Hands-free voice search could hit public Chrome release in near future
Google has updated the beta version of the Chrome browser to add hands-free voice search, among other updates. Version 34 of the beta adds the same voice search functionality the company added to the Chromium browser last month, and allows users to search for items using the "OK Google" command, without needing to install an extension beforehand.
Range of cards from mobile Google Now shown in beta version of Chrome
Google has rolled out Google Now to the beta version of the Chrome browser, just weeks after the Chrome Canary experimental browser received it. Available for OS X, Windows, and Chrome OS, the update to Chrome Beta adds the card-based notifications, previously seen on iOS and Android mobile devices, to the desktop browser.
Web portal could soon become more robust
An unusual URL redirect bug suggests that iCloud.com may soon get access to iCloud Bookmarks. The feature lets people sync Safari bookmarks across platforms, including not just different versions of Safari but also Chrome and Firefox. Currently, people trying to install the Chrome extension from the iCloud Control Panel for Windows will briefly see "iCloud Bookmarks are coming soon. Please check back later" at this URL before being shunted to the Chrome Web Store.
Chrome for iOS update now available, introduces data-compression tool
Google has released its latest Chrome for iOS update, which includes several features previously unannounced. Security improvements and the addition of Google Translate are now live, as was previously reported, however the update has also introduced a new data-compression tool. Aiming to help reduce data usage while browsing, the data-compression feature can reduce browsing data usage by up to 50 percent.
O2 adds price rise clause to contracts to avoid Ofcom rule changes
British carrier O2 has updated its contracts, requiring new customers and subscribers who upgrade to agree to a price plan increase every year. The change, noted by Engadget, comes after UK regulator Ofcom clarified rules that allowed customers to exit a contract early without penalty their contracts are changed mid-commitment, except in specific circumstances. As O2 has managed to find a loophole, it is likely that other carriers in the United Kingdom may employ similar tactics in the future, in order to earn more from their customers without the early termination risk.
Vulnerability allowed websites to secretly record from a microphone
A security vulnerability in the Chrome browser that allowed malicious websites to secretly record audio through a microphone connected to the computer has been revealed. The exploit, which has been revealed following an apparent lack of progress by Google to implement a patch, could have allowed for the private conversations of nearby individuals to be eavesdropped upon, a developer claims
Two Chrome extensions pulled under new Chrome Web Store rules
Less than one month after it introduced a number of Chrome Web Store rule changes, Google has removed two Chrome extensions from its store for spamming. Add to Feedly and Tweet This Page were both excluded from the store after complaints emerged that they were serving up unwanted advertising to their users, shortly after the extensions were sold by their original developers to another company.
Currently tied to mobile devices
The newest build of Chrome Canary -- Google's experimental browser -- adds preliminary Google Now support. Once the option is on, Canary will push notifications to the taskbar in Windows, or the menu bar in OS X. There are some caveats, however -- users must run Google Now on a mobile device first, and location-based cards are tied to that device, rather than the computer Canary is on.
iOS gets Translate, Android gets homescreen shortcuts
Google is today updating the iOS and Android versions of Chrome with several important features. Both platforms now have access to a promised data compression option, which can cut bandwidth use up to 50 percent. The option is toggled through the "Bandwidth management" section under Settings, where people can also track how much data the browser is consuming on a monthly basis. Switching on compression automatically enables Safe Browsing, which screens for phishing and malware.
Icons in Chrome update warn of tabs playing sound, using webcam
The latest update to Google Chrome allows Windows 8 users to try out the Chrome operating system from within the browser itself. The addition to Chrome 32, seen earlier in a developer version of the browser, is accompanied by a new set of icons that are designed to help the user monitor which tabs are creating noise, among other functions.
Policy update effectively bans toolbars from Chrome Web Store
Google has updated the rules for its Chrome Web Store, requiring browser extensions to have a single purpose. The change, one which will effectively block toolbars and other similar pieces of code, is hoped to streamline and simplify the browsing experience for Chrome users, as well as speeding up the web browser by removing unnecessary extra weight.
Integration optimized for native feel
Google has formally introduced Chrome Apps for OS X, enabling the web-coded apps to "behave and feel" like native software on Macs. Titles can be placed on the Dock or searched for by name in Spotlight, opening in separate Chrome windows that omit the search bar, tabs and other browser-specific features.
New technology allows for screen casting, better multiple device development
Google has released an update to its Chrome 32 beta browser today, adding significant improvements to its development tools for mobile. The new update allows developers to construct mobile apps that will run in the Chrome browser, loading content on mobile without leaving the development environment. The improvement facilitates viewing the app on multiple devices, insuring proper usability cross-platform.
IE 11 now approaching Safari's install numbers
Microsoft's Internet Explorer 11 web browser more than doubled its share of the worldwide browser market in the month of November. This according to new figures from research firm Net Applications, which showed Internet Explorer 11 at 3.27 percent of the worldwide web browser market. The November surge saw IE11 leaving Opera far behind, and the Microsoft-made browser is now approaching Apple's Safari browser in terms of market share.
Moto X wood options will be available in coming weeks
The Moto X will have options for a wood backing in the future, but not in time for Thanksgiving, according to a Reuters reporter on Twitter. Despite this, Motorola is allegedly aiming to offer the backing option to customers through Moto Maker in the coming weeks, "in time for some holiday shopping." Original sightings of the backing showed options for Ebony, Rosewood, Teak, and Bamboo, though it is not clear which of these will be offered to customers.
Apple now offering telephone support for iBooks Author to publishers
Apple is now offering telephone support to publishers in a dozen major countries to support its iBooks Author program, that allows the easy creation of e-textbooks and e-books for all types. The move is designed to make iBooks Author more welcome among book publishers and large publishing enterprises that require high-level technical support for core applications and navigating a project from its initial stages through to publishing on the iBookstore.
Tablet, smartphone makers must license browser or make their own
Smartphone and tablet manufacturers hoping to use the latest version of Android in their product will not receive a browser as part of the mobile operating system. Instead, mobile device producers will be forced to either license Chrome from Google or build their own browser for customers to use straight from the box.
Will allow forms to sync from desktop version of Chrome
The iOS version of Chrome will soon be getting Autofill support, Google promises in a new blog post. The feature is already in the Android app, and has long been present in desktop editions of Chrome. Google hasn't said when the iOS app will be updated, but when it is Autofill information will sync automatically with Chrome on other platforms.
Mac client going without web payment tech for now
Google has released Chrome 31, an update of its web browser for Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, and Chrome OS. The primary addition is better payment support, in the form of allowing site access to Chrome's auto-complete data (with user permission). This lets people save payment information in the browser for quicker access. Google says, however, that Mac compatibility will only be included "in a future release."
Browser mode mimics Chrome OS within Windows 8 Metro app
Google is working on allowing Windows 8 users to run the Chrome operating system on their machines without requiring a separate OS installation, via the search engine's browser. The latest version of the Chrome browser released for developers has a mode that allows it to mimic the Chrome OS experience, while running full-screen as a Windows 8 Metro-style app.
Rollout affects desktop platforms, Android
As expected, Google has begun rolling out Chrome 30 to desktop platforms and Android. The major update brings several redesigned elements, including a different new-tab page that includes the Google search bar above the grid of frequently visited sites. Desktop users can also right click on an image and quickly use it for an image search.
iCloud bookmark sync for Chrome still not available for OS X
Amidst the high-profile iOS 7 launch, Apple has also made available a pair of plug-ins for Windows users to enable bookmark syncing. Available today in conjunction with the iCloud Control Panel for Windows 3.0 upgrade are plug-ins for alternative browsers Chrome and Firefox on Windows. Notably, Apple has not added the functionality to Chrome on OS X.
Voice search allows informal follow-up questions
Google has updated the iOS version of Chrome with several significant changes. Two of these involve search. When hitting Back to return to search results after tapping a link, the app will now reload the results instantly, making it easier to get to other items. Voice search has been updated to allow follow-up questions with pronouns, one given example being "Who is his wife?" after asking "Who is the president of the United States?"
Non-Chrome browsers able to use basic Google+ image tools
Google has introduced some new photo editing tools to its Google+ social network. The new tools, a product of its Snapseed acquisition last year, provide a wide array of basic editing and adjustment tools to the Android and iOS Google+ apps as well as through Chrome, with users of other browsers having relatively basic tools to use.
Search giant continues web platform push
Google is celebrating Chrome's fifth birthday by introducing a new generation of Chrome apps "for your desktop." As an evolution of the Chrome Web Store, the new Chrome Apps are capable of supporting many features, such as USB and Bluetooth integration, that had been limited to native software.
URL exposes saved passwords
Google has come under fire for leaving saved passwords unprotected in its Chrome browser. Web developer Elliot Kimber has brought attention to the issue, noting that a user's saved passwords are easily exposed when the browser is directed to a settings URL. Although viewing the passwords requires direct access to the computer on which they are saved, Kimber argues that many users are unaware that such information is accessible without entering a master password.
Apps to back up data, manage text messages surface online
Software tools for the Moto X have appeared online, ahead of the smartphone's launch later today. The previously-leaked Motorola Migrate Android app and the Motorola Connect extension for Google Chrome are all available to download, with Motorola Connect showing that it will also function with the Droid Ultra, Mini, and Maxx smartphones launched late last month.
USB-powered media player remotely controlled by mobile devices, computers
After revealing the latest version of the Nexus 7 tablet, Google today introduced an HDMI dongle that will stream videos and show other content from smartphones, tablets, or computers to a HDTV or other large displays. Hinted at by an FCC filing in May, the Chromecast plugs straight into a TV, and can be controlled remotely via mobile devices or the Chrome browser over a local Wi-Fi connection.
Linux, OS X version of Chrome App Launcher remains in developer preview
Google has quietly released its Chrome App Launcher for Windows. Previously only available as a developer preview, the full-release app allows for rapid access to various Google services and installed Chrome apps directly from the Windows 7 and Windows 8 menu bar, as well as through the start page on Windows 8.
Also adds browser histories, iPad fullscreen mode
Google has pushed out an important update for the iOS version of Chrome. Users can now choose to open Google-related links in appropriate apps, including Drive, Maps, YouTube, and Google+. Previously, tapping links would take people to the content's web counterparts.
Future Chrome Packaged Apps could use Bluetooth 4.0, access camera
Google has updated notifications in Chrome with a new user interface, that brings notifications externally to the browser. At the same time, the company has updated its Chrome developer tools with improved support for behind-the-scenes aspects of Chrome Packaged Apps, including a new group of APIs that provide more access to important tools.
iPod touch teardown
Following last week's release of a stripped-down iPod touch, iFixit has posted a complete teardown that shows the internal modifications. The 16GB iPod touch lacks the internal post that is used for the Loop on the 32GB and 64GB variants, however features the same curved speaker that was designed to avoid the post in the first place. With the exception of the flash memory, it appears that the other components on the logic board are identical to those found in the 32GB and 64GB models. iFixit also notes that Apple has moved the microphone from the back of the device to the top.
Main, Gmail searches pull results from other Google apps
Google has released a beta version of Chrome 28 for Windows, Mac, Linux, and Android. The most significant change is in the Windows release, where a native notification center for apps and extensions has been turned on. These can include not only text and images, but optional actions such as making a phone call or sending email. Notifications can appear even when Chrome is closed. Google is promising Mac notifications "soon."
May eliminate need to jump to separate Google Search app
A voice search option is being added to the iOS version of Chrome in "the coming days," according to Google. Users will just have to tap a microphone icon and ask the same sort of queries Google supports in Android and the iOS Google Search app. The change should in fact reduce the need to use Search, although that app is still iOS' gateway to Now and various other Google services.
Google adds voice search to home page in Chrome update
Google has updated Chrome to enable voice search, among other additions. Chrome version 27 enables conversational search through the Google homepage, providing a clickable microphone to start it off, and then switching to a larger Google Now-style mic logo. The update, spotted by Searchengineland, also provides a new API for Chrome Store developers, 14 security fixes, and a 5-percent speed boost to page loads.
Should simplify sharing from Facebook-connected apps
Facebook has brought a native Share Dialog for iOS out of beta via an updated SDK, v3.5.1. The change means that third-party iOS 6 apps will be able to share activity to Facebook without always requiring a login first. People should also be able to tag friends from within those apps.
Reminder cards, suggestions for media part of Google Now additions
Google Now, the predictive information service, has received a number of updates, in how it works and what it shows. The Google I/O attendees saw Google Now showing options for new cards, including ones for dedicated reminders, as well as activating voice recognition without pressing a button, and adding it to the Chrome browser.
Weak security resulted in DRM-free MP3 file downloads
A vulnerability found in Spotify's web player has been exploited, allowing users to download permanent copies of songs from the service. A Chrome extension by the name of Downloadify used the exploit to download MP3 files that were free of DRM, rather than just stream them, something which Spotify has been quick to rectify.
Should pave way for Google Now on OS X
The Chrome OS notification center -- already in the Windows releases of Chromium and Chrome Canary -- is in the process of being ported to the Mac version of Chromium, says Google's François Beaufort. The Chromium evangelist points to a logged Chromium issue titled "[Mac][MC] Implement notification updates and relayouts." He comments that the Mac version of the notification center is still "under heavy development," but that it can already be toggled on by running Chrome with an "--enable-rich-notifications" switch.
Sandboxes files to prevent malware
Google has released a beta Office Viewer extension for the Mac and Windows editions of Chrome. The add-on requires either the Chrome 27 beta or the latest Canary release, but enables viewing Word, Excel, or PowerPoint files within Chrome instead of separately. To protect against trojan attacks the extension is sandboxed, limiting the reach of any malicious code hackers might insert into a document.
Exports pages as PDFs
Google has updated Chrome for iOS with a handful of new features. iPhone and iPod touch users now have access to a fullscreen view, which hides the toolbar after a brief scroll. Scrolling back down again should cause the bar to reappear.
Other fixes implemented, including developer improvements
Google has released a new beta of its Chrome browser for the desktop and mobile. New in this release is a revamped user interface for HTML5 date and time input forms, DevTools updates, the ability for Chrome Packaged Apps to use the Sync FileSystem API for offline storage, support for live audio input with the Web Audio API, and up to five percent faster content loading.
Google Now adds real-time package tracking, improved settings menu
An update to the Google Search app on Android has added package tracking to Google Now. New cards will show updates to shipped online orders from retailers in real-time, including an estimated arrival date, according to Droid-Life. Individual cards also have an info button, providing quick settings for the card's contents, while the overall settings menu for Google Now has been reorganized with each section having their own toggle options, and a separate "My Stuff" section for quicker alterations to sports teams and stock choices.
Move aims to streamline innovation
Google has introduced its own browser rendering engine, Blink, that will serve as Chrome's alternative to the WebKit2 engine used by competing browsers such as Safari. The search giant suggests its WebKit-based engine will enable developers to streamline innovation, eliminating approximately 4.5 million lines of code and thousands of files that only serve to support WebKit2's features, according to an Ars Technica report.
Evernote 5 for Android adds new camera modes, shortcuts
Evernote has updated its Android app to include a new camera interface, as well as a number of UI improvements. The new Multi-shot Camera mode can take multiple photographs and combine them into one single note, while Page Camera can take a shot of a notebook, line up the edges, remove shadows and improve the contrast of the image for easier reading. Shortcuts that appeared in the Mac release in October make the transition to Android, allowing for quicker navigation between notes, and premium users will be able to use a more powerful document search facility.
A new Mac trojan is inserting ads into Safari, Chrome, and Firefox, says a Russian security firm, Doctor Web. Nicknamed "Trojan.Yontoo.1," the malware is so far being distributed through movie trailer pages, which prompt people to download a browser plugin, a media player, a video enhancer, or a download accelerator. When launched, the malware asks to be installed under a name such as "Free Twit Tube."
Addition of flags suggest close to browser-based Google Now release
Google appears to be edging closer to including Google Now into Chrome itself. Flags associated with the service have been spotted in chrome://flags in the latest Chromium build, suggesting that the search giant may bring Google Now to Chrome OS computers and desktops carrying the Chrome browser in the near future.
Search upgrades coming, Google says
Google has updated the iOS version of Chrome to v25.0.1364.86. The primary change is that the browser now provides quicker access to a tab's history by holding down the Back button. For sharing webpages, though, links can now be sent through iOS' built-in Messages service.
Proxy-based browsing claimed to improve connection speeds
Google may be introducing a proxy-based connection enhancement to Chrome for Android, in order to improve Internet speeds for mobile devices. Flags listed in the Chromium Git commit mention about SPDY proxy authentication, calling it a way to "Reduce data consumption by loading optimized web pages via Google proxy servers."