Chrome 42 Beta Blurs The Line Between Websites And Apps

14 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. 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.

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. 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. Most noteworthy are ES6 classes (strict mode is required), which solve help developers who have trouble adapting to JavaScript’s prototype-based inheritance.

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. You can even clip an entire webpage, saving it as a .png or .html file—just right-click, and it’ll be right there waiting for you in your Google Drive. 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.

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. 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.

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. 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. 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.

The extension works fine as a standalone to-do list at the free level, but a lot of its powers—like being able to categorize your tasks and assign them to others—come from the company’s premium subscription. 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.

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