It has taken nearly a year to arrive but Chrome is finally available in VR on the Google Daydream headset. The news came earlier today from Google and so long as you have the latest version of Chrome for Android, you can strap on your Daydream headset and you will see Chrome as an app available to use.
Google actually started working on Chrome in VR way back with the Chrome 61 release. That was back in September 2017 and to this point has only worked in the Chrome for Android Canary and Dev versions of the app.
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In Chrome OS and Chrome for desktop (Chrome for MacOS, Chrome for Windows, and Chrome for Linux), if you long press the back arrow while you are on a browser page, you will get your recent browsing history for that tab. It is a handy feature. On Android however, when you long press the back button on your phone while in Chrome you get… nothing. You can press the button as long as you want but it will just take you back to your previous page.
That looks to be changing in Chrome 70.
A new flag has popped up in the Chrome for Android Canary app, which is based on Chrome 70, that allows you to enable the back button on your phone to display you recent tab history.
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Like its desktop brethren, the Chrome for Android app has now officially been updated to Chrome 68. The promotion comes after five beta builds of the Chrome for Android Beta app over the course of the past month or so. The new build is 68.0.3440.70 for those keeping score at home. Google has released it but it will take several days before everyone gets it – perhaps up to a week in some cases.
Like the desktop version of the browser, Chrome for Android has a load of bug fixes and other improvements. It also brings the “Not Secure” banner to sites you visit that are not encrypted (HTTPS) as it does on the desktop. This is a change that Google announced was coming last February to help identify non-encrypted sites.
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A new commit found in the Chromium Gerrit suggests that Quick Reply support could be coming to Chrome for Android by the time we get to Chrome 70 or 71 later this year. The feature would allow for users to reply to notifications directly from within Chrome that sites pop up to users on a site.
Quick Replies themselves are not new and are supported through Android and apps that developers have enabled to support. This would bring the same functionality to Chrome and would have the same benefit of being able to reply to a notification without having to leave the browser.
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Another new build of Chrome 68 has arrived in the form of an update to the Chrome for Android Beta app. The new build is 68.0.3440.70 for those keeping score at home. This new update marks the fifth Chrome 68-based build for the Beta app in this current cycle.
For readers who may not know, anyone can download and install the Chrome for Android Beta app from the Play Store. No registration is required and you can have both the stable version and the beta version on your phone at the same time. Just keep in mind that the key word in all of this is “beta” so you could run into bugs or other odd behavior with the app as it goes through testing.
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A new commit in the Chrome OS Gerrit suggests that the ability to continue reading a tab open in Chrome for Android on your Chromebook is coming. The commit indicates that users will be able to start reading content on a site on their Android device then be able to move it to Chrome on their Chromebook to continue reading.
The concept is not new. Microsoft Edge for Android and iOS has the ability to send a page you are reviewing to your PC via a button in the browser. Microsoft calls this Continuum and it is a great feature for PC users.
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A new commit in the Chrome Gerrit is suggesting that Chrome Duplex, the new split menu view coming to Chrome for Android, is to be renamed Chrome Duet so as to avoid confusion with Google Duplex. Google Duplex, as you likely know, is the human sounding assistant that can call and make appointments for you through Google Assistant. Chrome Duplex is completely unrelated and has to do with a UI update for Chrome for Android, particularly for larger devices.
What Google is wanting to avoid is end users confusing the two duplex’s or assuming that they do the same thing – one on your phone and one in Chrome on your phone. They are two completely different technologies and thus a name change makes a lot of sense.
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A fourth Chrome 68-based build of the Chrome for Android Beta app has arrived in the Google Play Store. The new build, 68.0.3440.40, brings a number of bug fixes and stability improvements as the Chromium team continues to work on the build for public release late next month.
As you may recall from the first beta release from a couple of weeks back, there are a slew of changes coming to Chrome for Android with Chrome 68. A new horizontal task switcher is available, a new Home screen mini bar instead of a banner has been added as well as new identifications for non-HTTPS sites that you visit.
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