These days, you no longer have to be an esoteric nerd to sport a dual-monitor setup. Heck, many of us use three monitors, and some have been known to use entire walls. Now, when you have such a setup and try to watch a YouTube video in full-screen, you quickly discover an irritating fact: While you're watching a video in full-screen on one monitor, any click on another monitor collapses the video back to its tiny windowed size.
There are ways to get around this by replacing specific Flash DLLs with tweaked versions, but really, who wants to mess with system files like this? Window Expander for Chrome is a far less invasive solution. It adds a button to Chrome's Omnibar which you can click to display a full-screen window with the video you're currently watching. Since Chrome has so little, well, chrome, it's the next best thing to full-screen. Window Expander is simple, and it works. Go give it a try!
Google Chrome & Security: Sandboxing
Learn more about how Chrome's sandboxing technology keeps you safer and more secure when you browse the web. Chrome is built with an added layer of protection known as a "sandbox." The browser sandbox builds a contained environment to keep malware and other security threats from infecting your computer. If you open a malicious web page, the browser's sandbox prevents that malicious code from leaving the browser and installing itself to your hard drive. The malicious code therefore cannot read, alter, or further damage the data on your computer. www.google.com
While tech pundits don't seem ready to give Google TV the thumbs up, yesterday's update certainly makes Google's home entertainment platform a bit more compelling. For starters, there's built-in Netflix support and a better movie search function -- which makes it easy to find your favorite Terry Gilliam flicks (if you're in the US, anyhow) and watch them on Netflix or Amazon Video on Demand.
Google has also turned your Android smartphone into a device which can play both Angry Birds and take full control of your Google TV box. The demo video is after the break, as is the QR Code to help you grab Google TV Remote from the Android Market.
Multitasking fanatics will appreciate the improved Dual View feature, which now allows users to drag and resize the video window which floats atop the Chrome browser. This makes it much easier to actually do things in the browser while you watch -- since the non-movable window could easily get in the way of form elements and links.
Chrome/Firefox: If you're a frequenter of sites like Megavideo, Megaupload, and Veoh, you're probably annoyed with the constant limitations. Browser extension Illimitux will remove those limitations for you so you can watch video and upload files annoyance-free. More »
Although we've already seen Flash in action on Chrome OS, Adobe has come out and officially announced Flash Player for Google's newest operating system and deemed it a "work in progress." If you're expecting the kind of desktop performance you get with the latest hardware accelerated builds of Flash Player, I'm afraid you're going to be a little disappointed -- video playback performance certainly seems a little lacking. However, Adobe is committed to improving it, as "video performance in particular is the primary area for improvement," with Adobe working directly with Google engineers in an effort to enable video acceleration.
Like the Chrome browser, Adobe's directly integrating Flash into Chrome OS, meaning that Flash will auto-update and should, combined with the robustness of the underlying Linux kernel, make Chrome OS a very secure computing platform indeed.
How to remain calm, despite what's about to happen to your Chrome notebook
Chrome UX designer Glen Murphy demonstrates some advantages of using a Chrome notebook. 25 computers were harmed in the making of this video. Fortunately, no data was lost. Find out more at google.com/chromenotebook.
As a quick follow-up article to the Adobe Flash 10.2 beta announcement, we thought we'd show you how to disable Google Chrome's built-in Flash plug-in so that you can use a pre-release build like the 10.2 beta. It's a quick and simple process, but please remember that once you've disabled Chrome's built-in Flash you won't get the benefit of Chrome's internal Flash updates.
1. Download the Flash plug-in that you'd like to use with Chrome (10.2 can be found here).
2. Fire up Chrome and type about:plugins into the address bar; hit enter.
3. Click on Details in the top right of the window to expand the plug-in details.
4. Find the Flash plug-in that's listed as being in the Chrome directory and hit Disable (shown above).
5. Check which version of Flash you have by heading here.
That's it -- now you can jump on over to Adobe's Stage Video demo and watch as your CPU basically idles as you play HD video. If you want to reverse the procedure, just re-enable Chrome's built-in Flash plug-in and it'll take priority over the pre-release version.
Earlier this year, in June, I ran the first of my side-by-side deathmatches to try and work out which, if any, of the browsers is truly the hardware accelerated king. As it turned out, Firefox 4 and Internet Explorer 9 were pretty equally balanced. Just two months later, in August, Chrome had stolen the top spot and sent Firefox 4, in a fit of tears, to the bottom of the heap.
Just over two weeks later, however, I'm starting to like what I see. Instant now works with Chrome's about: and chrome: URLs -- about:labs now appears below as soon as I hit the t. Google search results in the Omnibox -- like my query for Full Life Consequences -- are also displayed full-frame now rather than as a half-page overlay.
There's also a folded corner with a clickable 'x,' though I'm not sure I see the point -- clicking it takes focus away from the Omnibox and dumps you back at your previous page.
For a quick video demo, take the jump and see how Chrome Instant handles things in its latest incarnation.
ed note: Dev channel users, give the command line flag --enable-match-preview a shot.
Demo Preview: Collectibles Painter by Human Engines
Demo Preview: Field by Gregg Tavares
Demo Preview: Wall of Photos by Cooliris
Demo Preview: Aquarium by Human Engines and Gregg Tavares
Chrome: If you'd prefer to keep both hands on the keyboard as much as possible, Google Search Result Navigation enables shortcut-based navigation within your Google search results using a simple combination of CTRL + the arrow keys. More »
Chrome: Zoomy is a small Chrome extension that automatically enlarges websites to fill the available screen space. Whether you're trying to read small text more comfortably or you're tired of the massive page gutters on your widescreen monitor, Zoomy can help. More »
3-way hardware-accelerated browser shoot-out: Chrome on top, IE9 just behind and Firefox brings up the rear (video)
After yesterday's announcement that Chrome 7 is now hardware accelerated, I instantly wanted to get the major browsers back into the ring for another screencasted deathmatch. Back when I did the 4-way speed test, only Firefox and Internet Explorer 9 featured hardware acceleration, and as a result Opera and Chrome were many orders of magnitude slower. If you watch the video, however, you'll see that's definitely no longer the case: Chrome is now the fastest of the three major browsers.
That speed comes at a price! As I discuss in the video, Chrome might be faster, but it uses significantly more resources than either IE9 or Firefox 4. Firefox is some 30% slower, but at the same time seems to use less CPU and GPU time. IE9 seems to utilize the same amount of CPU time as Chrome, but a little less of the GPU -- and it's marginally slower as a result.
What I don't know is whether this is by design or not. You'll notice that the GPU never went far above 50% -- why, with three browsers open, does it not get closer to 100%? The resources are there to be used -- why not use them?! Likewise, my CPU is still only half-used even when all three browsers are drawing 1000 frantic fishes at the same time. If you're curious, the other IE9 test drive samples all provided similar results. I wanted to try Google's 'HTML5 rocks' sample gallery, but they intentionally used elements of CSS and HTML5 that aren't yet supported in Internet Explorer 9 or Firefox 4.
In the name of science, here's some more information about my process: the screen capture does slow down each browser by a few frames per second, but relatively the figures are still accurate. I saw a small deviation in FPS when I was only running one browser at a time (probably because my CPU has multiple cores). There are a few unknown variables too, like whether the CPU core usage is defined by the app, or by the operating system (but with Chrome using more resources than IE9, you can only assume that Windows isn't unfairly biasing its own-brand browser).
If you'd like to recreate my test, you'll need to enable hardware acceleration in Firefox 4 and Chrome -- IE9 has it turned on by default:
- Firefox 4 -- grab a nightly build, navigate to about:config and add gfx.font_rendering.directwrite.enabled -- set it to 'true'
- Chrome 7 -- grab a nightly build and add the following flags to the shortcut before opening it: --enable-accelerated-compositing --enable-gpu-plugin --enable-gpu-rendering --enable-accelerated-2d-canvas
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!