Tag: Chrome (page 1 of 50)

I Want To Be In Your Circle (on Google Plus!)

Going a little off-topic today.

Can we meet, greet and talk a little more? My social network of choice? Google Plus! I spend a lot of time on Google Plus every day. I share/discuss mostly Chrome and other Google products, but occasionally, I share some random funny stuff. Here is my profile, you can follow from right here.

I have added a small widget to the sidebar here on the blog too!

Follow Chrome Story on Google Plus

If you want to avoid my rants and other non-chrome stuff I share, it is a good idea to follow Chrome Story’s official page on Google Plus instead of following me!

The Chrome Story page shares only the blog posts published here on the blog.

Thank you!!!

Speed Up Google Plus By Loading WebP Images on Chrome

This post is about speeding up Google Plus on Chrome. This post is also about a new Chrome API, and also about an extension that uses this API. Let us get started.

The API – chrome.declarativeWebRequest

Use the chrome.declarativeWebRequest API to intercept, block, or modify requests in-flight. It is significantly faster than thechrome.webRequest API because you can register rules that are evaluated in the browser rather than the JavaScript engine with reduces roundtrip latencies and allows higher efficiency. 

If you are a developer, official documentation is available here.

The Extension

François Beaufort from Google has created a sample Chrome extension to demonstrate this API. This Extension uses the chrome.declarativeWebRequest API to intercept, block, or modify requests in-flight.

Note: The API is not available on stable channel yet. You will need Dev, Beta or Canary channels to use this extension.

You can download the extension from here.

Speeding up Google Plus

Before we talk about how this extension will help you speed up Google Plus, a refresher on what WebP is.

chrome extensions  Speed Up Google Plus By Loading WebP Images on Chrome

WebP is a new image format that provides lossless and lossy compression for images on the web. WebP lossless images are 26% smaller in size compared to PNGs. WebP lossy images are 25-34% smaller in size compared to JPEG images at equivalent SSIM index. WebP supports lossless transparency (also known as alpha channel) with just 22% additional bytes. Transparency is also supported with lossy compression and typically provides 3x smaller file sizes compared to PNG when lossy compression is acceptable for the red/green/blue color channels.

Google is using the WebP format on their web properties to save TBs of data (both for users and Google). When you visit the Chrome Web Store, the default image format for extension screenshots is WebP.

On Google Plus, this extension can attempt to download WebP images whenever available. This will make your Google Plus feed load faster. Google is already using WebP format to serve images on Google Plus app for Android, speeding up the app and saving bandwidth for the user at the same time.

So, get the extension and try Google Plus now. Let me know if you find it useful!

Chrome OS Is Now a Windows 8 App – No, I am not Kidding!

Is there something wrong with the title of this article? May be. I am talking about Chrome running on Windows 8.1metro mode. But it looks just like Chrome OS. It has the same user interface, and has Chrome Apps.

Meet Aura – The Magic Software that Turns Any OS in to Chrome OS

Allow me to use ‘s little write up on what Aura is.

Aura is the (not so) new UI stack that we use in Chrome OS. It does not use native widgets for controls and it fully uses the GPU when available. Compared with the traditional UI stack as seen in Chrome 28 or 29, the only native element is the top level window. Everything else is drawn by Chrome, composited by the Chrome Compositor and uses Angle/GPU to present to the screen. Focus/Activation and in general input ins managed differently as well.

Q:Why are we doing this?
A:Because we want to unify the UI stack across platforms. The end result is that Windows, Linux and Chrome OS will use the same UI stack while today each have a different one. Along the way we gain much flexibility to do fluid UI animations; the kind you can see today in Chrome OS shell.

In short, it is the magic wand that turns Windows and Linux in to Chrome OS, making users feel like “Alice in Wonderland” (or Google land)

Windows 8.1 Metro Mode + Aura = Chrome OS on Windows

If you are running Google Chrome on Metro Mode on Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 (which I am using now), you get in to Chrome OS like environment, thanks to Aura.

windows 8  Chrome OS Is Now a Windows 8 App   No, I am not Kidding!

Click to Zoom in

Only thing missing (at least on the front-end) is the wallpaper. I don’t that is far away, because there is already a placeholder (grey color) for wallpaper. When Chrome OS starts syncing your Wallpaper, it will sync here too.

For now, I get:

  • Multiple windows, including incognito
  • Re-size windows and move them around just like Chrome OS
  • Apps menu
  • Apps shelf (or the task bar)
  • Settings menu on bottom-right-corner (where I get a Chrome OS like “restart to update” message), and a power down (!!) icon.
  • A nice feeling, because I love Chrome OS.

Aura has been in the works for more than a year now. I remember seeing this back in 2011. It makes complete sense now why Google has put in a lot of on this project.

Packaged Apps to Fill the Gap

When Google puts Chrome OS as a Windows 8 app, there will be things missing from the true Chromebook experience. There are a few things that they cannot do anything directly, like the insane boot speed and the instant wake up. But there are a few things that they can fix with packaged apps.

Take the example of the Files app in Chrome OS which works as the “My Computer” of Chrome OS. It is available only on Chromebooks. But if Google wants, they can do a packaged app for the Chrome platform and that will take care of it on Windows 8 too. They can use the Android strategy of publishing stock Android apps to Play Store to reduce OS fragmentation.


Things are getting hot. You guys will agree when you try this out for yourself. (Give it a few more weeks, and this will land on beta/stable channels.


Source - The Verge. via 

Chrome Celebrates 5th Birthday with Chrome Apps (Native Apps)

Google Chrome is celebrating its 5th birthday today. To celebrate, Google is launching Chrome Apps, or native apps for Chrome and Chromebooks, officially to the general public. There are only a small number of native apps available at the moment, but Google is pushing the platform to get more developers on board with better apps.


Today we’re unveiling a new kind of Chrome App, which brings together the speed, security and flexibility of the modern web with the powerful functionality previously only available with software installed on your devices. (Think apps designed for your desktop or laptop, just like the ones for your phone and tablet.) These apps are more powerful than before, and can help you get work done, play games in full-screen and create cool content all from the web. If you’re using Windows or a Chromebook, you can check them out in the “For your desktop” collection in the Chrome Web Store (Mac & Linux coming soon). 

chrome news  Chrome Celebrates 5th Birthday with Chrome Apps (Native Apps)

And an official list of features for Chrome packaged apps:

  • Work offline: Keep working or playing, even when you don’t have an internet connection.
  • More app, less Chrome: No tabs, buttons or text boxes mean you can get into the app without being distracted by the rest of the web.
  • Connect to the cloud: Access and save the documents, photos and videos on your hard drive as well as on Google Drive and other web services.
  • Stay up-to-speed: With desktop notifications, you can get reminders, updates and even take action, right from the notification center.
  • Play nice with your connected devices: Interact with your USB, Bluetooth and other devices connected to your desktop, including digital cameras.
  • Keep updated automatically: Apps update silently, so you always get all the latest features and security fixes (unless permissions change).
  • Pick up where you left off: Chrome syncs your apps to any desktop device you sign in to, so you can keep working.
  • Sleep easier: Chrome apps take advantage of Chrome’s built-in security features such asSandboxing. They also auto-update to make sure you have all the latest security fixes. No extra software (or worrying) required.
  • Launch apps directly from your desktop: To make it quicker and easier to get to your favorite apps, we’re also introducing the Chrome App Launcher for Windows, which will appear when you install your first new Chrome App. It lives in your taskbar and launches your apps into their own windows, outside of Chrome, just like your desktop apps. Have lots of apps? Navigate to your favorite apps using the search box.

Download Packaged Apps

You can view all the packaged apps available here. My favorite so far is Pocket which recently launched its packaged app on the Chrome Web Store.

Chrome App Launcher for Mac OS X Gets Ready

We already know what the Chrome App launcher is, and h0w it works. Chromebook users use them the most, and Chrome users on Windows got this very recently. And today, Google is launching the Chrome App Launcher for Mac OS X  on the developer channel.

Excerpts from the Chromium Blog:

The launcher provides an easy way to find and launch your Chrome Apps, while at the same time integrating closely with the operating system so that your Chrome Apps behave and feel just like regular native ones. For example, on Macs you can find your Chrome Apps in the launcher, Applications folder, in the Dock and when you do a Spotlight search—just like any other Mac app that you already use. 

To get the launcher, just install a Chrome App from the Chrome Web Store, such as this text editoror note-taking app. The first time you install an app, the launcher will show up as an icon in the Dock. Chrome Packaged Apps for the Mac are available in the dev channel of Chrome and will be launched to stable channel soon. 

How useful is the app launcher on a PC or Mac? I would love to hear from you. Because, I rarely use the app launcher on the Windows 8.1 PC. But on a Chromebook, I tend to use it occasionally.

chrome news  Chrome App Launcher for Mac OS X Gets Ready

When the app launcher comes to OSX, it is going to sit on the signature app launcher bar, getting more attention than on Windows. Will more people use it because of this extra attention?

We’ll see soon!

Use Chrome’s Kiosk Mode for Guest Browsing

Remember Kiosk mode of Google Chrome and Chrome OS? It is a feature supposedly for enterprises, but you can put this to another use on your computer. By enabling kiosk mode and creating a secondary user profile, you can provide a guest with a full-screen browser devoid of any of your personal data.

I am not saying this is a privacy feature, because anyone can close out of this mode and move around your PC freely. That is a challenge that you will have to handle separately. (And no complaining about Chrome leaving passwords unprotected. You save passwords on a PC that you trust and is personal)

chrome news  Use Chromes Kiosk Mode for Guest Browsing

So, here it is:

  1. Open up Chrome’s settings.
  2. Under “Users” click “Add new user.”
  3. Give the new profile a name and picture. Make sure “Create a desktop shortcut for this user” is checked. Click “Create.”
  4. Right-click the newly-created shortcut and select “Properties.”
  5. In the “Target” field, add “—kiosk” (no quotes) to the end.
  6. Click “Apply.”

via Lifehacker.

Default Port Forwarding and Git Integration for Your Chromebook

If you are a developer and a Chromebooks fan, I have news about two new features coming to Chrome and Chrome OS. Default Port Forwarding and Git Integration.

Default Port Forwarding

Default Port Forwarding configuration have been added to the latest Chromium build. It might take a few weeks for it to land on developer builds and up. When ready, this new feature will be available at chrome://inspect

chromebook  Default Port Forwarding and Git Integration for Your Chromebook

Git Integration for Chrome OS Code Editor

A truly exciting news for those who want to code from a Chromebook.Code Edit for Chrome OS is getting Git integration. This feature is also a work-in-progress and is not available in stable builds. It’s still work in progress but we can pull, push, commit, branch and checkout from the new “git” menu button, says François Beaufort sharing the news.

But you can try it out without much trouble.

Try it Out

If you want to try it out, check out the code_editor_dev branch of the Code Editor Chrome App available athttps://github.com/GoogleChrome/code-editor-app/tree/code_editor_dev. Once you’ve done that, load it as an unpacked extension in chrome://extensions and enable thechrome://flags/#enable-syncfs-directory-operation flag to play with it.

Now, here are some screenshots!

chromebook  Default Port Forwarding and Git Integration for Your Chromebook

chromebook  Default Port Forwarding and Git Integration for Your Chromebook

What is next in your developer wishlist?


Chromoting to Support Multiple Remote Desktop Sessions

Chromoting the remote desktop app for Chrome, Chrome OS and Android is getting support for simultaneous sessions. Here is the report from the  daily:

The Chromoting Packaged App has now a “New connection” option to allow multiple sessions to run at the same time.

For information, Chromoting Packaged App builds are freely available athttps://commondatastorage.googleapis.com/chromium-browser-snapshots/Linux_x64/<Revision>/remoting-webapp.v2.zip where <Revision> is the Chromium Build Revision Number you’re looking for.
The last know good revision can be found athttps://commondatastorage.googleapis.com/chromium-browser-snapshots/Linux_x64/LAST_CHANGE

Be aware though that these builds won’t update automatically unlike the official Chrome Remote Desktop Extension.

The Chromoting now lets users create new connection from the toolbar by selecting New connection. Notes from the developers indicate that the UI will change, and we might see something different, like a button or a menu option to create new connections.

chromebook  Chromoting to Support Multiple Remote Desktop Sessions

Google is busy bringing up the Chromoting as a cross-platform solution. The Android app is almost ready and I am wondering when they will integrate Chromoting with Google Plus Hangouts.


My Story Editor is a Beautiful Chrome App That You Must Try!

Here is a beautiful Chrome app from  that you must try. My Story Editor is a simple Chrome Packaged App that lets you create a story within seconds. It can be anything: a “Choose Your Own Adventure Book”, a modern Photobook, or even a simple message to deliver.

“Cool thing is that your creation can be exported as a full-fledged Chrome App you can upload right away to the Chrome Web Store”

chrome extensions  My Story Editor is a Beautiful Chrome App That You Must Try!

I think talking about this app won’t communicate the beauty of it. Take a look at this video demo:

What will you use it for? A photo album? A story book? A short message? Let me know!

Get the app from here.

If you are interested in code, it is available here.

New Tab Page on Chrome for Android Gets A New Design, Complete with Google Search

Google is testing a new design for Chrome for Android’s new tab page, behind a flag. If you open up chrome://flags and enable the flag Enable the new NTP and restart Chrome, here is what you will see.

android  New Tab Page on Chrome for Android Gets A New Design, Complete with Google Search

The first thing up there is the Google logo. I am not 100% sure but I think Google will bring Doodles to Chrome for Android as well. That should be why we have such a big Google Logo up there. What do you think?

Next up is the Google search field, complete with the microphone icon to launch voice search. When you touch the search field, the focus moves to the omnibar, and that is where you will type in your query, as usual.

Below the search field, you have the most visited websites tabs. You can swipe this list horizontally to see the complete list.

Next up is two links. Bookmarks and Other devices. And you know what they do android  New Tab Page on Chrome for Android Gets A New Design, Complete with Google Search

Think this is something you should try out?  Give it a try and let me know!