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 →
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.