Google continues to leverage HTML5 for drag-and-drop functionality in Gmail.
The Gmail team is letting Google Chrome browser users drag attachments out of e-mail messages to save them on their desktop, laptop, netbook or tablet.
Users need only hover over the attachment's download link or file icon. A tool tip surfaces inviting users to "click to view or drag to your desktop to save."
Just click, hold it and drag the file anywhere in the computer's file system and drop it to save it.
I just tested it out and it worked. Unfortunately, the drag and drop imaging didn't render the way I would have liked. When Google tried it, it showed first the file:
and then the image being dragged like so:
I tried on a 1K text file and a 4.3MB file and I saw the same black circle image surface. The file moved easily enough -- i just couldn't "see" a shadow of the file move as I dragged my cursor around my laptop, if that makes any sense.
Gmail is quickly becoming an efficient palette for drag-and-drop functionality, dramatically boosting the application's efficiency.
Who these days wants to open up a dialog box to specify where a file should go? No one. With HTML5 in Gmail, users don't have to.
VMware's Zimbra assets already do a lot of this drag-and-drop stuff, and Yahoo borrowed from that company when it owned it.
But Gmail has something like 180 million users so this is a big deal for a company trying to make the world forget about Windows Live Hotmail, Yahoo Mail and other Webmail apps. Plus Google is leveraging HTML5 not just AJAX for this.
A while back, Google coders introduced drag-and-drop uploading in GMail (provided you were using a supported browser like Chrome), and there was much rejoicing. Today, they've introduced its counterpart: drag-and-drop downloading of attachments.
It might not sound like a big deal, but it's actually quite nice to be able to grab a file and pull it down directly to a specific folder on your desktop without having to deal with a "save as" dialog. It's the kind of functionality that Google hopes will help make web apps feel more like traditional desktop apps -- and make them more appealing to those who have been slow to adopt.
And, hey, if nothing else it's a nice way around Chrome's sub-par download manager -- maybe some day that'll get some love, too.
Hello! I'm back [at the turn of the tide...] To celebrate, here's a very neat Chrome extension that mimics (albeit a bit clumsily) Firefox's live bookmarks: Foxish live RSS.
If you've never used Firefox's live bookmarks, you're missing out! They're just like normal website bookmarks, but using the magic of RSS they update every few minutes. For the vast majority of Web users, a dedicated RSS reader is overkill -- with live bookmarks you can have the latest news (or Download Squad stories!) right there on your browser, always just one click away.
Foxish live RSS isn't without its quirks. It can't auto-discover a site's RSS feed, so you have to obtain it (either by viewing the source, or installing Google's own RSS extension) and then add it manually by right clicking the odd-looking Foxish icon. Also, once you've added the feed, you have to go into your Bookmarks Manager and drag the new 'folder' onto your bookmarks bar.
So, it's clunky but it works. You have to wonder when Google will simply bite the bullet add native, live bookmark functionality. Firefox has surely borrowed enough Chrome features... now it's time to return the favor!
For quite some time now, intrepid users have been able to flip a command line switch and enable app support in Google Chrome's dev and canary builds (as well as Chromium). Late last night, however, the switch became unnecessary in Chromium -- apps support has now been turned on by default.
Why is that a big deal? For starters, it means that full-time app support is coming very soon to Chrome -- first in canary and the dev channel. The platform is ready for some serious tire-kicking, and Chrome's cutting-edge users will (as always) be the first wave of testers.
With Google's recently-accelerated release schedule, it likely won't be long before apps make it into the stable channel. Chrome OS is due on tablet devices later this year, and apps will need to be ready to rock prior to their arrival.
This also means that we'll soon witness the evolution of the Chrome Extensions Gallery. It's due to be re-branded as the Web Store and will house not only extensions and themes, but also full-fledged web apps like the ones Google demoed way back when like Plants vs. Zombies, Lego Star Wars, and no doubt some more practical ones as well (if you're into that sort of thing... ).
While you wait for the actual Chrome Web Apps to arrive, why not at least install some of the app tab eye-candy in our previous post? We've got about two dozen .CRX downloads for you, covering everything from GMail and Facebook to Grooveshark and Pandora!
As always, if you're looking for the most recent Chromium snapshot builds for your OS, you'll find them here!
TabSense is a Firefox Tab Candy inspired extension that allows you to group your tabs into separate categories.
Install, click on the icon or simply press Shift+Ctrl+S and you are ready to go.
Future versions are also set to include tab movement, search and other features.
Since Google Chrome launched almost 2 years ago, the team has embraced the “launch early and often” strategy by releasing Dev channel builds almost weekly. But sometimes, such as when we’re in the process of moving a Dev channel release to the Beta channel, we’re unable to release a new Dev channel build, and other times, even a week is too long to wait to get feedback from the field on a change.
The team considered updating the Dev channel more frequently, but doing so would require us to forgo our manual testing pass on these builds. Even though the Dev channel is often rough around the edges, we realized that this lack of testing would result in a Dev channel that’s too unstable even for early adopters and developers. That’s why, a few days ago, we released a new experimental version of Google Chrome called Google Chrome Canary Build. We plan to update the Canary Build more frequently than the Dev channel, with riskier changes, and usually without a human being ever verifying that it works, so the Canary Build is only for users who want to help test Google Chrome and are comfortable using a highly unstable browser that will often break entirely. To enable you to continue using the same browser you love when the canary croaks, we’ve made it possible to install the Canary Build in addition to the Dev, Beta or Stable channel versions of Google Chrome.
The Canary Build is still brand new so it currently has a few limitations. Currently, it’s only available for Windows and cannot be set as your default browser. You can star the issues for Mac and Linux support, as well as the issue for default browser support to cast your vote and be notified of progress there.
If you like to live on the bleeding edge, give the Google Chrome Canary Build a shot and let us know what you think. The early feedback on crashes, performance regressions, broken features and other problems is incredibly valuable to us, so thanks!
Ahh, the thrill of running bleeding-edge software! It's not for the feint of heart, to be sure. Heck, it's not even for someone who has a perfectly strong heart but doesn't do well with watching features appear and disappear on a regular basis.
Take Chrome's nifty internal PDF plug-in. Just a few days ago, Google dropped the need for a command line switch to activate it, enabling it by default for users of the dev channel build. Today, however, another update was pushed and the plug-in has once again been switched off.
You can still enable the plug-in if you wish -- just visit chrome://plugins and click enable underneath the Chrome PDF Viewer.
It's likely that the Chrome team is just ironing out a few kinks prior to pushing the plug-in to the beta channel. With Chrome's accelerated release schedule, it probably won't be long before the PDF viewer joins the internal Flash plug-in on Chrome installs everywhere.
Not too long ago, Google moved the Chrome bookmarks manager from a separate application window into a tab. Recently, work began on moving Chrome's options menu into a tab as well. While it's still not totally functional, chrome://options has come a long way in a short amount of time.
For the most part, all the UI elements are now active. Certain sub-menus have yet to be activated (like font settings and sync), but I was surprised to see that features like settings import, content settings, and clear browsing data were now live -- just 8 days after tabbed options arrived on the Dev channel.
So why move everything into tabs, anyway? Once Google has everything sorted out and running in-tabs, future changes to Chrome's UI should be easier to implement across different platforms. Since it's Chrome itself rendering things, developers won't have to worry as much about a change looking good on Windows while breaking something on Mac, for example. The switch should also lead to a more consistent experience across Chrome's entire user base (pretty much the opposite of Apple's approach with Safari).
Curious to see tabbed options at work? Check out the video after the break (I recorded Chromium, but you can test in Chrome Dev and Canary as well -- just add --enable-tabbed-options)!
Chrome: Yet Another Google Bookmarks Extension (YAGBE) is an easy to customize Google Bookmarks manager for Google Chrome. If you use both Google Chrome and Bookmarks, YAGBE lets you customize everything from shortcut keys to default labels. More »
In Firefox, when you type a search term to the address bar, it will perform a “I am lucky” search on Google and load the first search result. If the result is not available, it will show a Google search result page instead. This is one feature that I really like in Firefox.
In Google Chrome, when you type a search term on the omnibar, it will perform a Google search by default. If you like the Firefox’s “I am Lucky” search feature, you can easily duplicate it in Google Chrome with the following tricks:
In your Google Chrome, click on the wrench button and go to the Options page. Under the Basics tab, click on the “Manage” button in the Default Search section.
Click on the Add button. Enter the following in the respective fields:
Name: I am Lucky Keyword: iam URL: http://www.google.com/search?ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&sourceid=navclient&gfns=1&q=%s
Click “Save” to save the search engine.
Now, to perform a “I am Lucky” search, you just have to enter “iam” (without the quote) follow by the Tab keyboard button follow by your search term. It will bring you to the first URL in the search result page.
To make “I am Lucky” search the default, select the “I am Lucky” entry and click on the Make Default button. Whenever you type on the omnibar, it will perform a “I am Lucky” search instead of the usual Google search.