Chrome for Android update brings “additional Material Design”

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Google is currently in the process of distributing a stability update for its official Chrome for Android client via the Play Store. In terms of added functionality, the upgrade brings a shed load of bug fixes, stability improvements and speed optimizations, as well as “additional Material Design updates,” support for battery status and screen orientation APIs.

Hit the break for the full changelog.


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Chrome Beta’s Google Play page contains screenshots from Android L

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We are expecting Android L to arrive very soon, likely between October 15 and November 1. Google has already updated the screenshots for the Chrome Beta app to reflect the focus of the upcoming version of Android. The design language, Material Design, is name dropped in one place and Chrome is obviously going to be adopting the new look. The keyboard revamped for Android L makes an appearance as well.

Hit the break for the gallery of screenshots.


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Chrome and Android convergence won’t be “forced” according to Sundar Pichai

Chrome_Android_overlapThere has been quite a bit of speculation about whether the mobile-focused Android would replace the PC-focused Chrome at Google, or vice versa, but so far Google hasn’t taken any major steps to make that happen. According to Sundar Pichai, (who is the senior VP of both Android and Chrome) the search giant doesn’t want to force any type of convergence between the two.

We’ve seen a little bit of overlap between both platforms, including the Chromecast running a specific version of Android and being able to run Android applications on Chromebooks. Pichai clarified that if any type of convergence between the two happens, it’s going to be an “organic” process. That leaves plenty of interpretation for if Google plans on organically moving Android into a position to replace Chrome or anything similar, but as of right now, Google is happy to let both pieces stand successfully on their own. 
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Chrome APK Packager creates Chrome-friendly packages directly from your Android device

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As you may recall, it is now possible to run any Android application from inside the Chrome browser thanks to a project called ARChon.  Previously this was only officially compatible with four apps, other apps had to be converted using a JavaScript script, but the process was more than most people would be comfortable with. Thankfully, the process has become a whole lot easier thanks to a new app by XDA user bpear96 that converts the apps with ease from the comfort of your Android device. Once the package is converted simply transfer it to your computer and open it inside the Chrome browser.
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Chrome Apps for Mobile gets updated with a faster workflow, cloud messaging, and rich notifications

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Back in January, Google announced Chrome Apps for Mobile, which is based on Apache Cordova, and allows Chrome apps to run on either Android or iOS. Apps can be freely distributed to the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store.

Google just announced the newest version of Chrome Apps for Mobile that includes Chrome APIs for identity, Google Cloud Messaging (GCM), and rich notifications. It also offers an faster and simpler developer workflow, and modern WebView capabilities have been extended to older versions (back to Ice Cream Sandwich) of Android.


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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 for Android gets update to add Material Design interface

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We knew Google was getting close to releasing a new version of the Chrome browser for Android devices that incorporates their new Material Design guidelines after the beta version came out with the updated interface. Today Google started to roll out the new version of the stable branch of the Chrome browser that will give the new UI to all users.
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