Category: Chrome

Chrome Browser Ad Blocker Goes Live

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:

  • pop-up ads
  • 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.

How To Enable The Unread Message Counter for Gmail Tabs in Chrome

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.

Unread Counter in Gmail Tab in Chrome

Unread Counter in Gmail Tab in Chrome

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.

Minor Update to Chrome for Android Rolling Out Today

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.

Chrome 64 Hits the Desktop Browser Stable Channel

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.

Google Chrome Now Available in the Windows Store

[Update 12/20/2017:  It has now been removed.  Microsoft states that the installer violates the store’s policies. ]

Big and somewhat surprising news this morning for Windows 10 users.  Google Chrome is now available for download in the Microsoft Windows Store.  It means that users can now install Chrome on their Windows 10 PCs (except Windows 10S users) without having to side-load it.  This is something that many administrators lock down for security reasons.

Essentially this new app, which is published by Google, is an installer which acts as a shell to go get the browser installed on your PC.  In other words, it is an official channel to go out to the web and download the browser as you would if you were side-loading.

Chrome Browser Sees A Minor Security Update

For those of you who use the Chrome browser on your Windows PC, Mac or Linux machines, there is a new update rolling out for you today.  The new version is build 63.0.3239.108 and is a security update that addresses two security concerns with the browser.  The update keeps what has been the norm for Chrome in that a major release happens early in the month and a minor release happens in the middle to end of the month.

As you can see by the build number, this update remains in the Chrome 63 train.

Google hasn’t released full details of the fixes that are in this update but has outlined the one high priority item that was addressed was a security flaw while the second security issue was not addressed in the release notes.  Google tends to not release bug details until after a majority of users have been updated to assure that the exploit is not used.

Chrome Browser for Desktop Update Rolling Out

Following the release of an updated Chrome for Android, the Chrome browser for Windows, MacOS and Linux has a new update rolling out today.  The updated version is build 63.0.3239.84 for those keeping score at home and gets desktop users of the browser on the Chrome 63 train.

Along with the updating to the base version of Chrome, this update also brings a lot of fixes.  There are 37 named fixes in this update but the details of exactly how it was fixed will remain confidential for a few more weeks.  This is a normal practice by Google to assure that users have had time to update and are not exposed to the vulnerability.  Most of the have to deal with spoofs or other exploits.

The Flags page in Chrome has been updated too.  Now if you type chrome://flags in the ominbar, you will see the new Material Design inspired look to these experimental settings in the browser.

Chrome Apps Are No Longer Available for Chrome Desktop Versions

About a year ago, Google announced that they would be eliminating Chrome apps on the desktop versions of the Chrome browser.  That process has begun today as Chrome apps are no longer available to download from Windows, MacOS or Linux versions of the browser.

You can see in the splash screen above that Apps has been removed.

The move is based more-or-less on the fact that nobody uses Chrome apps.  Google’s own numbers suggest 1% of Chrome users use the apps.  I, as a Chrome user on my Mac and on my Chromebook, can attest to this.  I don’t have a single app installed, especially now on my Chromebook as I’ve been using more Android apps.

Developers have been notified of this change and while their apps will work through the first quarter of 2018, after that, the code will be removed from Chrome all together.

The replacement?  Progressive Web Apps, or PWAs

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