CategoryGoogle Chrome News & Tips

Chrome and Chrome OS Related News For You

The Week of 64 Bit #Chromeweekender

I call this week the 64-bit week in Chrome.  Google has released 64 bit of Chrome for Windows and Mac OSX. With that, let me start this weekend’s list of Chrome news!

chrome news  The Week of 64 Bit #Chromeweekender

DashNotes Pins Text, Images, And Pages To The New Tab Page

We have done so many things to our new tab pages. We made it minimal, we made it look like iOS and Windows 8. We had tasks there and we had inspirational quotes and more.

Now, here is an extension that will let you use it more like a Pinterest board. A Chrome extension that lets you pin text, images or pages to your new tab page.

DashNotes is a quick and easy way to pin text, images, and pages to your new tab page. Now all of your gathered notes can be accessible right away.

DashNotes comes with the ability to save text, images, and even links to pages. It’s perfect for school, research, and casual browsing.

DashNotes stores all of your notes on your computer. Not on the cloud. Not with us. Not with the NSA. It’s only accessible on your computer.

We all want to see beautiful pictures whenever we can. Well, whenever you open a new tab, you’ll see a beautiful crisp picture that will take your breath away.


The extension saves your data locally on your computer. Security. It puts images front and center. Beauty. It lets you select text on webpages, right click and send directly to your new tab page. Utility and ease of use.

chrome news  DashNotes Pins Text, Images, And Pages To The New Tab Page chrome news  DashNotes Pins Text, Images, And Pages To The New Tab Page

It supports gift, and you can have animated gifs right on your new tab page, every time you open one!

You can resize notes you collected and adjust the content easily. It downloads and updates the backgrounds giving me fresh images each time I open a new tab.

For me, that’s enough reasons to give this one a try! You should too! Download from here.

Chrome Admin Console Now Lets You Push or Manage Bookmarks Remotely

Admin Console, a control panel available to those who have subscribed the Chromebook + Apps package got an update the other day bringing in new bookmarks management features.

Administrator in schools and enterprises can now add or manage bookmarks on  enrolled Chromebooks and even Chrome / Chrome for Android.

Here is the official description of the feature from the help article

Allows you to push a list of bookmarks for the convenience of users on Chrome on all platforms including mobile devices. On Chrome Devices and Chrome on Desktop, the bookmarks will appear in a folder on Chrome’s bookmark bar. The user cannot modify the contents of this folder, but can choose to hide it from the bookmark bar. On Chrome Mobile, this also appears as a folder within Bookmarks.

If you are an admin with access to the Admin Console, go to your Admin Console at, navigate to the Chrome Management section and search for “Managed Bookmarks” to see them.

chrome news  Chrome Admin Console Now Lets You Push or Manage Bookmarks Remotely

It is more like the set of bookmarks that you get pre-installed in computers managed by your company, if you such an experience. Now, we  need to wait and see if Google has something innovative planned for these too!

PS: Is this a side project of people who worked on the new Chrome bookmarks aka Google Stars?



SnagFilms, RiffTrax, and Baeblemusic add Chromecast Support #chromeweekender

This edition of #chromeweekender is rich with Chromebook, Chrome OS and Chromecast news. Let’s get started with the list!

chrome news  SnagFilms, RiffTrax, and Baeblemusic add Chromecast Support #chromeweekender

See you all next weekend!

Do You Use “Awesome Screenshot” Extension for Chrome? Read This Now!

According to the latest numbers on the Chrome Web Store, Awesome Screenshot has 1,300,282  users. That is huge. Very huge, and very tempting.

I am no security expert, so I will borrow words of Miguel Jacq, a Linux administrator who has an interesting story to tell, about this extension and a related bot, “niki-bot”. He started seeing this new bot trying to access some pages that a regular crawler may not get access to, pages that require authentication to access, or to know even know that they exist. Somehow, niki-bot seems to know about these URLs.

Unless someone tracks your browsing activity from the browser, and stores it somewhere etc.

chrome news  Do You Use Awesome Screenshot Extension for Chrome? Read This Now!


Bolstered by this corroborating story, I decided to look further into this AwesomeScreenshot extension. It wasn’t long before negative reviews on the Chrome app store led me to these two articles, which both seemed to confirm that the extension contains javascript which sends browsing activity in plaintext to an upstream service, which redirects or makes use of an API belonging to, which some say is part of a third service called SimilarWeb. 

The tracking and transmission of your browsing history is happening automatically, silently, with no proper explanation in the extension’s details on the Chrome App Store. The potentially sensitive URLs are sent over plaintext HTTP in easily base64-decryptable form, and through the use of some ‘niki-bot’ crawler (which is apparently so malicious its User-Agent requires obfuscation with no reference to SimilarWeb, Awesome Screenshot, or any other explanation for its use – nor does it bother to respect robots.txt), seems to intend to make further reconnaissance against these URLs at a later date. I see little difference between a client-side attack and this ‘service’, except that it can be argued that the end user willingly (but maybe unwittingly) entered into the agreement.

I think that’s enough information for you to review your extension and decide for yourself what  do. If you are looking for a mode detailed information and the complete story, read it here.

Chrome is Now Available in Cuba

Honestly, I was not aware that Chrome was not available in Cuba until now. Turns out, due to trade regulations between the US and Cuba, Chrome was not legally available in Cuba. Today, in an official Google Plus post, Google announced that this has changed.

“U.S. export controls and sanctions can sometimes limit the products available in certain countries. As these trade restrictions evolve we’ve been working to figure out how to make more tools available in sanctioned countries. In the past couple years we’ve made Chrome downloadable in Syria and Iran. We’re happy to say that Internet users in Cuba can now use Chrome too, and browse the web faster and more safely than they could before.”

chrome news  Chrome is Now Available in Cuba

Welcome new Chromies from Cuba!

via Android Central.

Meet Google Stars aka Chrome Bookmarks 2.0

Remember Google Stars? It was recently leaked online, the whole extension itself. I finally managed to get this Chrome extension installed and take a tour of this revamped Chrome Bookmarks.

It looks awesome.

More than the looks, there is another thing that I am excited about. I have collected a lot of bookmarks on Chrome during my 5 years with it. Google Stars will put this online, organized, searchable and sharable. Organizing happens automatically, so all you have to do is keep adding items to your Star.

Once the extension is installed, you get to see a star icon on the omnibar to bookmark the current page. When you are on a page that is already bookmarked, or starred, the star is active, displayed in yellow. Your bookmarks are arranged in folders and subfolders, just like you always had, just a bit easier to manage.

Some of the articles about this new product called this Google’s Pinterest + Evernote. We have to wait for the web version of Google Stars to see how true that claim is.

Now, some screenshots for your viewing pleasure:

chrome news  Meet Google Stars aka Chrome Bookmarks 2.0

chrome news  Meet Google Stars aka Chrome Bookmarks 2.0

chrome news  Meet Google Stars aka Chrome Bookmarks 2.0

Can’t wait to see this fully functional, with the online interface and other features they are hiding from us!

Google Wants Web Apps to Be As Powerful as Mobile Apps, With More APIs

It’s a shame that I haven’t collected many of the Chromium code commits that I could have listed here to explain why I am saying this. Lately, I keep seeing more features showing up on Chrome and Chrome OS from the Android land.

Anyways, I decided to write this one up mainly because of this piece of information that François Beaufort shared today. The Chromium team is working on a project (reminds me of project butter and other projects that the Android team has done) named Fizz. Its aim is to make web apps (read Chrome apps) more powerful.

Fizz is an exciting new effort by the chromium team aimed at making web applications first-class citizens on mobile by giving developers more powerful and safe capabilities to the web platform:

- Service Workers¹ provide a way for applications to reliably “go offline”.
- Push API² used by application servers to send messages to web apps, whether or not the app is active in a browser window.
- Network Information API³ to access the underlying connection information of the device.
- Geofencing API⁴ makes it possible to be notified when a device enters or leaves specific regions.

chrome news  Google Wants Web Apps to Be As Powerful as Mobile Apps, With More APIs

See those new APIs? Now, here is one more API that I saw today. “Initial implementation of API WakeLock.” the code commit says. And here is what WakeLock API is, from Android developer documentation:

A wake lock is a mechanism to indicate that your application needs to have the device stay on.

Any application using a WakeLock must request the android.permission.WAKE_LOCK permission in an <uses-permission> element of the application’s manifest. Obtain a wake lock by calling newWakeLock(int, String).

As far as I know, Mozilla is also going the same route, a little more faster. Google wants to grow their web apps baby and continue to depend on native apps until the scene is fully set.

What do you guys think?

Safer Downloads, Better Looking Hosted Apps and More #chromeweekender

Good, I am still writing these weekender posts. It feels good to know that I am doing a better job of bringing you Chrome news these days. Another slice of Chromebook news that I want to add here is the items shared by Chris Robato on Google Plus. He shares news about new schools adopting Chromebooks. I suggest you follow him.

So, this week’s list.

chrome news  Safer Downloads, Better Looking Hosted Apps and More #chromeweekender

Chrome Profile Management System Gets an Update, Looks A Lot Like Chrome OS Now

Google has updated the Chrome User Management making it look and work almost like Chrome OS. This is currently available only on developer channel and the Canary build, but do not worry, you all are going to get this update in coming weeks!

Update: You do not need Canary build to test this. Open chrome://flags and look for “profile” and enable the flag (chrome://flags/#enable-new-profile-management) and restart chrome. ( Thanks Guillaum Gibault)

So, what are we talking about here?

In the background, it is the same profile management system that we always had. However, the design and the UX has been updated to match Chrome OS. This is more evident when you switch user accounts. The first time you launch this, there will be a quick guided tour to explain the whole new set up to you.

Now, some screenshots to show you how it looks like:

chrome news  Chrome Profile Management System Gets an Update, Looks A Lot Like Chrome OS Now

chrome news  Chrome Profile Management System Gets an Update, Looks A Lot Like Chrome OS Now

chrome news  Chrome Profile Management System Gets an Update, Looks A Lot Like Chrome OS Now

chrome news  Chrome Profile Management System Gets an Update, Looks A Lot Like Chrome OS Now

Look for this in your next Chrome update!


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