Beautify a Boring Browser With Google ‘Art Project’

12 Mar 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

10 Chrome extensions for streamlined, sped-up productivity.

While there are plenty of web-based tools and productivity tricks to help you power through tasks in your browser, you can step up and speed up your capabilities even more by grabbing some smart Chrome extensions.

The Google Art Project add-on comes courtesy of the Google Cultural Institute, the Google arm that has been working with a number of art and cultural institutions over the past few years to help digitize offline exhibits — this includes documenting the history of cinema, the fall of the Iron Curtain, and more. While the release actually arrived on Monday, the company only offered details about the new features today, including push notifications, ES6 Classes, and Add to Home Screen promotion on Android.

These add-ons add more functionality to Chrome for Windows and Chromebook users alike, enabling you to quickly save items to Google Drive, clip articles, or keep tabs on all your social media shares. I made a comment to her about all her gadgets, and she sighed deeply and said, “Why can’t everything just be on all the gadgets, all the time?” A totally synchronized life is what we were promised when this idea of the “cloud” came along. You can actually tweak the settings within the extension, so that you either see a new piece of art every day with each tab you open, or literally a new piece of art with every new tab you open. When we delete emails, they’re gone across all devices, and we can access webmail accounts from just about any machine, just about anywhere in the world.

First and foremost, Chrome 42 beta offers two new APIs that together allow sites to push native notifications to their users even after the given page is closed. If you’ve gone a step further and enabled services like Google Docs, you can store documents, spreadsheets, photos and videos in the cloud and open them on any computer. Once that has happened, a developer can use the new Push API via Google Cloud Messaging to remotely wake up their service worker, which in turn can run JavaScript for a short period. For example, if you see an event online you want to attend, just highlight the text and right-click—you’ll then get a popup to add it straight to your Google Calendar. In this release, Google requires showing a user-visible notification that includes a “Site Settings” button hwere users can easily disable notifications.

The new holy grail is unifying communications: to get your phone to talk to your computer, so you can view and respond to things like text messages and phone calls on any device. Most noteworthy are ES6 classes (strict mode is required), which solve help developers who have trouble adapting to JavaScript’s prototype-based inheritance.

Continuity lets you share information like directions, browser windows and email drafts on multiple devices, as long as all those devices are from Apple and are running the latest software. While many libraries have introduced their own patterns for emulating classes, this is the first attempt to provide a single, uniform, and standardized syntax to describe them. Users who frequently visit a high-quality web app will asked if they want to add the site to their home screen in one tap: If you’re a developer who wants to take advantage of this new feature, you have to meet the eligibility criteria (provide a Web App Manifest, serve all content using HTTPS, and at least partially work offline using a service worker), which will evolve over time based on feedback from users and developers. Side columns, blinking ads, “Read this next!” suggestions—it’s enough to make you go mad, especially when you’re trying to focus on getting something done. The startRendering method of an OfflineAudioContext instance now returns a promise that resolves when the audio has finished rendering, making it easier to design web apps that work with the Web Audio API.

While other extensions (like Readability) do the same, this extension adds in the ability to mark up and highlight the article for easy saving to Evernote. Chrome OS now supports screen.orientation and fires the DeviceOrientationEvent when the device’s orientation changes significantly, allowing orientation-aware websites to operate correctly on Chrome OS devices. This release includes an updated and unprefixed implementation of Encrypted Media Extensions, which allows media sites to discover and interact with digital rights management systems.

If your tab crashes, Lazarus will reload all the text that was on the page, which can be a huge time saver for filling out an application or online survey. We thus expect Chrome 42 stable, which also happens to be the the last version to support Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, to arrive at the end of April. Google also offers an extension for Chrome called Chrome to Phone (not the same as an older extension called Chrome to Mobile, which has apparently been disabled) that will let you send links to web pages, phone numbers or directions from the browser to your phone with one click.

You can also sync Chrome’s browser tabs between a computer and the mobile version of Chrome on either iOS or Android — just enable it in Chrome’s settings under Advanced Sync Settings. The company makes desktop software called BlackBerry Blend that loads messages, emails, photos and files from newer BlackBerry phones onto your Mac, PC or tablet — including iPads. Motorola makes Motorola Connect, which works with the Moto X, Droid Turbo and a couple of other phones, and also lets you see and send text messages or answer or decline calls on your computer. As we collect more devices and add more forms of communication to our lives, it doesn’t make sense to be able to get text messages only on a phone and to send files or browse the web only on a computer.

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