Google Chrome is Now Available in VR on Google Daydream

Google Chrome in VR on Google Daydream

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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Chrome 70 to Require Google Pay for Browser Credit Card Information

Chrome for Mac

Google has announced a change that will impact how Chrome or Google account stored credit card information is accessed for online payments.  Beginning in Chrome 70, Google is requiring sites to link the PaymentRequests API to Google Pay to access this information.  This is due to Google moving to the standards based Payment Handler API in Chrome 68, which was just released this week.  That API allows browsers to link with digital payment providers, which Google now supports through Chrome and Google Pay.

With the announcement, it means that developers and sites will need to be updated by October 16th.  That is the day that Chrome 70 is expected to be released to the various stable channels.

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Chrome 68 Arrives for Windows and Mac Users

Chrome for Mac

The Chrome browser for Windows, MacOS, and Linux has officially been updated to Chrome 68.  The release of the latest iteration of the desktop browser was right on time today with the update to Chrome OS expected to happen early next week.   The updated version is build 68.0.3440.75 for those keeping score at home.

In all, there are 42 security updates and fixes in this build of Chrome for the desktop, of which five were considered high priority.  You can get a full rundown on all the bugs that were fixed here and any bounties that Google paid to developers or organizations that found the flaws.

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Google Retiring The Chrome Bookmark Manager Extension in August

Chrome Bookmark Manager Extension

Google in the process of doing a lot of revamp work on their apps and extensions.  The Mountain View company has already moved a lot of their sites to a Material Design look and that process is set to continue over the course of the rest of this year.  That also includes Chrome itself and that means that some extensions are going to be retired.

For a long time the company has had a Chrome Bookmark Manager plug in that brought a Material Design look and feel to the bookmarks manager in Chrome.  Now that this look has moved into the built-in manager, there really isn’t a reason to have it anymore.  Google, it seems, feels the same way.

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Chrome 68 Will Bring New Add to Home Screen Behavior

Add to Home Screen Banner in Chrome 67 on Android

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.

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Google Photos Progressive Web App Now Available for Chrome 67 Users

Google Photos Progressive Web App

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.

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Chrome OS Gets an Optional TPM Security Update That Requires a Powerwash

Chrome OS Powerwash

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.

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How To Enable Progress Web Apps in Chrome

Enabling Progress Web Apps in Chrome

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.

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