Fifth and Likely Final Chrome 66 Build Lands in The Chrome OS Beta Channel

Left Side Ports Detail of The Pixelbook

With Chrome 66 landing on all of the browser variants of Chrome this week, both desktop and mobile, the last update is with Chrome OS.  That is expected to happen next week on April 25th.  In the meantime, a fifth and likely final beta of Chrome 66 has arrived in the Chrome OS Beta Channel for those who have their devices in that channel.  The new build is 66.0.3359.117 (Platform version: 10452.69.0).

For those who have a machine in the Beta Channel, you should check for the update by typing chrome://help in the browser bar and clicking the Check for Update button.

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Chrome for Android Update Brings New Modern Design and Autoplay Restrictions

Chrome for Android Beta Modern UI

After three beta builds over the past few weeks, the Chrome team has released the Chrome 66 update to Chrome for Android.  The new app is build 66.0.3359.106 and it will be landing on devices over the course of the next few weeks.  There are several changes in this update including most noticeably, a new modern UI look to the browser.

This new look rolled out via a flag change in one of the first betas of Chrome 66 and it is still a flag that you can enable.  That flag is chrome://flags/#enable-chrome-modern-design.  It gives everything a more rounded and polished look over the current, default UI.  Also, like the desktop updates and Chrome for iOS, you can now export your passwords in the mobile browser to save as a .CSV file.  Keep in mind though that the file is not encrypted so if anyone gets hold of it, they have your passwords.  Protect it!

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Chrome for iOS Now Allows Password Exporting

Password Export in Chrome for iOS

Google has released an update to Chrome for iOS, bringing it up to Chrome 66 and bringing the ability to export your passwords from the mobile browser.  The update is already in the App Store and if you have Chrome for iOS installed on your iPhone or iPad, you likely already have received the update.

The new build brings the mobile browser up to speed with the Android version as well as the desktop versions by basing it on Chrome 66.  The ability to export passwords was actually in the iOS version in Chrome 65 but it had to be enabled through the changing of a flag in the browser.  In this update, it is fully supported and no flag changes are required.

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Apple Pay Support Expands in the United States and Other Countries

Apple Pay

Apple Pay, the tap-to-pay service for retail and app purchases, has expanded the number of partner financial institutions here in the United States as well as  five other countries.  The expansion comes just a few weeks after Brazil iOS users were added to the countries that support the service.

The expansion adds banks here in the United States as well as Canada, China, Italy, Russia, and Spain.  While the list of countries and banks supported by Apple Pay is substantially smaller than its main rival Google Pay, the expansion shows that Apple plans to continue to work with financial institutions and, in some cases, governments, for the service to work in other countries and with more banks.

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Apple Releases Second Beta of MacOS 10.13.5 to Testers

MacOS Icon

Following up on the release of the second beta of iOS 11.4, Apple has released the second beta of the next build of MacOS High Sierra, MacOS 10.13.5.  The update is available to testers who have registered their devices in the Apple beta program.  If you have a registered device, the update should be available to you through the Mac App Store.

Not much is known about what is included in this second beta as Apple tends to not release many details on it.  Given it is a “dot” release, it more-or-less focuses on bug fixes and performance improvements as well as refinements to apps on the platform.  One thing that is known is that MacOS 10.13.5 will bring Message on iCloud which is now also in the afore mentioned second beta of iOS 11.4.

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G Suite Can Now Allow Any App to be Installed on Managed Android Devices

Google G Suite

G Suite is getting a small but time saving feature for admins who have corporate owned Android devices, or devices with a corporate work profile.  They will now be able to allow any app to be installed on those devices, saving the tedious work of having to whitelist apps one at a time.  It is a change that will be rolling out to all domains over the course of the new few weeks.

To this point, if a corporate owned or corporate work profile device needed to install an app beyond what the admin’s had whitelisted, they had to go and approve that app for that specific device.  As you can imagine, this can be time consuming if you have a lot of corporate devices.  Now admins can allow any app to be installed but, and this is important, end users will still only see the whitelisted apps in the corporate version of the Google Play Store first.  It is only when they search for an app that they will be able to find it and install it.

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Android Oreo Jumps 3.5% in The Latest Android Distribution Report

Android Distribution Report April 2018

The Android Distribution Report for April has been released and it reflects a sizable gain for Android Oreo.  The latest version of Android, either the 8.0 or 8.1 builds, jumped 3.5% over the February report’s figures for the version.  It now is on 4.6% of all devices that went to the Google Play Store for the 7 day period ending April 16, 2018.  It is the biggest single jump for Oreo in the reports so far.

The gains have been helped largely lay the number of manufactures who have released the Oreo update for their devices.  Samsung, Sony, HTC, Nokia and OnePlus have all been updating devices in the two months since the last report.

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OxygenOS 5.1 Update for the OnePlus 5 and 5T Brings Oreo 8.1

OnePlus 5T

OnePlus has released OxygenOS 5.1 for the OnePlus 5 and 5T today, bringing Android Oreo 8.1 to the two phones as well as other improvements to the device.  On the OnePlus 5T, it also brings the new full screen gesture support which is similar to the gestures found on Apple’s iPhone X.  The gestures have generated a bit of controversy as they appear to almost directly mimic Apple’s gestures on their flagship phone – but the implementation in testing has been lackluster with multiple user issues.

Along with Oreo 8.1, OxygenOS 5.1 brings the April Android Security Update patches to the phone as well as a new optimizing gaming mode which pauses the adaptive brightness of the screen and has power saving features.

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