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 →
Over the weekend we learned about a devious new way for spammers to make money: By buying up third-party Chrome extensions and then using them to inject adware into users’ browsers. This means that anyone who has installed a compromised Chrome extension is likely to see ads pop up just about everywhere while they’re surfing the web, which obviously makes using Chrome as your web browser much more annoying. More →
Data caps are one of the wireless industry’s least popular concoctions and they figure to get even less popular as mobile applications become more bandwidth intensive. Google, however, is trying to help you stay ahead of the curve with a new tool that it’s launched for its mobile Chrome browser for iOS and Android that it says can help you reduce your data consumption by up to 50%. The new feature is powered by an SPDY proxy connection that runs on Google’s servers and that Google says “optimizes and transcodes all images to the WebP format, which requires fewer bytes than other popular formats, such as JPEG and PNG.” To enable it in your Chrome mobile browser, first make sure you have the latest version of Chrome, then click on “Settings” and then “bandwidth management.” From there you’ll see an option that reads “Reduce data usage” that you simply have to switch to “on.”
Remembering passwords for multiple websites is incredibly annoying but it still might not be a good idea to let Google’s Chrome browser remember them for you. Software developer Elliott Kember notes that it’s incredibly easy for anyone to see the passwords you’ve stored on Chrome as long as they’re using a computer where you’ve logged into the browser. Basically, all a person has to do is go to Chrome’s settings, find your list of stored passwords and click “show” on each one to display your password right on the screen. More →
Andy Rubin’s departure from his post as Google’s (GOOG) Android boss on Wednesday was surprising because Android under his watch has steadily risen to become the world’s most popular mobile operating system. A new report in the Wall Street Journal, however, hints that Rubin’s departure was more about speeding up the integration of Android and Google’s Chrome operating system than anything else. More →
Google Now, the voice-enabled personal assistant available on Android smartphones and tablets, may be making its way to the desktop. A new reference to the feature was discovered in the latest Chromium release, which gives users the ability to enable or disable the option. The feature is not yet available, however, and requires users to input the relevant — and secret — Google Now server information. Earlier reports indicated that Google (GOOG) was interested in expanding its virtual assistant beyond Android. The feature is listed to support Chrome for Windows and Chrome OS, although it is speculated that a Mac OS X release could also be in the works.
Google (GOOG) has officially taken the training wheels off the Web Speech application programming interface it first launched as part of a Chrome beta release last month. Google announced on Thursday that the latest version of Chrome now includes the Web Speech API that it says will help developers “integrate speech recognition capabilities into their web apps” so that users can use their voices for functions traditionally covered by mouse and keyboard, such as composing email. Google’s efforts to give Chrome web apps more speech recognition capabilities come after some developers late last year started a new Chromium project dedicated to bringing the voice-enabled Google Now personal assistant to the Chrome browser.
Pretty soon, every major web app could have its own version of Siri. Google (GOOG) on Monday released a new version of Chrome Beta that includes a new Web Speech API that Google says will let developers more easily integrate speech recognition capabilities into their web apps. Among other things, Google says that the API will let developers create apps that let users “dictate documents” or “control game characters with your browser using only your voice.” Google’s efforts to give Chrome web apps more speech recognition capabilities come after some developers late last year started a new Chromium project dedicated to bringing the voice-enabled Google Now personal assistant to the Chrome browser.
Users took to social networks on Monday to vent their displeasure with Google (GOOG) following a 40-minute disruption of service affecting the company’s Chrome Web browser and Gmail service. It was previously unclear what caused the services to simultaneously crash and some suspected the company was hit with a denial-of-service attack. Google engineer Tim Steele took to the company’s developer forums to clear up the confusion and confirmed what some developers had already suspected: The reason for the crash had to do with the Google Sync servers getting overwhelmed following a change in the code, not a DDoS attack. More →
As we’ve noted before, Google’s (GOOG) new voice-enabled personal assistant Google Now is one of the coolest new features on Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and it’s received a lot of acclaim from around the tech world. And now, per Engadget, it looks like anyone with a desktop computer will soon be able to enjoy Google’s Siri killer right from within the Chrome web browser. More →