The Chrome team at Google has announced that starting with Chrome 68, the banner to prompt users to add a site to their Home screen will be changing. Today, when you visit a site and are prompted to add it to your Home screen, it is a rather large banner. Starting with Chrome 68, this will be displayed in a mini bar at the bottom of the display.
The goal of all of this is to eventually have an install button option on the omni bar in Chrome and this is a stepping stone to that eventuality.
Google Photos is the latest Google service to receive a Progressive Web App treatment. With the release of Chrome 67, you can now install Photos onto your Windows, MacOS or Linux computer and have an app-like experience in a web page.
For those that are new to Progressive Web Apps, or PWAs, they are web-based versions of an app but they act like a full fledge version of that app. The idea is to get a touch friendly app experience without having to actually install anything.
There is a new, optional security update for Chrome OS that fixes a vulnerability with the Trusted Platform Module (TPM) in the majority of Chromebooks. To apply the update however, you will need to Powerwash your device.
The vulnerability has to do with hackers potentially being able to brute force the RSA keys generated by your TPM. This, in theory, could give the the opportunity to plant malicious code on your device or take it over. For those not familiar, a Trusted Platform Module (TPM) is a specialized chip on an endpoint device that stores RSA encryption keys specific to the host system for hardware authentication. It essentially makes sure that the hardware and software on your device are secure and encrypted and what has access to the keys generated by it. Thus, you see the problem. If the TPM gets compromised, it can lead to a lot of issues for end users.
Progressive Web Apps, or PWAs, are the next big trend in browsing tech. Designed to give an app-like experience on the web, PWAs are something that Google has been pushing hard as well as Apple and Microsoft. All three companies, as well as Firefox are all planning to roll out support for the technology this year but Google appears to have the jump.
With Chrome 64, you have the ability to change flags within the browser to enable Progress Web Apps. While technically not support – generally most flag settings are officially supported – it does work and you can give it a try to see what all the hubbub is about before it gets here in full swing later this year. In this How To, I’ll show you which flags to enable to try out a PWA experience.
Starting today, the Chrome browser for Windows, MacOS and Linux will start blocking intrusive adverts on sites to give a better user experience. Google had announced that these types of ads would be blocked back in December starting today after announcing their agreement with the Coalition for Better Ads last summer.
If you don’t remember, for desktops, ads that do the following risk being blocked:
auto-play video ads with sound
prestitial ads with countdown
large sticky ads
For those who have the ad blocker enabled in Chrome on their desktop, you will no longer see these ads.
One of the hidden gems in Gmail are the labs. The labs are unsupported, experimental features that may make their way into the mainstream support for the email service. For the most part, I don’t recommend using beta or unsupported features but there is one that has been there a long time and Google seems to continue to improve it.
The feature is the ability to enable an unread message counter on the Gmail tab in the Chrome browser on Windows, MacOS or Linux as well as in Chrome OS.
In this How To, I’ll show you were to go in Gmail to enable the feature so you can try it out for yourself.
Just a couple of days after the initial Chrome 64-based release of Chrome for Android, there is a new minor update build that is rolling out to users today. The new build is version 64.0.3282.123 for those keeping score at home. It is essentially a bug fix release but there is one bug in particular that is called out in the release notes.
That particular bug has to do with Chrome for Android crashing when using the Autofill when using Android System WebView. This new build should address that issue if you have encountered it with the previous build of the app.
The Chrome browser for Windows, MacOS and Linux has now officially been updated to Chrome 64. The new build was released yesterday and will be rolling out over the course of the next few days. The new build is version 64.0.3282.119 for those keeping score at home and has over 50 security and bug fixes in the release.
To force a check for the update, type chrome://help in the browser omnibar and then check for updates. This will force your browser to get the latest build and, once downloaded and you restart Chrome, you will be on Chrome 64.