New Chrome OS Flag Bringing USB Access to Android Apps

Google Pixelbook Chrome OS Interface

Back in January, I posted about a new commit in the Chrome OS Gerrit that pointed to the ability for Android apps to be able to access a USB drive attached to your Chromebook.  At the time, it was only a commit and had not shown up in any channel for the platform but that now has changed.

The team over at Chrome Story had discovered a new flag that enables this feature in the Chrome OS Canary Channel.  The Canary Channel right now is based on what will be Chrome 68 so we are still several months away from it landing in the Stable Channel – but it appears to be coming.

Continue reading “New Chrome OS Flag Bringing USB Access to Android Apps”

Chrome OS Commit Points to Native SMB Share Support Coming to The Files App

Files app in Chrome OS

A new commit in the Chrome OS Gerrit points to an exciting new features for Chromebook users who need to access shared network resources.  It looks like the platform is going to be gaining native Server Message block (SMB) support, and it may be as soon as Chrome 68

For those that may not be familiar with SMB, it is a client-server communication protocol used for sharing access to files, printers, serial ports and other resources on a network.  If you have ever accessed a network based file or printer, odds are very high you accessed it via SMB.

Continue reading “Chrome OS Commit Points to Native SMB Share Support Coming to The Files App”

Chrome OS Build Release Schedule for 2018

Left Side Ports Detail of The Pixelbook

We are only two months into 2018 but it is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Chrome OS.  This year is slated to be a busy one with 8 releases of the platform scheduled to happen this calendar year.  One of those, Chrome 64, has already happened but by the time we get to December, we will be rolling out Chrome 71 believe it or not.

The Chromium team has put together a tentative schedule of releases for Chrome OS for 2018.  While the calendar is subject to change due to unforeseen bugs or other issues, last year the team was pretty much on target all year with releases.  It is a reasonable bet that 2018 will follow suite.

Continue reading “Chrome OS Build Release Schedule for 2018”

Second Chrome 66 Build of Chrome OS Lands in The Dev Channel

Google Pixelbook

The second build of Chrome OS based on Chrome 66 has landed in the platform’s Dev channel, just two days after the first build was released.  The new build is version 66.0.3350.3 (Platform version: 10425.0.0) for those keeping score at home and should be available to devices running in what is effectively the Alpha channel for the platform.

Just like the first release of Chrome 66, there were no release notes provided on this update nor any links to logs to see what had changes.  The Chromium team only provided the generic, “This build contains a number of bug fixes, security updates and feature enhancements“.  The lack of release notes however is not uncommon, especially in the Dev Channel.

Continue reading “Second Chrome 66 Build of Chrome OS Lands in The Dev Channel”

Non-Secure HTTP Sites will be Marked so Starting in Chrome 68

Chrome Icon

In their continuing effort to keep end users safe and aware when they are visiting a non-secure website, Google has announced that starting in July 2018, these sites will be clearly identified in the Chrome browser.  The change will coincide with the release of Chrome 68 and will be across all platforms as well as Chrome OS.  A non-secure website is noted as http:// when you visit the site while a secure, encrypted site is noted as https:// in the URL.

The official announcement should not come as a surprise.  Google has already been urging sites to move to secure deployments with changes in how page ranking is done for secure versus non-secure sites.  This is the culmination of that effort.

Continue reading “Non-Secure HTTP Sites will be Marked so Starting in Chrome 68”