Google testing optional Home button for Chrome’s Android app

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The Chrome app for Android does not have a quick way to get to a homepage. So how is Google going to fix that? By adding a Home button, of course! Users of Google’s web browsing app are reporting that within the Settings menu, there is a selection to activate a Home button to be placed next to the address bar. It is completely optional and adds a small icon that, in one tap, sends you over to your preset homepage.

Via: Android Police

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

Google Cast Beta extension update allows for 1080p casting of Chrome tabs

Chromecast_dongle (1)Google has updated their Chromecast companion extension for the Chrome browser that brings in a pretty useful new tweak for slinging your browser tabs to your television. If you’re using the beta version of the Google Cast extension in Chrome, you’ll be able to cast your tabs in full 1080p, up from the 720p option that’s available in the stable version.

To top it off, the beta extension allows you to adjust the bitrate of your casted tabs, plus set a limit on the maximum FPS captured from those tabs. If you’ve got a nice router, you can really turn those settings up to get a fantastic experience with your Chromecast, but if you’re dealing with a cheaper or slower router, you may not want to crank the settings up too high.
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Chrome ADB server released for Nexus 5

ChromeADBIf you’re interested in tinkering with your phone, you know how using ADB requires installing the SDK or using a toolkit (my personal method of action). However, thanks to Koushik Dutta, a prolific Android developer and creator of many apps, there is a public version of an ADB server for Chrome, released today. Unfortunately, it only works with the Nexus 5 at the moment, but we can expect him to add more devices in the future, most likely starting with the rest of the current Nexus devices.
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Google testing Ultra Violet “chat heads” for Hangouts on desktop

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Google is reportedly working on a new feature for the desktop version of Hangouts that will make chatting a much better experience for users. This new feature is called “Ultra Violet” and will allow you to set up floating conversations that you can move around your screen, as opposed to just having minimized tabs like we do now.

The circles float around like Facebook’s famous “chat heads” and expand into a full conversation when clicked. Whenever a new conversation starts, another chat head is added to the row below the current conversations, which makes it easy to keep track of which conversations are currently active.
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64-bit support for Chrome now in beta for Windows users

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If you’re running Windows on your computer, you’re in luck.

In Google’s most recent beta version of Chrome, the browser added 64-bit support. The support had been previously available in the Canary and developer editions of the browser, but it was a bit buggy.

Now, the capability is pretty solid (of course there will be a few hiccups), but this is the closest we’ve been to a stable 64-bit browser from Google. If you’re interested in getting the beta release, just head to the source link.

Source: Google Chrome

Google working on fixing laptop battery drain bug in Chrome

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A recently uncovered bug in Chrome showed that Google’s browser was unnecessarily using too much battery on laptop computers due to the way Chrome handled PC processors when it was idling. Chrome sets the processor tick rate at 1 millisecond, even when it’s just sitting in the background not doing anything, which can cause up to an extra 25% battery drain on some hardware. Other browsers, like Microsoft’s Internet Explorer, keep the CPU tick rate at the default 15.625 milliseconds when it isn’t doing intensive tasks.
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