When Google first announced its plans to offer a lightweight, browser-like operating system, pundits had a field day. Why go up against Windows? Why not use Android? Fast-forward to today, and you’ll find that sales of inexpensive Chromebooks are climbing faster than almost anyone expected, particularly in schools. It makes sense, of course – why should a school spend twice as much on a Windows machine when a cheap Chromebook can get the job done?
For personal use, Windows notebooks and Apple’s MacBook laptops are seen by many as the obvious choice over Chromebooks because they are so much more powerful and flexible. As it turns out, however, Chromebooks’ biggest weakness might also be their greatest strength. More →
Things have gotten to the point where many Internet users are starting to assume that almost every website on the Net is spying on them or tracking them in some way. And the sad reality is in most cases, they’re correct — nearly all websites people might visit contain some code that is intended to monitor, track or even “spy” on users. So for the privacy conscious among us, is there anything we can do to stop the madness?
The answer, of course, is yes. More →
A recent report shed light on a major bug in Google’s Chrome web browser that causes the batteries in Windows laptops to drain much faster than normal. In fact, the issue could cause laptop batteries to die 25% quicker. The bug causes laptops’ processors to wake up and look for tasks 1,000 times each second instead of 64 times per second, as they should, and users have been advised to avoid using Chrome on Windows machines if they value battery life.
But help is on the way: A new report states that Google has acknowledged the issue and is currently working to fix it. More →
Want your laptop battery to last longer on each charge? Stop using Google’s popular Chrome web browser. According to one Forbes contributor, there is a big problem with the Windows version of Google’s Chrome browser that causes it to drain laptops’ batteries at a significantly faster rate — in fact, the issue may cause notebook PC batteries to drain 25% quicker than normal. More →
It has been a long time coming, and now it has finally happened: Microsoft’s Internet Explorer is no longer the most widely used web browser in the United States. According to the latest Adobe Digital Index for the month of April, Google’s Chrome browser has unseated Internet Explorer in the U.S., accounting for 31.8% of all web browser usage during the month. Adobe’s data shows that Internet Explorer’s browser share was 30.9% in April. More →
Siri still has plenty of issues that need to be ironed out in order to help improve usability, but one thing is certain: Apple kicked voice controls into high gear with Siri’s debut. Now every smartphone and tablet maker includes voice controls in devices, and consumers are growing accustomed to having voice controls as an option.
Of course, voice controls aren’t only useful on smartphones and tablets. More →
In the early days of the Android platform, smartphones like the G1 were painfully slow and clunky. Handsets struggled to open apps, freezes were expected, and crashes were regular occurrences. Fast forward to 2014, and Android is an entirely different story. Google’s code has enjoyed years of optimizations and processors and other components have improved dramatically. Even most low-end and mid-range Android phones run smoothly in most normal situations now.
Sometimes, however, things slow down. It can be incredibly frustrating — even more so than it was back in Android’s early days, because back then it was the norm. Now, users expect a more fluid experience and when they don’t get it, it’s frustrating.
But thanks to Android’s open nature, there are often simple little tweaks that can be made in order to speed things up. More →
Heartbleed is one of the most widespread vulnerabilities we have seen in recent years — it impacted an estimated 66% of the entire Internet at the time of its discovery. The bug affects OpenSSL, which is a popular security protocol used to encrypt sensitive data sent to and from websites. Major sites such as Yahoo, Flickr and Imgur are among the sites that were affected by Heartbleed, potentially exposing users’ passwords and other data to hackers. While many have patched the bug and others continue to do so, it will be months or even years before every site addresses the issue.
In the meantime, a simple free Chrome browser plugin will alert users when they visit a website that is still vulnerable. More →
Google has been experimenting with putting its voice-enabled Google Now personal assistant onto desktop versions of Chrome for the past couple of months and now it looks like the company is finally ready to roll it out to everyone. Google announced on Monday that “starting today and rolling out over the next few weeks, Google Now notifications will be available to Chrome users on their desktop or laptop computers.” To get Google Now on your browser, Google says that you just have to sign into the same Google account that you use for Google Now on iOS and Android.
A few months ago, Google introduced a new subset of apps on the Chrome Web Store that are able function on the desktop without an internet connection, outside of the Chrome browser. Google announced on Tuesday that developers now have the capability to port those apps to iOS and Android with a new toolchain that wraps the app with a native application shell and enables the developers to make their programs available on Google Play and the Apple App Store. Common Chrome APIs will also be made available for the upcoming mobile applications. A sample of how a ported app will look on an Android smartphone can be seen below. More →
In case you haven’t already figured it out, you probably shouldn’t give permission for websites to flip on your computer’s microphone unless you really trust them. Per The Verge, developer Tal Ater has discovered a way for hackers to keep recording your voice through Google’s Chrome browser even if you’ve closed the tab that you gave permission to flip on your computer’s microphone. Essentially, hackers can create pop-up windows for websites that ask for your permission to flip on your microphone and that can keep recording you even after you’ve left the original webpage. More →
The NSA is watching your every move (not really) and malicious hackers are trying to steal your data at every turn (really), so the last thing you need is for your own Web browser to start working against you as well. Following recent revelations that some Chrome extensions were packed with adware, Google quickly responded and removed them from the Chrome Web Store. The problem apparently goes much further than the few extensions Google axed, however, and How-To Geek recently ran a post to help bring the issue to light. More →