Google putting Chrome on Ice Cream Sandwich in the freezer

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Citing the movement of users to newer versions of Android and the increasing complexity to support older devices, Google’s Chrome team announced today they will bring development of updates for the Chrome browser on Ice Cream Sandwich to a halt. The change in status for the browser will take place with Chrome’s 42nd release after which the browser will be put in the virtual deep freeze on Ice Cream Sandwich. Users will be able to continue to use Chrome on their devices, but there will be no more updates.
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Google drops Google account requirement for Chrome browser app installs

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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

Facebook adds internal browser to app on Android

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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.
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New Hangouts feature allows sketch-messaging through your browser

Hangouts Sketch

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 

Google Glass vulnerable to JavaScript exploit

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There was a security issue back in Android 4.1 that would allow malicious code (specifically JavaScript) to interject itself into apps that created a WebView, which is something typically done when an app opens up a web window to display an external website, ads, etc. Needless to say, that’s a pretty common thing on Android apps. and apparently that potentially dangerous bug is present in Google Glass, too.

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.
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Mirror your Android device to your browser: Koush teases his latest project

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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!


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Google rolling out updates to Chrome for Android and for the desktop

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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.
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