TagPC

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.

Type mailto: on Chrome Omnibox To Open Email Compose Window, Gmail or Outlook

This one was a big surprise for me. I typed in mailto: on Chrome’s addressbar and it opened an email compose window. It opened a new Outlook email when I tried it at work. When I tried it on my Chromebook, it opened the Gmail compose window because Gmail is my default email provider on Chromebook.

Is there any faster method to open gmail composer window? I don’t think so!

This must be the fastest method on the Chromebook because we will be using Gmail or another webmail service for email. If you are on a PC, this might save couple of mouse clicks. For example, if you are on Chrome, you do not have to go to outlook, open a new email and start writing.

chrome news  Type mailto: on Chrome Omnibox To Open Email Compose Window, Gmail or Outlook

Try it out!

Want more? Try These!

Rafael Bergamin says,

if you add the address (one or more, separate by spaces) it work as well, it will go to the compose page with the addresses placed correctly.like this:mailto: email@gmail.com

And Jon Dor adds, if you want to add subject too, try something like this:
mailto:someone@gmail.com?subject=hello

via Digital Inspiration.

Chrome OS Gets A Virtual Keyboard and Docked Mode

The latest development channel update brought in two new features to Chrome OS. An onscreen virtual keyboard and a Docked mode.

Virtual Keyboard

Mentions of a virtual keyboard started showing up on Chrome OS code last week or so. This is finally here, available for us to play around with. It is of course still work in progress but this baby has already made rumors of Chrome OS tablets and convertibles stronger. Here is the video

Docked Mode

Support for a docked mode is a recent addition. François Beaufort reports that this is available on Chrome OS development channel now. This is useful if you connect your Chromebook to an external display and want to keep the Chromebook lid closed while using it.

chromebook  Chrome OS Gets A Virtual Keyboard and Docked Mode

I am sure we already have many people around, waiting for this feature. May I should use the PC monitor as an external display this way since I am not using it much these days.

What do you think?

Google Announces Kiosk Mode in Chrome OS For Enterprises

I have told you this story once, but I think it is worth saying again on this post. My bank keeps a windows PC in every branch for customers to login to their online accounts. I have used it couple of times to check my account number (ha! I remember only the customer ID which I use to login).

They are maintaining an entire windows PC just for making a browser available for customers. And they put IE on it!

Sounds like a nice place that Chrome OS can fit right in? I thought so! But you need to have some features to control and limit etc, before you can deploy something like this. Google Chrome OS’ Kiosk Mode is just that.

chromebook  Google Announces Kiosk Mode in Chrome OS For Enterprises

Chrome OS in Kiosk Mode

And today, Google announced it officially on the Google Enterprises Blog. Here is a small list of examples the team has put together, but I am sure we can add another hundred to it.

  • Order out-of-stock items online while at a retail store
  • Search for books and browse the web at the library
  • Update machine and inventory info from the manufacturing floor
  • Access the company portal and update HR info from the employee break room
  • Catch up on work in a hotel business center

Talking about features, “Administrators can easily customize any Chrome device to be a public session device using the web-based management console. The features that you’ll find in the console include the ability to set the default sites and apps a user sees at login, custom brand the homepage, block sites and apps that shouldn’t be accessed, configure device inputs and outputs, and set timed log-out sessions. For security reasons, public session data is cleared on logout so the next user starts fresh“.

Looks promising! I can see more Chromeboxes getting packed for shipment. Reason? companies can easily remove their existing PC CPU unit, keep the monitor, keyboard and mouse and connect it to the new Chromebox!

Chrome OS Files App and Google Drive Gets Some Love – Works Way Better Now!

The Files app and Google Drive integrated with it got some redesign love with the latest Developer Channel  update. It is actually the Google Drive part of the Files app that got the best of it. Here is a quick walk through.

First up, a tiny little icon to tell you when Google Drive is offline:

chromebook  Chrome OS Files App and Google Drive Gets Some Love   Works Way Better Now!

Access Google Drive Files From Omnibar

This is something totally new. You can now access the files from Google Drive files (not the web version) using the Omnibar, just like you open files from your PC using a browser. The URL starts with drive:drive/root/, then needs to be completed with the path to your file.

Nothing to be excited about, unless the team has plans to implement something different along with this, a Chrome OS twist. Here is a screenshot of how it looks like.

chromebook  Chrome OS Files App and Google Drive Gets Some Love   Works Way Better Now!

Google Drive on Chrome OS Done Better

Finally, the best part of the update. I am sure you will know why it is the most important part of this update, just by looking at the screenshot below.

chromebook  Chrome OS Files App and Google Drive Gets Some Love   Works Way Better Now!

 

The Files app now organizes files on your Google Drive better. It has a Shared with me section which shows files shared by others through Google Drive.

The Recent section displays recently accessed files. One or two days with this new update, I found myself using this section a lot (and Google Drive in general)

Offline section shows files, yes, that are available offline on your Chromebook. I can see lot of smiles around here now!

Future – Packaged App

François Beaufort reports that the Files app is becoming a full packaged app. This is currently available as a flag (not available on chrome://flags) . Making Files it a complete packaged app gives it a solid foundation. You will also see some tweaks on the appearance as it changes in to a packaged app. Wait for a cleaner looking Files app!

chromebook  Chrome OS Files App and Google Drive Gets Some Love   Works Way Better Now!

 

You will see more updates on this soon. Stay tuned!

How To Stop Chromebook From Grouping Windows Per Application

Between ‘s questions and Trevor Howard‘s answers on Google Plus the other day, I learned a very useful tip the other day. It is possible to stop Chrome OS from grouping tabs per application, on the taskbar.

App Grouping on Chrome OS

Similar to what Windows does on your PC, Chrome OS also groups tabs from same application on the taskbar. For example, if I open Gmail, and then Google Tasks (which is usually inside Gmail, but I prefer it as  a separate window) I will have to click the Gmail icon on the taskbar, and choose Gtasks  from the list.

But there is a way to stop this. It is a flag available at chrome://flags. Look for Disable per application sorting in the launcher. It is little confusing when you read the name of the flag and the description (Disable the per application sorting mode of the launcher.) Because you are enabling a flag that disables a feature.

Well, go ahead and enable the flag, restart your Chromebook, and try opening a few windows from the same application. It should be listed as separate items on your taskbar.

chromebook  How To Stop Chromebook From Grouping Windows Per Application

Checkout more Chromebook tips here and here

Native Messaging Extension API on Chrome Lets Extensions Open Your Windows Apps

Here is an interesting API for Chrome extensions, in the making. This API allows extensions to communicates with applications installed on your computer. As  has shown in his example, you can write extensions to open Windows Calculator or Microsoft Word.

 believes that the Chrome team will integrate this with the Chrome Remote Desktop extension.

I am imagining my Chromebook connecting to my PC at home remotely, in the background and opening MS Word for me. The process and the extension will disappear and it will look like Chromebook launching and running MS Word as if it is a native Chrome OS application. Well, that’s what I would like to see at least!

There is no official documentation on this API yet,but you can check out the following video by François to get an idea about how this is implemented. You will see a sample extension that opens Windows Calculator when an icon on Chrome is clicked. This demo is from a Windows computer, and not a Chromebook, so do not assume that it is Chrome OS running a Windows application.

Any excited developers here?

Update: François adds,  ” This API is not just to open a native app. It can communicate with it which is (at least for me) the big picture”

I can now  think of more possibilities for this API! just waiting for developers to start releasing amazing stuff!

Chrome Gets BitTorrent Client As Extension

Chrome now has an official (but early alpha) extension from BitTorrent which lets you discover and download torrents directly in your browser.

BitTorrent has been the best way to move media and other data for over a decade.  With BitTorrent Surf, you get all the power of BitTorrent without ever leaving your browser.  And thanks to a powerful integrated search, finding torrents has never been so easy.

Features

 Search
• Quickly find torrents across multiple search sites.
• Automatically detect search sites
• And add your favorite sites to create a custom search engine.

Download
• Get media from sites like the Internet Archive directly from your search results, in one click.
• Stay updated while you Surf: manage downloads and notifications from your browser.
• File health estimates help you select the best quality media to download.

chrome extensions  Chrome Gets BitTorrent Client As Extension

Play
• Just push play.
• Surf is simply the most beautiful, fluid and streamlined way to find, access and enjoy Internet content.

Here is a video demo for you.

This extension is in early alpha, in case you experience any issues.

This does not work on Chrome OS devices yet.

Download the extension here.

Note: I tried to install this extension on my Windows 8 PC with latest Dev build of Chrome, but it says “This application is not supported on this computer. Installation has been disabled.”

Source: The Next Web.

Google Chrome Beta Channel Arrives for Android Phones and Tablets

Do you use Chrome beta or dev version on your PC or Chromebook? Would you like to try out beta version of Chrome on Android phone/tablet?

Now you can!

Starting today, you can install Chrome Beta channel for phones and tablets on Android 4.0+ from Google Play. This release includes some of the biggest developer updates to Chrome for Android since its launch last year, bringing many features available on other Chrome versions to Android as well

What’s New in Beta Version?

The initial beta launch will add the following features to Chrome.

  • With prefixed support for CSS Filters you can apply visual effects like grayscale, blur, and contrast adjustment to the mobile web. Try this demo on Chrome for Android to see filters in action.
  • The new Flexible Box Layout Module simplifies the styling of complex layouts.
  • The dynamic viewport units vw, vh, and vmin can now be used for responsive design.
  • The <track> element for video provides a simple, standardized way to add subtitles, captions, screen reader descriptions, and chapters. Note that it doesn’t work for fullscreen video on Chrome for Android yet.
  • The CSS calc() function can be used anywhere a length is required by a CSS properties. It allows mathematical expressions with addition (‘+’), subtraction (‘-’), multiplication (‘*’), and division (‘/’) to be used as component values.
  • The @sandbox and @srcdoc attributes of the <iframe> element give you more control over inline frames.
  • Unprefixed IndexedDB gives you access to fast, structured client-side storage.
  • Our technique to make desktop web pages more readable on mobile screens (now calledText Autosizing) has been improved and is more consistent with other browsers.
  • V8 has been updated to 3.15 bringing a big speed boost; performance on the Octane benchmark improved on average by 25-30%.

If you are a developer, check out the new developer tools features also.

android  Google Chrome Beta Channel Arrives for Android Phones and Tablets

Expect big improvements in measuring your mobile performance with the Timeline’s frames mode and easily navigate and edit your active scripts in the revised Sources panel.

Alright, now let me go ahead and play around with the app on my phone!

via Chromium Blog.

Google Doodle on My Chrome New Tab Page – Loving It!

Here is something special that landed on my Chrome new tab page. To make 2012 2012 memorable, I guess. I have Google Doodle on my new tab page.

I am not sure when this started appearing. I had the placeholder there for a while now and I am on Chromebook most of the times these days. So, I opened up Chrome on my Windows 8 PC today and I got this awesome gift.

chrome news  Google Doodle on My Chrome New Tab Page   Loving It!

If you have developer version of Chrome, check this out on the new tab page. And yes, this is not just an image, it is full size interactive doodle similar to the Google homepage.

There are so many people who open up Google.com to search for something instead of typing directly in to the addressbar. Putting just the search box in to the new tab page may not convince them that it is Google, a little bit of doodling might help!

This feature is still a work in progress and is not fully functional, at least for me. I can click and navigate the doodle itself, but it is not redirecting me to the related Google search page.

So, doodle is here. What next? Do you have any wish? This is Christmas time. Go ahead!

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