Google made a change to the Chrome Web Store that makes it a little easier for users of the Chrome browser to install apps from the Web Store. Up until now, installation of apps required a Google account, even free apps. For users who only occasionally use the Chrome browser and don’t make use of other Google services, this could be a hurdle to just testing something out. Google’s change will now let users install free apps without being logged in with a Google account.
The change does not apply to paid apps though. This makes sense since Google needs to collect payment and their ecosystem is setup to do that using a Google account.
For developers, this does mean they will need to factor in the possibility that a user is not logged in to a Google account when using the app.
source: +François Beaufort
Users are reporting that their Facebook app on Android is now loading links to web sites in an internal browser rather than launching one of the external browsers a user may have installed on their device. There is no indication in the Play store entry for the Facebook app that an internal browser has been added as an update which suggests this may be a beta feature that only a subset of users are receiving. Rolling out changes to only some users for beta testing is a standard practice for Facebook on the normal web interface and seems to be used more frequently with their Android app.
Hangouts for the web recently got an update which allows users to sketch a message and send off the masterpiece to a buddy.
It’s a bit like Snapchat, without the expiration of the message of course. A few different options are available to users like brush width and a variety of colors.
To create a sketch, hover over the camera icon, click on the pencil and then begin. Sketches can be edited after they’ve been sent, which is a cool feature as well.
If you didn’t get the update yet, be patient because it’s still rolling out to everyone. Expect the feature to make its way to Android relatively soon as well.
Source: Android Police
Metasploit, a popular vulnerability testing framework, added a new test module that would allow users to test how vulnerable some versions of the Android browser are to being hacked from shell access, and that’s when this exploit was found in Glass. The exploit would involve a man-in-the-middle hijacking that WebView instance, which wouldn’t be too difficult to do if you’re on a public WiFi or anything that isn’t well secured. At that point, the malicious code could do anything from taking photos with your device to remotely turning on your microphone. Definitely not a good thing.
Ever wanted to mirror your Android device in your browser? Such a thing is quickly coming into fruition as the famous Android developer, Koush, teased all of us a short video of his latest project which does just that. Before watching the video, I expected it to be a bit choppy, but to my surprise it looks great and very fluid for an early preview.
Sadly Koush reveals no other information about the project, much less a release date, but I’m sure he will when the time is right. Check out the video after the break and let us know if it’s something you would use yourself!
Google announced today some new features that are being added to the Chrome browser on both the desktop and in the Android version of the browser. On the desktop, Google has added a new menu item in the right-click popup menu that will let users “Search Google for this image.” Users could already search by image via the image results page. This change makes it much easier for users to access that functionality and they will be able to initiate the search from any web site.
Google’s at it again with yet another Chrome Experiment, allowing you to connect your mobile Chrome browser to your desktop Chrome browser quickly, seamlessly, and yes, awesomely.
This game, known as “World Wide Maze,” lets you roll around on your favorite websites (latitudinally), as if it were a maze. The game is pretty sick, I must say, and you should definitely go ahead and give it a try.
Source: World Wide Maze
One of the original third party web browsers for Android was Dolphin Browser. Since it was originally released, bigger browsers like Chrome and Firefox have surpassed it in popularity, but Dolphin still hasn’t given up making updates and improvements. Today Dolphin’s developers updated the browser to version 10, bringing quite a few new features.
There’s a brand new, cleaneruser interface. Another nice addition is the new “Web App Store,” in which users can add popular web apps to their homescreen via shortcuts. Also, version 10 introduces the “Dolphin Key,” which enables gesture and swipe shortcuts to the menu or tab list. Also, Flash support has returned.
After the break, you can find the change log and download link.
Not too long ago we heard about a web data compression feature Google was testing out. It was only available to Android 4.2 users, however, so not many of us got a chance to play with it. After some digging around in the source code for the latest Chrome browser, it turns out that Google has somewhat implemented the data compression feature into Chrome for anyone to try out.
It’s a little tricky to get to the setting, as there’s no actual UI for turning it on yet. In Chrome, type chrome://flags in the address bar, and from there you’ll be able to switch the flag on to start data compression. All HTTP websites you visit will then be sent to Google’s proxy server to be intelligently compressed and optimized for Chrome, then sent to your smartphone, speeding up the web loading process as well as consuming less data. Pretty handy trick if you’re dealing with a data cap from your carrier.
Hopefully we’ll see this feature make it into the stable release of Chrome before long.
source: Google Developers Blog
Firefox for Android has finally received a hefty update from the folks at Mozilla today, bringing massive improvements like a built-in PDF viewer to the third-party browser. The new build, version 19, also brings native support for themes, allowing Android users to customize a large portion of their browsing experience.
While most enhancements have been made to the mobile version, desktop users will also notice a few improvements like speed improvements and lower hardware requirements. Be sure to hit the download link after the break to get in on the action.