Chrome: The Chrome to iPhone extension adds a handy button to your Google Chrome toolbar that, when clicked, quickly shares your current URL between your desktop browser and iOS device. More »
Chrome extensions with right-click context menus coming soon! And your chance to win a Chrome hoodie...
There's also a bunch of other new APIs, the most exciting being the Omnibox API. Imagine Chrome's built-in search engines (type 'Amazon', then a space, and then a book name -- it searches Amazon!), but with extension access. Type the name of an extension into the Omnibox, and then any further input is redirected to the extension. Actually, having said this is an exciting addition, I'm really not sure what an extension would do with it... Perhaps something Ubiquity-esque?
Oh, and if you make an extension (featuring the new APIs? It's not clear), let Google know and they might send you a free Chrome hoodie! Hooray.
A huge usability problem for some users in Google Chrome is the fact that the browser exits automatically when the last open tab is closed. While that may make sense sometimes, some users would expect it to open the blank tab page instead and leave the browser open. The blank tab page feels like the natural option to display when the last tab has been closed in the browser, as it contains links to the most used websites and the history.
Users who want to close the last tab, and see the blank tab page instead need to first open the blank tab page, and then close the other remaining tab to keep the browser open.
Last Tab Standing is a new Chrome extension that changes the default behavior in the web browser. The extension overrides the default behavior of the browser to exit if the last tab is closed. It instead opens a new tab so that the browser window remains open, exactly the functionality that some Chrome users like to see.
The browser can still be closed by closing the newly opened tab, or by clicking on the x icon in the upper right corner of the browser window.
Last Tab Standing has some quirks right now, like the previously mentioned exiting of the browser if the new tab is closed. Another limitation is that it only works in one browser window. Users who work with multiple browser windows will notice that the extension will do its magic only in the last remaining window.
The developer has plans to improve the extension, but states that the browser currently has certain limitations that may prevent an optimal solution.
Chrome users who want to try out the browser extension can download it from the official Chrome extensions gallery.
- The omnibox API allows extension developers to integrate with the browser’s omnibox. With this API, you can build custom search support for your favorite website, keyboard macros to automate tasks, or even a chat client right into the omnibox.
- The infobars API allows extension developers to display infobars across the top of a tab. These infobars are built using normal HTML, so they can be heavily customized and interactive.
I'm unabashedly a Gmail fan, and have been using it for years. One of the things I love about it is its ability to search through a huge number of messages, and find exactly what I need quickly.
But what if I told you there's a way to make searching your Gmail even faster, and that it wasn't Google that did it?
CloudMagic is a Google Chrome and Firefox extension which indexes your email locally on your computer, and provides ridiculously fast results when you search. The extension provides a CloudMagic search field right in Gmail with a shortcut key of Ctrl-/ (rather than just / for Gmail's regular search field). It features search-as-you-type that seems to react instantly to your keystrokes, and uses many of the same search operators that Gmail already uses, so you don't need to re-learn how to search.
From a privacy standpoint, CloudMagic creates the index locally on your machine, so there's no risk of someone snooping through your messages. It also stores your password locally, much like a regular email client does.
It's not clear to me what CloudMagic's revenue plan is, but I sure get a kick out of the idea of someone coming along and beating the pants off Google at search in Google's own email service. CloudMagic reports that Google Docs search is the next feature they will be releasing. I can't wait.
When Google began working on a built-in Flash plug-in for Chrome, they cited a handful of key motivations. They wanted a more hassle-free web experience for end users, more modern alternative to the aging NPAPI architecture, better security, and an easier way to deliver updates.
According to the SecBrowsing blog, their update aspirations have been a smashing success.
The traditional Flash updater is easy enough to avoid -- I often work on end users systems and see the beleaguered Flash updater crying out for attention from the system tray. Sadly, its cries often go ignored. Chrome's internal updater, however, can't be ignored. When there's a update to the browser or an internal plug-in, by Odin's beard, you're going to get it!
Within just two days of the most recent Flash update, fewer than 30% of SecBrowsing visitors were running an out-of-date version. That's compared to 14 days with the previous release -- a substantial improvement.
No comparisons to other browsers are given, but I've got to think that Chrome users are well ahead of the curve here.
A virtual keyboard provides two main advantages over a hardware keyboard. First, it defeats most keyloggers as the keys are not typed in but clicked on, and second it may offer faster access to special characters, especially from other keyboard layouts.
An example would be an English user who needs to write a German ö. Sure, the user could press the combination Alt+0246 on the numpad to write that letter, but only if the code is known, and chance is it is not if it is not commonly used.
Virtual Keyboard is a Google Chrome extension that offers both benefits. It supports a wide variety of different keyboard layouts, including the default English keyboard, but also German, French, Spanish, Greek, Russian or Cyrillic keyboard layouts. More than 80 different layouts are supported by the extension.
The virtual keyboard is automatically displayed on every web page that displays at least one text form. Like the previously reviewed Virtual Keyboard userscript it fails to work on secure (https) sites which severely limits its protection against keyloggers. One would expect an add-on like this to work on secure sites as well, considering that those are often prime targets of attackers.
Only the English keyboard layout is available after installation. The Chrome user can use the options to add layouts to the program, to switch between them on the web pages it is displayed.
It is possible to switch between layouts in the header, or by pressing Ctrl-Q.
The lack of support for https sites makes it less usable from a security perspective. It is nevertheless helpful for users who have to type characters from different languages regularly in the web browser.
Google Chrome is a fast moving name in the web browser world now. It is undoubtedly the best web browser around and with the Google backing; it has made a reputed position for itself. The development cycle has undergone a considerable change and Chrome has attracted bug fix bounty hunters just like Firefox. In short, Google Chrome is on a perfect roadmap.
Keeping up with this, Google Chrome has moved to the next version with the release of a development version of Google Chrome 7, named 7.0.497.0. A test version of this is available already and the dev channel version is scheduled to arrive this week.
The settings and the look and feel of version 7 is the same as that of Chrome 6 till now. However, expected features like the support for web applications and the Chrome store are missing as well! They are scheduled to arrive later in September this year.
Google recently fixed ten security bugs in Chrome and spiced up the process with bounties amounting to a total of ten thousand dollars.
With the chrome web store coming in October and web-application support coming in September, Chrome has a busy year ahead of itself.
What do you think of the new version of Google Chrome? Try it out and do let us know.
Verified authors start appearing in Chrome Extensions Gallery -- but not on Google's own extensions?
The Chromium blog announced the change two days ago, and several extensions are already displaying the verified author stamp. While I've seen everything from more well-known developers like WOT to humble individuals verifying their Tumblr sites, one thing surprises me. Google hasn't verified any of their extensions yet.
It's a bit surprising. After all, it's Google's Gallery and browser -- and a change they dreamed up, developed, and implemented. You'd think stamping your own submissions to the Gallery would have been a top priority -- both to give end users a visual cue that all these Google extensions are the genuine article and to set a precedent with developers.
This is only the third day, of course, and Google will no doubt give their extensions the check mark at some point -- I just find it strange that they didn't have them marked from the get-go.
The Beta channel has been updated to 6.0.472.41 for Windows, Mac and Chrome Frame. It contains additional stability fixes, UI updates, and an updated set of translations. More details about additional changes are available in the svn revision log.
You can find out how to use the different Chrome channels at http://dev.chromium.org/getting-involved/dev-channel.
What you'll see in the video after the break is darn near a geek's TV dream come true. Apart from adding super-slick search abilities to your DIRECTV received (Google TV can search everything from the program guide to your PVR stash), there's Google Chrome -- front and center on the apps menu.
Since Chrome is on board, you'll be able to enjoy the same Web content you do on your computer. That also means anything which runs on the "Chrome platform" -- extensions and the Web Store's upcoming assortment of apps and games -- should also work. While they're not demoed, it's interesting to see Netflix and Pandora apps on the menu as well.
It's an interesting look at what Google TV is all about. Check out the video and share your impressions in the comments!
Google Chrome 5.0.375.127 has been released to the Stable Channel on Windows, Mac, and Linux.
Security fixes and rewards:
Please see the Chromium security page for more detail. Note that the referenced bugs may be kept private until a majority of our users are up to date with the fix.
Aside from the listed security bugs fixed in Chromium, we have also deployed a workaround for a critical vulnerability where the root cause lies in an external component. Credit and $1337 to Marc Schoenefeld for enabling us to work around another Windows kernel bug .
- [$1337]  Critical Memory corruption with file dialog. Credit to Sergey Glazunov.
- [$500]  High Memory corruption with SVGs. Credit to wushi of team509.
- [$500]  High Bad cast with text editing. Credit to wushi of team509.
- [$1000]  High Possible address bar spoofing with history bug. Credit to Mike Taylor.
- [$2000]   High Memory corruption in MIME type handling. Credit to Sergey Glazunov.
- [$1337]  Critical Crash on shutdown due to notifications bug. Credit to Sergey Glazunov.
-  Medium Stop omnibox autosuggest if the user might be about to type a password. Credit to Robert Hansen.
- [$1000]  High Memory corruption with Ruby support. Credit to kuzzcc.
- [$1000]  High Memory corruption with Geolocation support. Credit to kuzzcc.
Since our announcement of the Chrome Web Store at Google I/O, our team has been hard at work preparing for our launch later this year. Today we’re making the first step towards this milestone by making available a developer preview of the Chrome Web Store.
Developers can now start uploading apps and experiment with packaging them, installing them in Chrome (using the latest Chrome dev channel) and integrating our payments and user authentication infrastructure.
To get started, take a look at our recently updated documentation for installable web apps, which explains how to prepare and package your apps. You should also review some additional documentation we just released on the store’s licensing and user authentication features.
To upload your app, you’ll need to use the upload flow of the Google Chrome Extensions Gallery .
When the Chrome Web Store launches, it will replace the current gallery, featuring a completely new design for users to discover great apps, extensions and themes all in one place. Until then, only you can see the apps you upload - they will not be visible to other visitors of the gallery during this developer preview. In the meantime, you can continue to use the gallery for publishing Chrome extensions and making them available to Chrome users.
We look forward to sharing more news about the store and its features over the next weeks. Meanwhile, we encourage you to subscribe to our developer discussion group for apps and look for updates on the Chromium blog.
Since we introduced extensions in Google Chrome, we focused on making the platform more robust, by continuously exposing new APIs to developers. This has helped our extensions gallery blossom where more than 6,000 extensions are listed today and more than 10 million extensions are downloaded by Chrome users every month.
We designed security into the extensions system from day 1 but we’re always looking for more ways to protect users. So, today, we are introducing two significant changes in the Google Chrome Extensions Gallery: a developer signup fee and a domain verification system.
The developer signup fee is a one-time payment of $5. It is intended to create better safeguards against fraudulent extensions in the gallery and limit the activity of malicious developer accounts. Starting today, this fee will be required to publish extensions, themes and soon apps in the gallery. We are waiving the fee for developers who already registered with the gallery (specifically before 11am PST today), so that they can continue to update their extensions and publish new items without paying the fee.
Domain verification is another addition that we believe will protect users and developers alike. Developers will be able to associate their extensions (and soon their apps) with domains they own or manage using Google’s Webmaster Tools. This way, they can clearly associate their extension with their brand and website, which in turn will help users identify “official” extensions in the gallery.
We believe that these are important improvements to the security of the gallery. We understand that changes like these can create a lot of questions, so please reach out to us on our developer discussion group for extensions.
Google developers Mark DeLoura and Michael Mahemoff showed off the latest progress of the Chrome Web Store at the Games Developer Conference in Europe, which is fitting because the Web Store is initially geared around serving online games for Web users.
Google May 19 introduced the Chrome Web Store at Google I/O to give help developers put free and paid Chrome Web apps in front of consumers.
The store will enable the roughly 70 million users of the Google Chrome Web browser to not only find Web apps, but create shortcuts in Chrome to access them easier.
The Chrome Web Store will rival Apple's App Store (What, does Android Market have to be the only Google rival to Apple), but instead of apps for Android smartphones, it will boast apps for tablets and other devices based on Chrome. More on that soon.
The Googlers told the crowd that the Web Store would be open for business in October, according to gaming blog 1Up.com.
Google will collect a 5 percent processing fee, but developers will reap the rest. That should make it duly attractive to programmers tired of giving 20 percent or 30 percent of their app sales.
Why is Chrome good for games? Its speed, of course, as DeLoura points out in this presentation:
Chrome Web store hasn't launched yet, so who cares? Why is this so exciting?
Opportunities for Chrome Web Store center around the forthcoming Chrome Operating System.
The first tablet computer based on Chrome OS is slated to hit November 26, in time for the Christmas holidays, according to this unverified scoop from the Download Squad.
Chrome OS tablets will provide a nice instrument on which users will play the games the use from the Web Store. Let's go further down this intriguing rabbit hole.
Sometime around the launch of Chrome Web Store and the Chrome OS tablet, Google will launch Google TV, bringing Chrome Web apps and TV content onto big-screen TVs, powered by a special remote control with a keypad.
That will give users an even greater surface on which to game, assuming it comes to market.
Let's go further. Web apps and specifically games and the ability for people to congregate around them online are clearly at the forefront of Google's plans for a social network (allegedly called Google Me).
Chrome Web Store, with its obvious focus on games like Plants and Zombies, could be a a big piece of this puzzle.
Imagine users accessing and sharing games they downloaded from Chrome Web Store through the Google Me social network. Hello, Facebook!
So, yeah, you could say games are big for Google right now.
- [r55669] Fixed some minor issues with css custom cursor rendering (Issue: 51709)
- Re-enable the link to disable individual plug-ins in a group. (Issue: 51597)
- [r55596] Fixed playback rate for WebM/VP8 on certain content. (Issue: 51014)
- See All
- [r56026] Opening downloaded items from the download shelf now behaves as expected (Issues 32921,50263)
- See All
Groan, I thought. Not another HTML5 showcase. We get it, ... we really get it! HTML5 is cool! It's awesome, it's the next big thing, and it's going to make us all insanely rich and handsome!
But what's different about HTML5 Studio (and its main saving grace, if you ask me) is that it's made by Google. Yup! Straight from the big G come nine HTML5 examples, including such favorites as the Slider Carousel, Drag n Drop Photos, and more.
Some examples are not customizable, which means that what you see is what you get. You can download the whole demo, though, or you can view the source.
Other demos (like the Newspaper Columns one) are more customizable, and they have a few sliders that you can move around in order to see how they affect the layout.
The resulting CSS is complex. To be honest, the whole thing feels so unlike Google that, if it didn't have that "Made by Google" text at the bottom and the Twitter link that leads to ChromiumDev, I would never have thought it was a Google product; I nearly skipped it before I noticed the label.
Another disclaimer that appears on the site says, "This site contains information on APIs that are not part of the current W3C HTML5 specification." So, I guess that you can mainly count on these examples to work in Chrome (and the ones that I've tried do), but don't push your luck with other browsers.
We're not just talking Plants vs. Zombies or Bejewelled here either (no offense intended). In the top right corner of 1Up's screenshot you can clearly see FIFA 10 -- and you've got to think that if EA is on board with one title, they'll be bringing more to the table as well.
1Up's post also shows Google demonstrating other in-browser games like the Quake demo their own devs released, Freeciv.net, Google Pac Man, and a Flash version of Lego Star Wars. The page for Plants vs. Zombies is also shown with a price of $3.99 -- not to bad for one of the most addictive little games I've played in a long time. There's also a 'try it free' button so you can count on being able to test drive at least some of the games and apps in the store prior to plunking down your cash.
I don't know about you, but the more details that surface the more excited I'm getting about the Chrome Web Store opening its doors. Now, when am I going to get my hands on a shiny piece of Chrome OS hardware....?
Stylebot is a Chrome add-on that provides a point-and-click interface for customizing the CSS on any page, and then it saves your customizations for next time -- and if you have bookmark sync turned on, it even syncs them for you!
The way that it works is very simple. In Selection mode, each element on the page gets a highlighted frame when you hover over it. As soon as you get the element that you want, just click it. Any CSS declarations that you then specify are applied to that element.
"Specifying CSS declarations" sounds pretty technical, but it's basically clicking a bunch of buttons. You need to know a bit of CSS to make good use of the add-on, but it's also a very good way to learn. Of course, if you do know your CSS, you can just switch to Advanced mode and hand code it instead.
A few missing features:
Up/down keys do not work for incrementing/decrementing values. That's a must-have Greasemonkey feature!
Existing font sizes (and other properties) are not displayed. This means that, if I want to increase the font size of an existing element, I need to start by guessing what the current size is. Then, I need to nudge it up by entering (say) 12, deleting, entering 13, deleting, entering 17, deleting, entering 15, etc. It rapidly gets annoying. Up/down keystroke support + showing the currently selected font size would go a long way towards alleviating this.
There's no simple way to undo a single change. You can either reset everything you've done, or you can manually edit the CSS in order to remove the change (if your CSS chops are up to the task).
Other than those few things, it's certainly a handy add-on for customizing the Web. I like that it saves your settings automatically and syncs them. I've embedded the add-on's "intro video" after the break.