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Posts tagged with "google chrome"

Chrome for iOS Gets ‘Physical Web’ Support for Beacon Discovery

Chrome for iOS has been updated today with support for Physical Web, an initiative aimed at interacting with beacons based on the new Eddystone protocol through webpages instead of apps. Now, Chrome's Today widget on iOS (previously used to open tabs and voice searches) can scan beacons broadcasting URLs nearby and offer to open them in Chrome directly.

From the blog post:

When users who have enabled the Physical Web open the Today view, the Chrome widget scans for broadcasted URLs and displays these results, using estimated proximity of the beacons to rank the content. You can learn more about the types of user experiences that the Physical Web enables by visiting our cookbook and joining the open source community on GitHub.

This is Google's attempt at improving upon one of the biggest shortcomings of Apple's iBeacon: app discoverability. iBeacons can achieve great utility if an associated/compatible app is already installed on a user's device and sends a notification, but iOS doesn't have a simple, consistent way to browse nearby beacons and start interacting with them right away. With Eddystone and Physical Web, Google is hoping that the transition from OS to discovered beacon and beacon functionality (for the smart device) can be smoother thanks to the web. Here's how they explain it:

The Physical Web is an approach to unleash the core superpower of the web: interaction on demand. People should be able to walk up to any smart device - a vending machine, a poster, a toy, a bus stop, a rental car - and not have to download an app first. Everything should be just a tap away.

Essentially, Google wants to give every smart device a web address that doesn't require an app store. This plays in favor of Google's strengths and, potentially, core business model, but it also sounds like a superior solution for some cases if the overhead of app discovery is out of the equation altogether (for more on the differences between iBeacon and Physical Web, see this). The Physical Web implementation in Chrome for iOS looks clever and well done, and I'm hoping that I'll get to play with it at some point. Seems crazy that all this is available in an iOS widget.

Chrome Canary Adds OS X Finder Integration for Chrome Apps

Kevin C. Tofel, writing for Gigaom:

Google’s strategy to use the Chrome browser as a desktop replacement took another step forward on Friday. Users of Chrome Canary, an experimental version of Google’s browser, can now associate Mac files with supporting Chrome apps in the Finder. This means that instead of opening a basic text file with the native OS X TextEdit, you can open it with a Chrome app like Text, Caret or Simple Text.

Interesting move from Google, but not a surprise either. Google has been building an ecosystem of apps on iOS for over a year, and it's only obvious that they're going to continue extending the effort to OS X, where they have even less limitations.

On iOS, they redirect YouTube links to the YouTube app, leverage x-callback-url for Chrome, and make sure you always use Google apps when opening links; on OS X, the Finder's “Open With” menu makes perfect sense to redirect users to Chrome – especially for Office-type documents.


Enhancing Reminders with AppleScript and Macros

As The Omni Group keeps working on OmniFocus 2 for Mac and Apple continues seeding new betas of iOS 7 and OS X Mavericks to developers, I have been reconsidering Reminders’ simplicity and enjoying the built-in iCloud sync, which, unlike other types of iCloud, is working fine for me. However, two things I miss from OmniFocus are the possibility to integrate the app with a web browser through bookmarklets and the system-wide Quick Entry panel; I use both tools on a daily basis to easily save a browser’s tab into OmniFocus’ Inbox, or to bring up a text field where I can jot down an idea and know that, no matter the app I’m using, it’ll be saved into OmniFocus. Luckily for me, Apple’s Reminders app comes with a good AppleScript Dictionary, which is likely something that Reminders’ core mainstream audience won’t ever care about, but that we can leverage to extend the app’s capabilities and input areas beyond Mountain Lion’s leather-and-paper window.

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Google Chrome for iOS Updates With Improved Voice Search

Pending an official announcement from Google, Google Chrome for iOS now contains the previously announced voice improvements that lets you search the web without typing out a single letter. Covering the extra row of keys that used to present themselves as you typed, a floating bar replaces the previous voice button from the omnibox. Tapping it brings up a microphone where you can speak your query, and depending on the question, Google will read the answer back to you (for example, ask it what time it is in Italy). Just like Google Search, Chrome will read back the text to you as you speak, and the results feel nearly instant.

You can download Chrome for iOS from the App Store.

Fix iTunes Links Not Launching iTunes in Google Chrome



I recently got annoyed by the fact that Google Chrome couldn’t open iTunes links in the iTunes app on my Mac, so I decided to look for a solution.

I haven’t been following Chrome’s (numerous) updates in quite a while, so I don’t remember when the app got a redesigned Settings page. In spite of the cleaner look, though, there’s still an option to manage “protocol handlers”, which are the settings that determine how Chrome should work with webpages that request to open other applications installed on a computer, such as Apple’s iTunes Preview website and iTunes. Read more

Chrome for iOS Updated With Messages Sharing, New History Menu



Released earlier today, Google Chrome for iOS has been updated with built-in Messages sharing and a new menu to access previously-visited webpages.

Available from the Share menu in the top toolbar, Messages integration brings up a modal Messages window to send a webpage's title and URL to someone else. This is a good addition – I've long relied on bookmarklets and third-party apps to forward Chrome links to Messages – but unfortunately one I'll make little use of, as iOS doesn't let you quickly address a message to a pre-defined group of contacts.1

I find the new History menu much more interesting for my daily Chrome workflow. Similarly to Safari, you can now tap & hold the Back/Forward buttons to show a list of websites you have navigated to; tapping on one will take you back to that page. Like Apple's implementation, this is a per-tab history; unlike Safari, the list of pages is shown in a dropdown menu rather than a full-screen modal view (on iPhone).

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Due Clipper For Google Chrome

When there are no actual news or notable app releases, I prefer investing my time in creating something for other people.

Continuing my ongoing series of tips on iOS URL schemes, here's an adaptation of my existing Due bookmarklet to work better with Google Chrome for iOS (which, as I've pointed out several times, has a very nice URL scheme). The following code (to install it, simply copy it and paste the entire string into a bookmark) grabs a webpage's title and URL and sends them to Due (also powered by a great URL scheme). Read more

Chrome for iOS: Send A Webpage Back To Safari Via Bookmarklet

Sort of. Here's a fun experiment.

Today, I wanted to quickly send a URL from Chrome for iOS -- my default browser -- back to Safari. I know there are ways to do Safari-to-Chrome, but I wanted the opposite: from Chrome back to Safari. I needed to install some custom Mr. Reader actions, and Chrome was giving an error when tapping on the downloadable files. I figured I could make a bookmarklet to take the current webpage in Chrome and send it to Safari.

Not so fast. There's no documented URL scheme on iOS for opening web links in Safari, except, well, the http:// scheme itself. In testing various bookmarklet ideas, I thought that replacing googlechrome with http in Jon Abrams' bookmarklet would force Chrome to send a link to Safari. But as It Turns Out™, doing this sort of trick in Chrome for iOS:'http'+location.href.substring(4));

...simply opens a new tab in Chrome.

What I ended up using is a hack -- and a very curious one -- to leverage Chrome's support for x-callback-url to open a link back into Safari. I was inspired by Cormac Relf's script, which I discovered yesterday when he showed me another script he made for Pythonista.


As you can see above, we're telling Chrome to open a new tab using...itself. The trick, at least theoretically, is to use an encoded location.href string to call back Safari, which is registered for the http:// scheme that Chrome, in this case, opens "externally". Displaying x-source is needed per Google's URL scheme specification; the name you give to x-source will be displayed as a "back" button in Chrome (as shown in the image above).

This is a profoundly inelegant and ultimately flawed solution. To make this "work" you have to:

  • Type the bookmarklet's name, because Chrome has no bookmarks bar;
  • Nothing will happen.
  • Close Chrome;
  • Re-open it;
  • A wild new tab appears!
  • Tap the Safari button. It's super-effective.
  • Safari will launch the link, closing the additional tab Chrome decided to open.

What is going on, exactly? Via JavaScript, we've forced Chrome to open a tab in itself, but doing so with x-callback-url inside a bookmarklet creates, for some reason, quite a strange behavior: the tab isn't opened unless you close and re-open Chrome, therefore partially defeating the whole purpose of this bookmarklet, which is to quickly open a webpage in Safari. But, in spite of the clunky process, a new tab with a "Safari button" is created nevertheless, allowing you to tap it to launch Safari and close Chrome's extra tab.

My conclusion is that we have three solutions: a) it's not possible to create a straightforward Chrome-to-Safari bookmarklet; b) it's possible in another way that I haven't explored; or c) it's possible with the x-callback-url hack, but in a different way.

If you have ideas, ping me on Twitter.

Google Chrome for iOS Now Available

Announced and demonstrated onstage earlier today during Google I/O's Thursday event, Google Chrome is now available in the App Store for iPads, iPhones, and iPod touches running iOS 4.3 or above. Chrome for iOS, much like its Android relative, features draggable tabs and can sync preferences and bookmarks thanks to Chrome Sync support. This also means that credentials can be synced between desktop Chrome and your smartphone or tablet, letting you quickly log into your favorite sites. Easy to turn on/off Incognito Mode means you can browse the web privately — web history and session cache won't be saved while it's enabled.

Google Chrome for iOS is basically a web view — unfortunately you won't get the performance of Chrome rendering or V8 as with the desktop versions. You will however, get the syncing features, style, and convenience of Google Chrome's interface. Download Chrome for iOS from the App Store.

Update: Google Chrome for iOS now out in the US

Past the break, you'll find Google's latest video for their Chrome web browser, showing off the iPhone, alongside the previous desktop, Google Chrome OS, and Android versions. We'll also continue updating this post with impressions and links as it finishes propagating worldwide. Stay tuned!

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