CategoryGoogle Chrome News & Tips

Chrome and Chrome OS Related News For You

Chrome Dev Editor Updated with New Features

Chrome Dev Editor, a developer tool for building apps on the Chrome platform was updated today with a bug fixes, and a bunch of new features.

And.. the usual desclaimer. I will stay away from commenting on the developer stuff, to be safe! Here is the list of new feautures according to François Beaufort

- New Polymer Paper elements⁴ template for JavaScript Web Apps
- New Dart Chrome App template⁵
- Faster Bower support – downloading Polymer app dependencies is now 15x faster!
- Search in files feature

chrome news  Chrome Dev Editor Updated with New Features

A quick look at the Chrome Dev Editor’s download page on the Chrome Web Store tells me that this app is already a hit among developers, and this is still a developer preview. I am sure the new set of features and bug fixes will make all of those 30k+ users happy!

Acer Puts up The Best ARM Chromebook Ever: Tegra K1 and 13 Hour Battery Life

There are a few things that Chromebook lovers wish for when any new Chromebook is announced. An above average screen resolution, and a battery that lasts more than an average work day.

Acer has been doing a good job with Chromebooks, but today, they did the best ARM Chromebook so far, beating the Samsung Chromebook 2 in every aspect.

There are two variants of the Acer Chromebook 13 CB5 that came out today, one boasts 4GB RAM, 1920 x 1080 screen and a 11 hour battery life for $379.99. The second vraint, a 2GB model with a normal screen of 1366 x 768 pixels has 13 hour battery life, and costs only $279.99. Both devices are powered by 2.1 GHz Tegra and NVIDIA Kepler GPU with 192 NVIDIA CUDA cores for graphics.

The 4GB model looks the most exciting one for obvious reasons. Here is the complete specs from Amazon:

  • Screen Size 13.3 inches
  • Max Screen Resolution 1920 x 1080 pixels
  • Processor 2.1 GHz Tegra
  • Graphics Coprocessor NVIDIA Kepler GPU with 192 NVIDIA CUDA cores
  • Wireless Type 802.11 A/C
  • Number of USB 3.0 Ports 2
  • Average Battery Life (in hours) 11 hours
  • Brand Name Acer
  • Series CB5-311
  • Item model number CB5-311-T1UU
  • Operating System Chrome
  • Item Weight 3.3 pounds
  • Item Dimensions L x W x H 12.87 x 8.96 x 0.71 inches
  • Color Moonstone White
  • Processor Brand NVIDIA
  • Flash Memory Size 32.0
  • Batteries: 1 Lithium ion batteries required. (included)

The Touchscreen Confusion

The video that is shown on the Amazon product page shows touch screen for these Chromebooks. However, the specs sheet or the press release do not say anything about touchscreen. My assumption is that we are going to a touchscreen variant pretty soon.

chrome news  Acer Puts up The Best ARM Chromebook Ever: Tegra K1 and 13 Hour Battery Life


The machine will go on pre-order today in the US, UK, Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Norway, France, Germany, Russia, Italy, Spain, South Africa and Switzerland.

chrome news  Acer Puts up The Best ARM Chromebook Ever: Tegra K1 and 13 Hour Battery Life

Pre-order Now

Here are the Amazon links (affiliate) for both Chromebooks

If you do not mind the general build quality that Acer machines come with, you can forget the Samsung Chromebook 2 for ever. This guy is going to replace Samsung in ARM category, pending performance reviews after the availability. I see photos on Engadget that they took (not the official ones) which means they are already playing with these devices. We’ll see the reviews pretty soon.

Google Quietly Updates Google Chrome (Dev) to 64-Bit on Mac OS X

Google quietly updated the Mac OS X version of Chrome to 64-Bit. This happened with the recent Developer channel and canary build updates. This means we are only weeks away from 64-bit Chrome on Mac.

I am sure there will be a lot of happy campers on the OSX land now, because Apple has shown their preference to 64-bit, even on their mobile operating system.

Windows 64-bit version of Chrome is currently in beta. I am assuming that we will see an announcement for Chrome 64 bit versions for all platforms together, very soon.

chrome news  Google Quietly Updates Google Chrome (Dev) to 64 Bit on Mac OS X

So, wait for a big announcement post on the Google Chrome Blog soon.

via OMG Chrome

Chromecast Becomes the First “Chrome Shared Module” That Apps and Extensions Can Share.

The latest update to Chrome OS developer channel added a new item to the chrome://extensions page: Google Cast API. Explaining this new guy, François Beaufort said:

This extension is actually a Shared Module – a new kind of chrome extension – that can be used by other extensions and apps. On my Chromebook for instance, the Google Play Movies App and the Video Player App depend on it.

The only purpose of the Google Cast API is to indicate to the caller the most stable Google Cast Extension installed on the system since there may be² several³.

We are yet to see any announcement post from Google Chrome blog or Chromium blog about these new type of extensions. There isn’t much information available as of now, including whether these modules will be available to third party extensions.

chrome news  Chromecast Becomes the First Chrome Shared Module That Apps and Extensions Can Share.

This however is not a radical new idea. You can see Mozilla’s shared module documentation here, but I am hopeful that the Chrome team will have their own Google touch to this as well somewhere down the line. Or may not.

I may not be super excitied about this because I am not a developer, but I can already see some developers putting on that happy grin!

Chrome 64-bit Beta for Windows and Other News #chromeweekender

I almost missed the #chromweekender post this week. I was down with a viral fever (which I successfully transferred to my mother and my daughter). A few more hours for my weekend to be officially over, and I am coming to you with the chrome weekend news.

chrome news   Chrome 64 bit Beta for Windows and Other News #chromeweekender

Chrome OS Overview Mode Gets Search Filter

Remember the Chrome OS overview mode? the OSX Expose-like view? The team has added a text filter option here to help those with too many tabs and apps open.

This is currently available in the developer channel and working well. When you are on the Overview mode, start typing the name of the app or title of the tab to filter it from the open tabs. The matching tiles will be highlighted and the rest dimmed.

Oh, and if you have never tried the Overview mode, press the []|| key or swipe down from the top to bottom with three fingers on your trackpad or touchscreen and start to type what you’re looking for. Here is how it looks like:

chrome news  Chrome OS Overview Mode Gets Search Filter

This may not be really useful if you have less tabs open, say, under 6. However when you have too many windows/apps open, this feature will defnitely come handy.


Happy Birthday Chromecast #chromeweekender

Okay, I made it to the second week of running this #chromeweekender series. Not bad. I am changing the post format a little bit to give room for more news items here. The biggest attraction of this edition is Chromecast’s birthday. I should have published a full post on this, but hey, this post is to cover everything that I missed, keeping Chrome Story a comprehensive source of news everything Chrome.

  • Happy Birthday Chromecast!: Chromecast celebrated the first birthday this week. Congratulations team, and thank you for the free 3 months Google Play Music All Access pass!

chrome news  Happy Birthday Chromecast #chromeweekender

chrome news  Happy Birthday Chromecast #chromeweekender

Better Fonts, Project Athena and Other Chrome News #chromeweekender

I have always wanted to do a regular weekly episode of miscellaneous Chrome news. I did try a couple of times, and it did not go regular. And here I am, trying it again, writing this from an awesome co-working space that I decided to check out this weekend. Here is my desk, like, now. I decided to step out into the balcony after a few hours inside, working on this resource.

chrome news  Better Fonts, Project Athena and Other Chrome News #chromeweekender

This #chromeweekender series is my effort to capture all the Chrome news that I couldn’t post here on Chrome Story.

Better Font Rendering for Chrome on Windows

The Beta channel release that came out this week with Chrome 37 carries a new Windows API called DirectWrite which makes it possible for Chrome on Windows to render fonts much better. Here is the official post and literature:

Chrome 37 adds support for DirectWrite, an API on Windows for clear, high-quality text rendering even on high DPI displays. Before DirectWrite, Chrome used the Graphics Device Interface (GDI) to render text. GDI dates back to the mid-80′s and reflects the engineering tradeoffs of that time, particularly for slower, lower-resolution machines. The switch to DirectWrite has been a top user request for years, and required extensive re-architecting and streamlining of Chrome’s font rendering engine.

Techcrunch has more coverage and actually a graphic that shows you the improvement

chrome news  Better Fonts, Project Athena and Other Chrome News #chromeweekender

Project Athena Making Progress on Chrome OS

Or may just getting started for Chrome OS

I had shared a few images and a video of how Chrome OS will look like with the Project Athena visual makeover. Now, François Beaufort reports that these changes have started showing up in the code, and you can build Chromium OS code to take a look at how things are now. Things are still in the early stages, but here is how it looks like for now:

chrome news  Better Fonts, Project Athena and Other Chrome News #chromeweekender


Chromecast Support for Chrome on iOS

Chrome on iOS got an update this week which among other updates and a refreshed icon, added Chromecast support.  Congratulations iOS users!

Acer’s New Chromebooks and a New Chromebox

Acer along with new Chromebooks (which we have already seen online, leaked) announced a new Chromebox, their first. I don’t know I missed this one, but here is detailed coverage from OMG Chrome.

Dell Chromebook is Too Popular That You Cannot Buy It

I have seen many positives reviews about the Dell Chromebook. I actually have that in my personal wishlist as my next Chromebook. However, Dell says they don’t have enough Chromebooks to keep up with the demand. So, for now, they have pulled it from their website.

Dell launched their Chromebook as Enterprise and Education only and later made it available to general consumers too. So they company wants to keep them happy by supplying enough Chromebooks to them. General consumer market will have to wait for some time until they can get their production pushed.

That’s it for this weeks #chromeweekender.

Chrome Remote Desktop App to Get Video Recording Capabilities

Chromoting is a Chrome feature or platform that allows remote connection between computers running Chrome. A new code commit that I found today in Chromium suggests that the team is working on video recording capabilities for this app, allowing users to record videos while in a Chromoting session.

Before I tell you about those things, please note that these are assumptions based on just a few lines of information available from the code. Features might change or completely disappear when developers tweak things in the future.

chrome news  Chrome Remote Desktop App to Get Video Recording Capabilities

Here is the complete log:

Add video frame recording capability to Chromoting hosts.

This will be used to record sequences of video frames for real-world sessions, for performance-evaluation purposes.

If the host is run with a video-recording buffer size specified then it will advertise a videoRecorder capability to clients. Clients seeing this capability can send “video-recorder” extension messages to the host to start and stop recording, and to fetch the next recorded frame.

Frames are encoded to VideoPackets using the “verbatim” encoder, and must then be serialized and Base-64 encoded for transmission via the extension message protocol.

See for the client part of this.

And yes, I went to the bug that they are use to track the client side of this:

Add a Record button to the web-app if the host supports video recording.

Video recording allows sequences of frames to be recorded and delivered to the client for performance-evaluation purposes. The client can save recorded sequences out to files on disk. Since live playback is not a requirement, performance of the implementation is not a priority.

My first concern is this line from the log: ” This will be used to record sequences of video frames for real-world sessions, for performance-evaluation purposes.” Does this mean that this is not a prime time feature that they are planning to roll out, but a debugging tool to analyze performance?

Second, the place where the video is stored. When you are connecting to my computer from yours and hit Record, the video is recorded and stored on my computer, not yours. This may be a security feature, or may be something else.

Dedicated “Voice” Section in Settings

Another little piece of news for you. In coming weeks, you will see a dedicated “Voice” section in Chrome settings. Here is the log message:

Creates new chrome:settings section, ‘Voice’.

Moves hotwording checkbox to new ‘Voice’ section.

Does this mean, more voice related features to Chrome OS? More features that we already use and love on Android?


Google Launches Chrome Remote Desktop for Linux in Beta

Chrome Remote Desktop, a service that was available to Windows Mac and Android users was launched on Linux today in beta. Google Product Expert Natalie R. W. announced this on Google Chrome forums today.

We are excited to announce official Linux support in Chrome Remote Desktop with step-by-step directions provided in our Help Center article linked here. You can find instructions under Set up Chrome Remote Desktop > Enable remote access > Linux (Beta).
Take a look below for some helpful tips and basic troubleshooting recommendations from the development team to make the most of your Chrome Remote Desktop experience on Linux! 
Apart from enabling this on Chrome, users must download and install a Debian package (available in 32-bit and 64-bit versions) on their computers. Once this is set up, Chrome Remote Desktop works similar to that on Windows and Mac.
chrome news  Google Launches Chrome Remote Desktop for Linux in Beta

What is Chrome Remote Desktop?

Official literature:

Chrome Remote Desktop allows users to remotely access another computer through Chrome browser or a Chromebook. Computers can be made available on a short-term basis for scenarios such as ad hoc remote support, or on a more long-term basis for remote access to your applications and files. All connections are fully secured.

Ready to test this one out?

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