There is a new update to Chrome for Android rolling out that has some nice new features for the browser. The update is version 54.0.2840.68 for those keeping score at home and is now in the Google Play Store. The OTA update should roll out to your devices over the course of the next few days. Once you have it, there are three new features that will be available that improve the overall experience of the app. First, there are new article suggestions when you open up a new tab. This will be based on your browsing history as well as topics you’ve identified in other Google services (like Google News) that are of interest to you.
Category: Google Chrome
If you use Google Chrome on your Mac or PC, the latest update to the browser brings fully integrated Google Cast support. Long time users of Chrome will know that there has been a Google-built Cast extension for some time now, two years in fact. This update essentially deprecates that extension as it is no longer need. Casting is now in the core of Chrome itself. The net result for users is that when you are on a site that supports Google Cast, you will see a casting icon appear near your search bar. Click it, select the Google Cast you want to cast too and that’s it. No configuring things and no fussing about. It’s that simple.
For those of you who use Google Chrome as your browser on your PC, Mac or Linux box, there is a new update to the browser that brings a handful of security updates. The new build is version 50.0.2661.102 for those keeping score at home and it is out now for you to update. To force the issue, go to the menu then go to Settings>About. That’ll force Chrome to go look for the update, download it and it will be applied for you after a restart of the browser.
Internet Explorer, the long time de facto browser on the desktop, has been upended by Google’s Chrome in the latest report from NetMarketShare. Reporting for the end of April 2016, Google Chrome had a 41.66% share of desktop browser users while Internet Explorer had 41.35%. Yes it is a small different but looking at the longer history of how Chrome has made gains while IE has declined, this difference in percentage will only grow over the course of the next year. At one point, Chrome trailed IE by some 26.77% just last June.
The Chromium team has released a security update for Google Chrome for Windows, Mac and Linux that users of the browser will want to get installed quickly. The new build is version 50.0.2661.94 and it is already rolling out to those who use the browser. If you have the browser installed, you can go to chrome://help and your browser will automatically start the download for you.
Google has released an updated version of the Google Chrome browser for Android, bringing a host of updates, fixes and a few new features. The build is version 46.0.2490.76 for those keeping score at home and it should be hitting the Google Play Store and your device in the next few days. While the bulk of this update is fixes and other improvements, there is an improved image loading by allowing Chrome to negotiate with the web server to provide the best image over HTTP based on the bandwidth available and the device type. Sounds geeky right? It is and it is certainly something that developers would have to include on their sites but the key is that Google is positioning Chrome to be able to handle this without any user intervention once it is enabled.
Today on the Chromium blog, Google has announced that it will be decommissioning the Chrome Notification Center in an upcoming release of the browser. If you aren’t sure what the Chrome Notification Center is exactly, don’t feel bad. According to the post, it was used by very few people which is exactly why it is going away. Essentially it was a notification tool that sat in the System Tray of your Windows PC, Mac or Linux device that gave you notifications like weather updates, sports scores, etc. It was tied very closely to the information that you have identified in Google Now for content to show you. The Chrome Notification Center was launched back in 2013 but usage of it has simply not been there for Chrome to continue to support it.
While many users of Google Chrome use it because it is lightweight and clutter free, the browser experience is only the beginning for this browser. Google has created a powerful ecosystem of extensions for the browser that allow you to do everything from open your Gmail account with one click to integrating with other 3rd party applications like Evernote. The best way to think of Extensions in Google Chrome is that they are mini-applets. They bring a function or feature to the browser that in often cases you have to browse to a site to get. Likewise, they are integration points for 3rd party services to bring them closer to you without having to navigate your PC or the web.
When I started doing the research for this article, I asked many friends who use Google Chrome about extensions and the ones that they used. What I found was very interesting. Mind you, most of these people are “tech savvy”. They use PCs and/or other technologies on a daily basis and, to be fair, Extensions are a bit of a geeky subject. So when I got two common answers (“What are extensions?” or “I thought those were only for Chromebooks”) I decided to clear the air a bit. That’s really the point of this article so if you have ever questions what Google Chrome extensions were and how to enable them, this should point you in the right direction.