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 →
Since being introduced in 2008, Google’s (GOOG) Chrome Web browser has continued to gain market share and even surpassed Internet Explorer in global usage earlier this year. Now, the Mountain View-based company is making an impact in the mobile browser market. Chrome for Android was released in February of this year and according to the latest numbers from Net Applications, the mobile browser now controls a 4.03% of the market. The number is even more impressive when you take into account the fact that Chrome is only available for devices running Android 4.0 or higher, a software version found on less than 30% of all Android smartphones and tablets. More →
Google (GOOG) on Tuesday released an update for its Chrome Web browser for Windows, Mac and Linux computers that finally brings support for a “Do Not Track” option. Chrome was the last major browser to support the feature and had previously forced its users to rely on third-party extensions. When enabled, the Do Not Track protocol blocks tracking cookies used by advertisers for targeting purposes. The latest version of Chrome also delivers increased battery life to Windows users due to Google’s new GPU-accelerated video decoder, which is said to increase battery life by as much as 25% compared to earlier Chrome versions. The Web browser is rolling out now to current Chrome users and can also be downloaded from Google’s website.
The past two months have been difficult for Google’s (GOOG) Chrome Web browser, as TheNextWeb reports that Chrome lost market share for the second month in a row in October as Microsoft’s (MSFT) Internet Explorer 9 browser continued to grow. The latest numbers from Net Applications indicate that Google’s browser market share fell by 0.31% from September, while Internet Explorer gained half a percentage point, and both Firefox and Safari declined slightly by 0.09% and 0.05%, respectively. Internet Explorer 8 remains the most popular browser with a 24.5% market share and when combined with IE9’s 20.1% share along with previous versions, Microsoft controls a dominating 54.1% of the market. Firefox’s overall 19.9% market share is good enough for second place, followed by Chrome and Safari at 18.5% and 5.2%. Microsoft’s lead is expected to continue with the addition of Internet Explorer 10, which comes preloaded with Windows 8.
There are two kinds of Facebook (FB) users out there: Those who use their pages as political soap boxes and those who are sick of people using their pages as political soap boxes. For the latter group, the folks at Buzzfeed and Unbaby.me have helped create a new extension for Google (GOOG) Chrome that blocks political messages from both your Facebook and Twitter feeds and replaces them with happier things, such as pictures of cute cats. The extension is free to download and promises users that it will help them “enjoy an Obama AND Romney free life.”