Tag Archives: chrome

Chrome Address Bar Gets Smarter Autocomplete

Google is rolling out a series of updates to the address bar (or Omnibox) in Chrome that improvises the accuracy of autocomplete across the desktop and mobile browser, 9to5Google reported.

Instead of an autocomplete only working if you typed the beginning of a URL correctly, the Chrome address bar on desktop will complete “based on any word you’ve previously used to search for a website.”

For example, “flights” would autocomplete to google.com/travel/flights instead of you needing to first enter google.com.

Misspelled URL names will now be detected and return suggestions based on previously visited websites on Chrome for Android, iOS, and desktop.

Google provided more information on The Keyword blog, titled: “5 Chrome address bar updates to speed up your search”. It was posted by Jesse Lee, Product Manager, Chrome.

Chrome can help you quickly find the website you’re looking for, even if you made typos, can’t remember the URL, or need suggestions.

As the days get shorter this fall, you might be looking for ways to maximize your time. Luckily, five improvements are coming to Chrome’s address bar to help you browse even faster.

1 Smarter autocompletion

Previously, Chrome would only autocomplete URL’s in the address bar if you typed the beginning of one correctly. So you had to know, for instance that the Google Flights site started with google.com. Starting in Chrome on desktop, the address bar will now autocomplete URL’s based on any word you’ve previously used to search for a website. So now, if you simply type “flights,” Chrome will autocomplete to “https:/.www.google.com/travel/flights.”

2 Automatic typo corrections

If you misspell a URL name in the address bar, Chrome can now detect those typos and immediately show you suggestions based on your previously visited websites. This new feature is available today for Chrome on desktop, Android and iOS.

3 Searches within bookmark folders

You can now search within your bookmark folders right from the Chrome address bar on desktop and mobile. Just include the folder name in your search, and you’ll see suggestions from that collection.

4 Suggestions for popular sites

It can be hard to remember the name of a website your friend recommended. Starting today on desktop and mobile, Chrome will suggest popular sites even if you’ve never visited them or mistyped the URL. So, say your friend mentioned checking out Google Earth to scout the difficulty of a hiking trail, but it’s your first time visiting the site. As you begin to type “Google Earth” in Chrome’s address bar, Chrome will suggest the Google Earth website in the drop-down.

5 Faster, easier-to-read results

Thanks to an improved visual layout, the Chrome desktop address bar is now easier to read. It’s also more responsive, so you’ll get even faster results as soon as you start typing.

TechCrunch reported that the address bar will now suggest popular sites even if you haven’t visited them before, or if you have mistyped the URL. Now, when you start typing the name of a popular website, the address bar will show you the website’s URL in the list of suggestions. From there, you can select it to go there directly without having to first search the name and then click on the search results.

Personally, the only thing I use Chrome for is to see maps and character sheets online when playing TTRPG games with my friends. As a Mac user, I would prefer not to have to use Chrome, but there often is no better alternative for TTRPG online gaming.

Chrome Adds New Features To Save Battery And Improve Browsing

Chrome posted information on The Keyword, written by Group Product Manager, Chrome, Mark Chang. It is a short post that focuses on Chrome’s new features that are optimized for your device’s battery and system memory.

From the post:

With the latest release of Chrome on desktop, we’re introducing two new performance settings so Chrome uses up to 40% and 10GB less memory to keep your tabs running smoothly, and extend your battery when it’s running low. We’ll be rolling out both Memory Saver and Energy Saver modes over the next several weeks globally for Windows, macOS and ChromeOS.

…Memory Saver mode frees up memory from tabs you aren’t currently using so the active websites you’re browsing have the smoothest possible experience. This is especially useful if you’re running other intensive applications, like editing family videos or playing games. Any inactive tabs will be reloaded when you need them.

Energy Saver maximizes battery life. Running low on battery and don’t have a laptop charger nearby? When you’re browsing the Web with Chrome and your device batter level reaches 20%, Chrome will save battery by limiting background activity and visual effects for websites with animations and videos.

TechCrunch reported that Google’s announcement comes a day after Microsoft announced that its Edge Browser put 1.38 billion tabs to sleep in September alone. According to Microsoft, sleeping a tab in Edge typically saves 83% of the memory it would normally occupy.

According to TechCrunch, Microsoft rolled out its version of these features, which can automatically put tabs to sleep after five minutes of inactivity (and can bring this down all the way to 30 seconds of inactivity), a couple of years ago and then once again improved it with the release of Edge 100 earlier this year. Edge also features a gaming mode, which can automatically reduce CPU usage when it detects that you are playing a game on your PC.

Engadget reported that these new features will be available as part of the m108 Chrome for desktop build. Google says all users will have access to them in the coming weeks and that it’s starting to roll out the build. You’ll be able to turn off these modes in the settings and make certain sites exempt from Memory Saver.

I think that people who use Chrome will make use of these new features, especially people who tend to have a whole lot of tabs open all the time.

The bigger picture, though, is what these features can do for people who have older computers. The memory saver feature that frees up tabs the person isn’t currently using could be a big improvement for those who have computers that freeze after too many tabs have been opened.

Chrome’s Ad Blocker will Expand to Target Disruptive Video Ads

Google announced on their Chromium Blog that they have been working on a common complaint among Chrome users: annoying, intrusive ads. In 2018, they started removing the ads from websites that continually show intrusive ads that violate industry standards. Google also updated their own advertising to ensure they are not selling or serving the kind of ads that users find the most annoying.

Today, the group responsible for developing the Better Ads Standards, the Coalition for Better Ads, announced a new set of standards for ads that show during video content, based on research from 45,000 consumers worldwide.

The Coalition found that three ad experiences that people find to be particularly disruptive on video content that is less than 8 minutes long. They include: long, non-skippable pre-roll ads or groups of ads longer than 31 seconds that appear before a video and that cannot be skipped within the first 5 seconds; Mid-roll ads of any duration that appear in the middle of a video, interrupting the user’s experience; and image or text ads that appear at the top of a playing video and are in the middle 1/3 of the video player window or cover more than 20 percent of the video content.

The Coalition has announced that website owners should stop showing these ads to their site visitors in the next four months. Beginning August 5, 2020, Chrome will expand its user protections and stop showing all ads on sites in any country that repeatedly show these disruptive ads. Google wants people to know that YouTube.com, like other websites with video content, will be reviewed for compliance with the Standards.

Google points those who operate a website that shows ads to the Ad Experience Report. It is a tool that you can use to review your site for compliance with the new ad protections, and that helps publishers to understand if Chrome identified any violating ad experiences on your site.

Overall, I think this change will likely have an effect on those who have ads on their YouTube videos, which could potentially affect their earnings. That said, it appears that these changes are designed to enhance the experience of people want to watch a video – on any website – without being annoyed by intrusive ads.

Chrome to Give Users More Control over Audio

People who use Chrome as their go-to browser are about to get more control over the audio that autoplays on the websites they visit. Software Engineer Mounir Lamouri posted on the Chromium Blog information about “Unified autoplay”.

Users watch and listen to a lot of media, and autoplay can make it faster and easier to consume on the web. However, one of the most frequent user concerns is unexpected media playback, which can use data, consume power, and make unwanted noise while browsing. To address this, Chrome will be making autoplay more consistent with user expectations and will give users more control over audio.

Chrome 63 will add a new user option to completely disable audio for individual sites. The site muting will persist between browsing sessions. This allows users to customize when and where audio will play.

Starting in Chrome 64, autoplay will be allowed when either the media does not include any audio, or when the user has indicated an interest in the media. These changes will allow autoplay to occur when users want media to play, and will respect users’ wishes when they don’t want media to play.

The Chromium blog post says: “These changes will also unify desktop and mobile web behavior, making web media development more predictable across platforms and browsers.” It sounds to me like these changes will make visiting websites less annoying for people who have not yet started using ad blockers.

Google Puts One More Nail Into Flash’s Coffin

Chrome logoAdobe Flash may be dying the slowest death of any software platform that’s ever existed. And it’s about to move even closer to its demise, based on a recent announcement from Google. The search engine and internet services giant has announced that it will stop Flash from loading by default for most websites in its popular Google Chrome web browser.

Google won’t be completely removing or blocking Flash in Chrome. The new default state for the browser will keep Flash from automatically running when a website tries to load a Flash-based player. Instead, Chrome will force websites properly configured with HTML5 players to load those players first. Users will be able to configure the browser to use Flash first if they really want to. Some sites, such as YouTube, Facebook, Twitch, and Amazon will still have Flash enabled by default. But that exemption will only last for one year.

The tech community at large has been watching the slow decline of Flash popularity for about a decade now. In its heyday, Flash was used for everything from in-browser video games and online applications to web-based audio and video players. But when Apple launched its first iPhone, the company was adamant that the device would never, ever support Flash natively. This decision may have led to quicker and wider adoption of HTML5, a web standard that made it easier to deliver rich content thru the internet.

Flash is often derided for its many security issues and its need for constant updates. This move by Google will surely put another nail into Flash’s coffin. I doubt anyone will really be disappointed.

Google fixes ‘security’ problem that blocked bit.ly links

Chrome logoOver the past few days it has come to light that Google was blocking all bit.ly links as if they were malicious. That quickly became a real problem around the web, as many services use the URL shortening service. This made things even harder for folks using the ever-growing Chromebook platform, as there is no way around a problem such as this.

Now, according to security researcher Graham Cluley, as well as other sources, the problem has now been solved. “It appears the issue has now been resolved”, Cluley reports, after initially revealing that “it seems bit.ly has made its way onto Google’s list of sites that aren’t safe to browse to”.

Bit.ly has so far not commented on the problem and it appears there was never a real danger. However, link shortening services have been known to be used to hide the real link in an effort to get a user to a malicious site and bit.ly did suffer an attack earlier this year. That seems to be unrelated to this incident, though.

For now, customers may wish to keep an eye on the service’s blog for any information regarding this incident.

Lantronix Prints From Android and Chrome at CES

Lantronix LogoThere are times when only hard copy will do but anyone who has tried to print from a tablet will know that it’s not always easy. The main ecosystems from Apple and Google have their own printer strategies with AirPrint and Cloud Print respectively but support is spotty at best. Several printer manufacturers have gone so far as to create their own printer app which really is a pretty poor state of affairs.

Into this gap steps Lantronix with their xPrintServer Cloud Print Edition, the first Google-certified Cloud Print server which lets Android and ChromeOS devices print wirelessly to network and USB printers. Sweet.


The unit is about the size of a smartphone and requires no additional software downloads or printer drivers. It’s simply a case of connecting the device to the network and it automatically finds the printers on the network, making them available to users. The xPrintServer Cloud Print Edition supports any device running Google’s Chrome browser, whether it’s a smartphone, tablet, PC or laptop. Apparently there are over 310 million active users of Chrome, so that’s quite a few people who might want to print. Business users of Google Apps are supported too. Details of the printers supported are available from Lantronix’s website.

This new xPrintServer joins the existing Home and Office Editions which provide print services for iOS devices such as the iPhone and iPad.

The Cloud Print Edition sells for an MSRP of US$149.95 and will ship at the end of February 2014. Pre-orders are being taken now and potential customers can sign up at lantronix.com for more information and availability. Of course, if you are at CES, you can pop round to their stand for a quick demo.