen and control the action remotely. Depending on your data connection there will be some lag, but I haven’t found it to be any worse than some of the paid services available for Android.
Google claims this app is designed for phone use, but it seemed to function just fine on my Nexus 7. You have keyboard support for text entry (mouse is controlled via screen touch), and a dedicated Ctrl+Alt+Del macro for those of you controlling Windows PC’s.
Give it a whirl, and drop us a comment below if it works for you!
It’s funny how tech moves in cycles.
When data networks were slow, and our mobile smartphones were far less powerful, we usually could count on unlimited data here in the States, even through the 3G revolution. Companies like Opera would release 3rd party browsers to help reduce data use and to speed up web browsing. Especially during the Windows Mobile days, this was tremendously helpful as web browsing could be somewhat painful on smaller screens and under-powered hardware.
Now we have devices which do a remarkable job of replicating the desktop web browsing experience, on screaming fast hardware, with broadband bandwidth over the air. Unfortunately, all of these improvements came with caps and throttling for most consumers. We don’t necessarily need the speed benefits of compression anymore, but saving a few MB’s while browsing would certainly come in handy.
Rolling out today, Chrome will now offer up data compression for Android and iOS. Once you’ve received the update, go into settings, hit Bandwidth Management, and enable “Reduce Data Usage”. Easy peasy. This wont help reduce data on any of your other apps or services, but if you use the browser, it will be able to reduce your data footprint by up to 50%, while improving your “Safe Browsing” security.
Android users will also receive an update to add website shortcuts to their homescreen directly from the browser menu. Not too shabby.
Check the Google Chrome Blog for the full scoop.
Now across all of Google’s products you can initiate a voice search with the phrase “OK Google”. Installing a Chrome plugin will enable this new feature.
Take heart you security conscious folks, the feature is held primarily to whenever a Google search tab is open, but even on a Google search tab, it’ll stop listening after five minutes. I personally think persistent observation is creepy, so I’m happy to see there are user activated controls to keep it in check.
Download the extension for your Chrome browser, and maybe it’ll come in handy while your hands are messy this Thanksgiving! I always seem to need to search for something when my hands are covered in gunk…
The mobile computing landscape is getting ridiculously competitive. Chromebooks, Netbooks, Tablets, proper latptops, and hybrids. The bang for buck ratio is disrupting-ly low. An incredible number of options for a variety of usage scenarios.
Acer is sweetening their Chromebook offering. The c720p is a refresh of their C720. The hardware is almost exactly the same, even down to the somewhat mediocre TFT LCD panel used on the screen. What’s nice however is they’re adding a touch panel to that screen. What’s even nicer is that touch panel isn’t going to increase the price. The C720p will retail for the same $299 that the original did.
Not too shabby.
ChromeOS doesn’t particularly need touch, but playing with it on my Windows 8 laptop, I think we’re just entering an era where adding touchscreens will be the norm. We’re all sort of learning to just interact directly with things on our screen. When I’m really tired, I have to remember that my desktop does not have a touchscreen… You’ll still see finger prints on my monitors though…
Sporting an 11.6″ screen, an Intel Celeron processor, 2GB of RAM, and 32GB of flash storage it looks like it could be a decent seller this holiday season. Expect to see lappys shipping mid December.
So all the hemming and hawing from the Chromebook faithful, that Chrome OS was SO much more than JUST a fancy browser slapped onto low power laptop hardware. It would seem like that’s not entirely true… In a good way…
The newest dev channel update of the Chrome browser for Windows 8 appears to essentially be the entire Chrome OS. When used within the ModernUI interface users have full access to the entire suite. Microsoft opened the door for this by allowing browsers other than IE to interface with the “Metro” ecosystem. Now you can have all the benefits of Google’s cloud OS on your Windows 8 machines. Loading it onto my hybrid also opens up some interesting possibilities. We haven’t seen Chrome OS on a proper slate tablet yet. That’s been Android territory, yet swiveling my Lenovo Twist into slate mode affords me a perfectly usable Chrome OS experience using a combination of Google’s UI and Microsoft’s virtual touch controls and keyboard. It’s kind of meta…
An app launcher at the bottom left gives you access to Chrome app, and Google favorites GMail, Search, Docs, and Youtube are docked at the bottom too. Performance has been solid for me after a couple hours of tooling around, but many are complaining of occasional crashes. Also, if you’re not running a lot of RAM, Windows 8 is very aggressive about shutting down Metro apps if you’re doing a lot of multi-tasking. In all though the experience has been very enjoyable, and updates to browser touch support make Chrome OS on Win8 almost as smooth as Microsoft’s native offerings.
It’s a pretty twisted end run around the traditional PC market. Now legit Chromebooks will face more competition from traditional PC’s in offering up the same OS, but still giving users access to legacy Windows software. This takes any potential risk out of using Chrome OS. Thinking generationally, a user could pick up a Windows Hybrid today, load up this new Chrome Browser, spend all their time in Chrome OS, and by the time they’re ready to shop another system, decide to walk away from Microsoft’s offerings altogether…
As a side note, now would be the time for Google to start unifying their app base. Bringing the variety of Android Apps to Chrome’s ability to handle things like documents and office software could put a serious hurt on Microsoft while they’re trying to unify their UI across all screen sizes.
Plus, Microsoft would have to compete for people’s attention on computers people already purchased. Wow.