The Google OS blog was lucky enough to nab a screenshot of the Most Popular page complete with "Free" tags, though when I checked the site only the spotlight extension at the top showed prices.
There have been other indications recently that Google is gathering steam for the Web Store launch. Not long ago, I received an odd 500 error indicating that the Web Store was not available. Google has also been busy educating extension and Web app developers about accepting payments.
While no launch date has been revealed yet, stay tuned -- the Web Store Launch surely can't be far off now.
Right now, enabling Preview has no effect on functionality. Flipping the switch does, however, provide a partial glimpse of how the feature is shaping up. Entering chrome://print in your Omnibar will load the page you see above, minus the TSN page, of course. I composited that in to provide some idea how the preview might actually appear with content -- right now, chrome://print just displays the word main in all caps.
Once again, Google is eschewing additional application windows in favor of an in-tab display. As with the bookmark manager and the tabbed options feature in about:flags, building print preview into a tab should simplify deployment of the feature across different OSes.
It seems likely that chrome://print will also feature ties to Cloud Print -- so that you can easily fire off your document to any printer you've connected to the service.
The passphrase option is currently only available in Chrome's Dev Channel, but these things usually trickle down to the Beta and Stable channels pretty quickly. You can find it in Options > Personal Stuff > Sync > Customize > Encryption tab. Once you set up your passphrase, you won't be able to sync any data to another Chrome install without entering it there as well. Also, Google won't be able to see any of your synced data, since it will be stored encrypted on their servers, and your passphrase itself never leaves your computer(s). One thing to keep in mind is that once you've set a passphrase, you can't remove it without clearing your sync data.
This is a neat addition to the sync feature, yet for complete peace of mind when passwords are involved, a dedicated tool like LastPass will probably work better. Granted, that does require an additional download and setup routine, and some simply won't go through that trouble -- so it's definitely cool that even integrated features receive additional security.
Bleeding-edge Chrome users -- especially those using Macs -- have at least one very good reason to like Chrome's recently-added about:labs page. First and foremost, it provides an easier way to enable and disable features that were previously buried behind command line switches.
In a posting on the Chromium-dev board, Google's Ben Goodger has some encouraging news for about:labs fans. Goodger wants Chrome developers to get their experimental features added to Labs, so expect to see plenty of future additions as Googlers tinker.
At the same time, Goodger wants to make it more clear that Labs features are experiments -- meaning users could very well mix the "chemicals" improperly and have Chrome blow up in their faces. That's certainly the case with Chrome's accelerated 2D canvas switch in the current Dev channel build.
As such, there's a re-name coming so that the page sounds a bit less friendly. Perhaps about:danger? about:itsatrap? Maybe they should also change the background color to red or slap a sign on the page...
Still, it's a bit more than I wanted. Give me a simple right-click, set-as-wallpaper option. And that's precisely what Mohamed Mansour has done. Witness: the Set image as wallpaper extension for Google Chrome! Right click, set image as wallpaper, and an HTML5 previewer appears so you can eyeball the finished product -- you can even choose to stretch, center, or tile your image. Future versions will include an options page that allows you to skip the previewer and simply perform a two-click image swap.
Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on which OS you use) Mohamed's extension currently only works with Windows. Linux and Mac versions are being worked on.
By the way, there's absolutely no need to panic over MG Siegler's comments on TechCrunch that "someone fed the bloat trolls." Set as wallpaper only uses about 5MB memory -- the same as most other basic extensions. Clearly MG thinks that saving an image, locating it on disk, and then using OS X's built-in controls to set the wallpaper is a much more elegant way to do things.
As for me, I'll take my context menu enhancement, thanks.
Until last night -- when the Cloud Print Proxy service appeared as an option in Chromium's about:labs page. Once enabled, a new option is added to your wrench menu > options > under the hood. Right near the bottom, you'll see:
The manage button takes you to a Web dashboard, though that's where the fun ends for now.
Let the "I can't believe you printed your cat picture on my preprinted check forms!!" hilarity begin!
Firefox added built-in checking for outdated plug-ins a while back, and it was announced back in June that Google Chrome would soon add the feature. After all, surfing with older, unpatched versions of Flash, Java, or QuickTime poses a security risk, and browser security is a vital part of Chrome's core.
Following the update to 7.0.542.0 in Chrome's bleeding-edge Canary build, Windows users can now turn on outdated plug-in checking. To flip the switch, jump to the about:labs page and click the enable link. Unlike some other experimental features, the plug-in check doesn't require a restart.
Right now, the check is only available in Canary -- but this is the kind of feature Google tends to push to Chrome's other channels in short order.
Sure, most operating systems display the time, and the exertion required to figure out how far off 5:00PM is if your clock reads 11:15AM is pretty minimal... But there are days when the grind is all you can take and your brain simply can't handle that smidgen of additional thought.
Exhausted, you glance up at your browser for a little good news. 2:20 until you go home! Crap. That means two more hours of feigning interest and four more five-minute trips to the bathroom to kill time. But at least you had the G******n Work extension installed in Google Chrome to give you the heads-up.
I'd like to think that this is the kind of extension Fred Flintstone would use in his browser. You know, rather than waiting on that blasted bird to blare out the end-of-day signal.
Firefox users have been able to add this functionality for a while [addon link], and now Google Chrome users have an option as well. A new extension adds a TinEye-powered 'search similar' entry to your Chrome context menu. You can see it popped up on my glorious foreground image of Earthworm Jim -- and TinEye's bevy of similar images peeking out around the edge.
I can see myself using TinEye reverse search quite often, really -- to find a higher-quality version of an image, for example. It's a welcome power-up for my right clicks.
However, unlike the other Labs options -- like side tabs, tabbed settings, and Instant -- Remoting still isn't usable. After enabling and restarting Chromium, you'll be able to hit set up remoting under the wrench menu. A login box will appear, but that's as far as you'll get.
It's safe to assume that an actual Google or Chromium.Org account (internal, not the ones you and I use) is required at this point, but with Remoting cropping up in Labs it shouldn't be too much longer before we're able to take the feature for a test drive.
For example, there's Typing Speed Monitor which I recently posted. When you install it, you'll receive the following alerts:
There's nothing to fear, however, because your data isn't going anywhere: "[Typing Speed Monitor] can't give that data to anyone else because it doesn't have permission to access other hosts."
Still, the alerts are offputting and even give more seasoned surfers cold feet when installing an extension -- which is where the alert above comes in. Michael Gundlach, who maintains AdBlock for Chrome, used Chrome's extension update support to push a reassuring note to its users about an upcoming change.
I've seen the "requires more permissions" alert before from an extension, but I haven't seen a dev take the time to explain to users what's going on. It's a smart, thoughtful move by Gundlach. Until Chrome offers more insightful (and accurate) alerts, developers might want to follow this example to avoid accidentally scaring their users.
Now, Google has made policy templates available for download which provide a measure of lockdown functionality. As you can see, after importing the .ADM files into the Windows Group Policy Editor you'll be able to manage a handful of Chrome settings via a local machine policy.
A default home page and proxy settings can be configured and Chrome Sync can be blocked, but the bulk of the options are related to background communications with Google (alternate error pages, DNS prefetch, crash reporting, suggestions, etc.). There are a few things missing right now. For example, while I can choose to disable certain plug-ins, there's no switch to disallow extension installs. I'd also like to disable Chrome's autofill feature, but it, too, is missing.
Providing this type of application control was a key step if Google had any hopes of wresting away enterprise market share from Internet Explorer. Now that it's here, it will be interesting to see if Chrome can make inroads in the workplace.
Google Checkout payments are now supported, and developers can sign up for a merchant account on their dashboard page. Page previews have now been added -- so you can see how your app will look in the Store prior to publishing. Pages can be customized with header images and Google is also allowing devs to upload their own promotional banners (they'll be displayed when your app is feature in the store).
One downside for developers hoping to sell their apps in the Web Store is that Google Checkout might be the only payment option. Checkout still isn't available in that many countries, so international devs looking to deliver localized Web apps will have to wait for Google to make good on their expansion promises.
ed note: it's become an expected part of app stores, but as you can see in the screenshot the Chrome Web Store will offer recommendations based on what other users install.
Ever finished firing off a lengthy email and wondered, "Dang, I wish I knew how many WPM that was"? No, me either. But still, as a guy who writes a lot and often gets asked by people how fast I can type I just may give Typing Speed Monitor for Google Chrome a try and see what it tells me.
Install the extension and it takes residence in your browser actions area. As you type, it'll record your speed and monitor how often you press each key. In addition to good ol' QWERTY, Dvorak and Colemak keyboard layouts are also supported. TSM's pop-up heatmap provides detailed stats about your typing including CPM, WPM, total time, and keypresses per key.
No, 61 really isn't that great... But go easy on me, it's six o'clock in the morning and I haven't had any coffee yet.
Maybe I should re-read Jason's post on how to touch type like a keyboarding ninja...
If Google Chrome is your browser of choice, the Send to Instapaper extension is exactly what you're after. Rather than merely replacing a bookmarklet with a browser action button, this extension adds an entry to your context menu. Right-click a link that you'd like to check out later on, and it's added to your queue.
You'll need to be signed in to your Instapaper account first, as the extension doesn't store your username or password.
It's happened to pretty much everyone who uses copy and paste: you find some text on the Web which just happens to be huge, bold, and a color you wouldn't even want on your argyle socks. You highlight, copy, and paste it into a new email message to share with a chum and the ugliness transfers.
If only there was a solution -- like some sort of hotkey combo which would automatically strip the formatting for you.
The Google Chrome team feels your pain, and they've responded. Chrome can now do exactly that. Instead of using Ctrl+V to paste, press Ctrl+Shift+V to insert your text without retaining the original formatting. Mac users have to perform the slightly more acrobatic Command+Shift+Option+V.
The new paste feature is yet another small-but-welcome addition to Chrome, and one that I'm sure I'll use frequently.
What does QuickShift do? It allows you to move your current tab to a different Chrome using a hotkey combination: Ctrl+Alt+Right/Left arrow . Often when I'm writing I need to pop a source article over to my secondary monitor, and this is an incredibly elegant way to do it.
QuickShift also adds Windows 7-style tab switching. In the same way that you can tap Win+[a number] to launch or switch to an application on your taskbar, QuickShift allows you to change tabs in Chrome by pressing Ctrl+Alt+[1-9]. Like most Google Chrome extensions which interact with your tab, you'll need to reload any active tabs before you can utilize QuickShift.
Now if only someone would pay me a nickel for every millisecond I save by not tearing tabs off and dragging them to my "reference" monitor...
Both new and used price history is displayed, and the extension also adds a notification box to the right side of the Amazon page. Set your target price, specify new or used, and Tracktor will let you know when it's time to buy!
Either way, I still find that Scribe just isn't all that handy for competent, speedy typists. You'll have moved on to your next word long before suggestions ever appear in most cases.
For Chrome users who type at a more modest rate of speed, however, the Scribe extension may very well be worth installing. If you find autcomplete helpful while texting on your cell phone, Scribe is probably right up your alley.
One gripe: the default activation hotkey is Ctrl+J -- which is the same sequence used to access Chrome's downloads page. How about making this customizable, Google?
One additional gripe: if you're typing into a field which already auto-suggests (such as tag fields on various Web apps like wordpress), Scribe could give you some grief. Make sure you turn it back off before typing in such fields.
Bonus points to the commenter who submits the most LOL-worthy comment created entirely with Google Scribe!
There are a ton of add-ons that dim the screen while you're watching a video or playing a Flash game. Heck, some Web sites even have this functionality built right in, no add-on required.
Reading Glasses for Chrome does the same, but for text. As you can see in the screenshot, with Reading Glasses, only the post text is dark, while all other page elements are grayed out. This is accomplished by highlighting some of the text of the post, and clicking the "glasses" icon which appears next to the address bar once the add-on is installed.
I wish the add-on could make the page background dark and the text light. Also, it would be nice if it could make the text a tad larger. Then again - this is what Readability is for. Then again, Reading Glasses is a bit more lightweight and it doesn't impact the site's look-and-feel at all, except for fading it out a bit.