Category: Chrome

Google Chrome Browser Update for Windows & Mac Released

If you are a Google Chrome user on your Windows PC or Mac, there is a small but important update that has been released.  The updated builds are 54.0.2840.99 for Windows and 54.0.2840.98 for Mac.  Note that there is no update for Linux yet.  According to the release notes from the Chrome team, there are additional changes to the browser for that platform and it will be updated tomorrow.  The update will come via an OTA update but if you want to force the issue, go to chrome://help in the browser and it will force the update to happen.  I’ve already done this for my Macbook so the update is readily available.

Read on for details on what has changed.

Chrome for Windows Gets a PGO Speed Boost

The Chromium team has rolled out an update to Chrome for Windows that should bring a big speed boost to the browser.  In build 53 for 32-bit and 54 for 64-bit, Chrome now takes advantage of Profile Guided Optimization, or PGO (pronounced Pogo) compiling to give big speed improvements.  In their blog post about the update, the team reports that new tabs open 14.8% faster while Page Loads speed up by 5.9%.  Not familiar with PGO?  It is a compiler optimization technique that is designed to optimize performance.  Specifically, Chrome looks at what functions are being used and optimizes those functions to gain the speed improvements.  Essentially what it does is move rarely used functions out of memory and frequently used ones into memory.

Chrome for Android Updated to Build 53

Chrome for Android has been updated to build 53 and the update will be rolling out to your Android devices this week.  The update comes a week after the same major build was released for Chrome OS and about two weeks after it was released for Chrome for desktop (Windows, MacOS and Linux).  The updated build number is version 53.0.2785.124 for those keeping score at home.  The update has been released to the Google Play Store so it is a matter of when the OTA update comes to your device which will likely happen at some point this week.

Chrome for Desktop Updated With Security Fixes

If you are using the Chrome browser on your Windows, Mac or Linux machine, there is an important update that is out now for you to download.  The update, version 53.0.2785.113 has several security improvements in it but most of what has been fixed has not been released by the Chromium team.  As is often the case on these mid-stream releases (remember, they just released a big update last week), the team and their researchers found a significant security issue and they won’t release the details of it until a majority of users have updated to the build.  Once that happens, all the gory details can be found on the Chromium Blog.

That said, there are five named fixes in the update, two of which were considered high priority.

New Android-Like Hangouts Chrome Extension Now Available

If you are a heavy user of Hangouts and use Chrome or Chrome OS, there is a new extension and app for you to check out.  Last week Google announced that a new, Android-like Chrome extension for Hangouts would be coming out with the aim to improve performance and the overall look and feel of the UI.  Achievement unlocked as both the extension and the app look far better than the old style and both perform exceptionally well.

The new extension can be found in the Chrome Web Store which allows you to run Hangouts while you are using your Chrome browser regardless of platform.  This is what the majority of users will want, especially Chrome OS users, as the browser tends to stay open all the time.

Chrome for Android Update Brings Android Pay Support

A new version of the Chrome browser for Android is making its way into the Play Store.  The updated build, version 53.0.2785.97 for those keeping score at home, has a lot of security updates and improvements that we’ve come to expect from these types of updates.  However, there is also support for Payment Request API which means that this build of Chrome supports Android Pay.  The Payment Request API is somewhat self explanatory but here is the W3C definition:

This specification describes a web API to allow merchants (i.e. web sites selling physical or digital goods) to easily accept payments from different payment methods with minimal integration. User agents (e.g., browsers) will facilitate the payment flow between merchant and user.

This means that you will be able to use Android Pay to pay for goods and services through the Chrome browser on your phone without having to type in a credit card number.  It should make buying goods online faster and more secure.

Chrome Build 53 Released for Desktops

Users of the Chrome browser for Windows, MacOS and Linux will want to grab the latest update rolling out.  Chrome Build 53 has been pushed out by the Chromium team and with it comes a whole host of fixes, security patches and updates.  Specifically, the build is version 53.0.2785.89 for those keeping score at home and it contains 13 high priority updates amongst the total of 20 updates.  Many of those fixes have to do with Heap Overflows and spoofing which the Chromium team has closed thanks to the help of contributors globally.  If you are running Chrome on your desktop, go to chrome://help and it will automatically start downloading the update for you.  Remember that you will need to do an restart of the browser to kick in the new version.

Comment Notifications Come To Google Docs, Sheets and Slides

Google has rolled out a behind-the-scenes update that enabled comment notifications in Chrome and on Android for Google Docs, Google Sheets and Google Slides.  Previously, when someone made a comment on a shared file, you would receive an email notification that the comment had been made on the document.  Now you will get a standard notification on your Android devices or in Chrome when these comments have been made on the file.

Google Launches My Activity Site – The Paranoid, Unite!

So if you are super paranoid about Google knowing everything about you, this post may not be good for your blood pressure.  If, however, you like being able to see your activity using Google products and services on any give day, the new My Activity site is for you.  And frankly, it is pretty darn cool.  For each day you can see a breakdown of the apps, services and other content that you have done on any given day.  It is literally a minute-by-minute breakdown.   You can see your search history, the website you have visited, the apps you have used, the YouTube videos you have viewed.  You get the idea:  If you give Google access to this information, it is in there in impressive detail.

Chrome Browser Sees Its Monthly Security Update Release

The regular monthly security update to the Chrome browser has been released with over a dozen different security fixes.  The update build is version 51.0.2704.79 for those keeping score at home and it is rolling out now to those who have the browser installed on their Windows PC, Mac or Linux device.  If you have the browser installed, you can wait for the OTA to come to you or you can got to Menu>Settings>About> which will force the update to happen.  You’ll need to restart Chrome once you have the update installed.

Chrome 51 Released for Windows and Mac

The Chromium team has released Chrome build 51 for Windows and Mac, updating the browser with a significant number of bug fixes and security improvements.  The updated build is version 51.0.2704.63 and it is available now for those of you who have the browser installed.  To force the update, go to Menu>Settings>About and the browser will go and look for the update, download it and after you restart your the browser, will apply it.  Do note Linux users, this update is not available to you just yet.  The release notice from the Chromium team indicates that the Linux build will be coming out shortly.

Google Chrome Overtakes Internet Explorer As Most Used Desktop Browser

Internet Explorer, the long time de facto browser on the desktop, has been upended by Google’s Chrome in the latest report from NetMarketShare.  Reporting for the end of April 2016, Google Chrome had a 41.66% share of desktop browser users while Internet Explorer had 41.35%.  Yes it is a small different but looking at the longer history of how Chrome has made gains while IE has declined, this difference in percentage will only grow over the course of the next year.  At one point, Chrome trailed IE by some 26.77% just last June.