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All about Google Chrome & Google Chrome OS
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08 Jun 12 Chrome OS review


The first version of Google’s Chrome OS wasn’t much more than a Chrome browser window with a few apps. It felt more like a statement – “Who needs local storage?” – than an operating system you could rely on.

A year and a half later, the latest version of the Chrome OS adds some of the features of a more traditional OS: a file manager (hooray!), a desktop and the ability to use storage connected through a USB port. Google’s Cloud Print system even makes it fairly easy to print.

The only thing that’s missing is the ability to keep writing, working on a spreadsheet or reading email when you’re offline. We used to have that capability through Google Gears, but since Google shut down that project last winter, services like GMail and Google Drive work only when you have a connection. (Google Senior Vice President of Chrome Apps Sundar Pichai reportedly told the audience at All Things D this week that Google Drive offline is coming in five weeks.)

The advantages of the Chrome OS remain the same. The new Samsung Series 5 550 Chromebook I tested shuts down in less than 5 seconds and starts up again in less than 10. When you log in, there’s no waiting for programs to load. You go right back to the last browser window you were working in, with all the same tabs you had open before you shut down. Jumping from window to window (that’s right — now you can have more than one) is instantaneous. And while all new machines are fast, it’s hard to imagine what would slow down a Chromebook over time — there’s no registry to get junked up and no local software to leave debris on your hard drive. Battery life is great, too. I was able to work a full day on a single charge.

And, unlike previous incarnations, you now get a significant price break for buying a Chromebook: The machine I tried, with a 12.1-inch display, costs roughly £288 ($449). The Samsung Series 5 13.3-inch Windows model costs about £799.99.

Multiple windows in separate browsers

Chrome’s new file manager is rudimentary, but its very existence is a big deal. It comes up as a browser tab that shows the different storage devices on your machine. There’s Downloads, which sits on the 16GB SSD drive. You can also store files on a USB drive or a memory card. You can move files from one storage device to another, though you don’t have the drag-and-drop convenience of most operating systems – you have to copy and paste them.

Printing through Google Cloud Print was simple, even though I didn’t have access to an official Cloud printer. I set up cloud printing on my desktop at work (it’s a setting within the Chrome browser), then the Chromebook could use any printer my desktop could access, including printers on the PCWorld network.

Chrome OS now has a desktop, though you likely won’t spend much time there. There’s a taskbar, where you can put shortcuts to apps you use frequently, and a status area that reports things like Wi-Fi connection status and battery life. But I couldn’t find a way to put a shortcut to an app or file on the desktop itself – it’s really just a pretty picture.

You can now use multiple windows in Chrome, though they’re all just separate browser windows. Still, that can be helpful – you can jump from one window to another with Alt-Tab or with a special function button. Each window has something that looks like a Windows maximise button, but it operates four ways through gestures. If you click on it and drag down, the window minimises. Drag up and it goes full screen. Drag to the left or right and the window docks on either side, taking up half the screen. It’s a fun innovation.

Quirky keyboard still in place

The Chromebook still features its quirky keyboard. The biggest quirk is the lack of a Caps Lock key – that’s replaced with a pretty unnecessary search button. All the search button does is open a new tab, something that’s easily done with Ctrl-T. If you miss Caps Lock, you can restore it through the Chromebook’s settings. Other unconventional keyboard choices work better. I like the function button for switching between windows and one for toggling between full screen and normal mode. There are also dedicated forward, back and reload buttons, which make lots of sense for a notebook built for the web. Hit Ctrl and the Search button and you’ll go to an smartphone-like grid of shortcuts to your apps. And if you have a better memory than I do, you can learn the dozens of keyboard shortcuts– hit Ctrl+Alt+? for a full list.

As much as I liked the Chromebook I tested, it had one fatal flaw. I’ve left it to the end of this review because I hope that it’s just a failing of my particular test machine and not one that’s endemic to the Samsung Chromebooks. The problem: My Chromebook would regularly lose its connection to the web – kind of a big deal for a notebook built to work almost entirely online.

I noticed the problem both at work and at home. In both cases, I had other systems on the same Wi-Fi network at the same time and they never seemed to lose their connection. I tried using a mobile hotspot and experienced the same problems. In some cases when I had connection problems, the status area would report that it was trying to reconnect to my Wi-Fi network. In other instances, it would report it was firmly on my Wi-Fi network, even though the browser was unable to reach the web. When I tried surfing from my other system on the same network at the same time, I had no problem. A Samsung representative said she hadn’t heard about similar problems with other test machines. I’ll work with the company to troubleshoot the problem and update this story with what I find out.

Article source: http://review.techworld.com/operating-systems/3362524/chrome-os-review/?intcmp=ros-md-acc-rv

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02 Jun 12 Chrome OS Grows Up


The first version of Google’s Chrome OS wasn’t much more than a Chrome browser window with a few apps. It felt more like a statement — “Who needs local storage?” — than an operating system you could rely on.

A year and a half later, the latest version of the Chrome OS adds some of the features of a more traditional OS: a file manager (hooray!), a desktop and the ability to use storage connected through a USB port. Google’s Cloud Print system even makes it fairly easy to print.

The only thing that’s missing is the ability to keep writing, working on a spreadsheet or reading email when you’re offline. We used to have that capability through Google Gears, but since Google shut down that project last winter, services like GMail and Google Drive work only when you have a connection. (Google Senior Vice President of Chrome Apps Sundar Pichai reportedly told the audience at All Things D this week that Google Drive offline is coming in five weeks.)

The advantages of the Chrome OS remain the same. The new Samsung Series 5 550 Chromebook I tested shuts down in less than 5 seconds and starts up again in less than 10. When you log in, there’s no waiting for programs to load. You go right back to the last browser window you were working in, with all the same tabs you had open before you shut down. Jumping from window to window (that’s right — now you can have more than one) is instantaneous. And while all new machines are fast, it’s hard to imagine what would slow down a Chromebook over time — there’s no registry to get junked up and no local software to leave debris on your hard drive. Battery life is great, too. I was able to work a full day on a single charge.

And, unlike previous incarnations, you now get a significant price break for buying a Chromebook: The machine I tried, with a 12.1-inch display, costs $449. The Samsung Series 5 13.3-inch Windows model costs about $400 more.

Chrome’s new file manager is rudimentary, but its very existence is a big deal. It comes up as a browser tab that shows the different storage devices on your machine. There’s Downloads, which sits on the 16GB SSD drive. You can also store files on a USB drive or a memory card. You can move files from one storage device to another, though you don’t have the drag-and-drop convenience of most operating systems — you have to copy and paste them.

Chrome OS Grows UpThe very basic file manager in Chrome OS.

Printing through Google Cloud Print was simple, even though I didn’t have access to an official Cloud printer. I set up cloud printing on my desktop at work (it’s a setting within the Chrome browser), then the Chromebook could use any printer my desktop could access, including printers on the PCWorld network.

Chrome OS now has a desktop, though you likely won’t spend much time there. There’s a taskbar, where you can put shortcuts to apps you use frequently, and a status area that reports things like Wi-Fi connection status and battery life. But I couldn’t find a way to put a shortcut to an app or file on the desktop itself — it’s really just a pretty picture.

Chrome OS Grows UpThe Chrome OS desktop looks pretty, but doesn’t do a lot.

You can now use multiple windows in Chrome, though they’re all just separate browser windows. Still, that can be helpful — you can jump from one window to another with Alt-Tab or with a special function button. Each window has something that looks like a Windows maximize button, but it operates four ways through gestures. If you click on it and drag down, the window minimizes. Drag up and it goes full screen. Drag to the left or right and the window docks on either side, taking up half the screen. It’s a fun innovation.

Chrome OS Grows UpYou can now work with multiple windows in Chrome OS.

The Chromebook still features its quirky keyboard. The biggest quirk is the lack of a Caps Lock key — that’s replaced with a pretty unnecessary search button. All the search button does is open a new tab, something that’s easily done with Ctrl-T. If you miss Caps Lock, you can restore it through the Chromebook’s settings. Other unconventional keyboard choices work better. I like the function button for switching between windows and one for toggling between full screen and normal mode. There are also dedicated forward, back and reload buttons, which make lots of sense for a notebook built for the web. Hit Ctrl and the Search button and you’ll go to an smartphone-like grid of shortcuts to your apps. And if you have a better memory than I do, you can learn the dozens of keyboard shortcuts — hit Ctrl+Alt+? for a full list.

Chrome OS Grows UpHit a keyboard shortcut and you see links to your apps in a smartphone-like grid.

As much as I liked the Chromebook I tested, it had one fatal flaw. I’ve left it to the end of this review because I hope that it’s just a failing of my particular test machine and not one that’s endemic to the Samsung Chromebooks. The problem: My Chromebook would regularly lose its connection to the web — kind of a big deal for a notebook built to work almost entirely online.

I noticed the problem both at work and at home. In both cases, I had other systems on the same Wi-Fi network at the same time and they never seemed to lose their connection. I tried using a mobile hotspot and experienced the same problems. In some cases when I had connection problems, the status area would report that it was trying to reconnect to my Wi-Fi network. In other instances, it would report it was firmly on my Wi-Fi network, even though the browser was unable to reach the web. When I tried surfing from my other system on the same network at the same time, I had no problem. A Samsung representative said she hadn’t heard about similar problems with other test machines. I’ll work with the company to troubleshoot the problem and update this story with what I find out.

All in all, the Chrome OS and Chromebooks seem to have made vast strides forward. It’ll never be a good solution for people who are often away from a web connection (though it does have a built-in Verizon wireless broadband connection — you get 100MB per month free and can pay for more) or depend on sophisticated desktop software. Or for those who don’t want to have their whole life wrapped up in the Google solar system of Gmail, Google Drive, Google Calendar, etc.

But if much of what you do happens in the cloud anyway, a Chromebook has a lot of advantages — it’s cheaper, fast, simple to operate and gets great battery life. Google’s other OS has grown up a lot in the past year and a half. Chromebooks are already a good option for many people. If Google can add the ability to do significant work offline, all laptop buyers should give them serious consideration.

Article source: http://www.pcworld.com/article/256684/chrome_os_grows_up.html

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02 Jun 12 Chrome OS Grows Up


The first version of Google’s Chrome OS wasn’t much more than a Chrome browser window with a few apps. It felt more like a statement — “Who needs local storage?” — than an operating system you could rely on.

A year and a half later, the latest version of the Chrome OS adds some of the features of a more traditional OS: a file manager (hooray!), a desktop and the ability to use storage connected through a USB port. Google’s Cloud Print system even makes it fairly easy to print.

The only thing that’s missing is the ability to keep writing, working on a spreadsheet or reading email when you’re offline. We used to have that capability through Google Gears, but since Google shut down that project last winter, services like GMail and Google Drive work only when you have a connection. (Google Senior Vice President of Chrome Apps Sundar Pichai reportedly told the audience at All Things D this week that Google Drive offline is coming in five weeks.)

The advantages of the Chrome OS remain the same. The new Samsung Series 5 550 Chromebook I tested shuts down in less than 5 seconds and starts up again in less than 10. When you log in, there’s no waiting for programs to load. You go right back to the last browser window you were working in, with all the same tabs you had open before you shut down. Jumping from window to window (that’s right — now you can have more than one) is instantaneous. And while all new machines are fast, it’s hard to imagine what would slow down a Chromebook over time — there’s no registry to get junked up and no local software to leave debris on your hard drive. Battery life is great, too. I was able to work a full day on a single charge.

And, unlike previous incarnations, you now get a significant price break for buying a Chromebook: The machine I tried, with a 12.1-inch display, costs $449. The Samsung Series 5 13.3-inch Windows model costs about $400 more.

Chrome’s new file manager is rudimentary, but its very existence is a big deal. It comes up as a browser tab that shows the different storage devices on your machine. There’s Downloads, which sits on the 16GB SSD drive. You can also store files on a USB drive or a memory card. You can move files from one storage device to another, though you don’t have the drag-and-drop convenience of most operating systems — you have to copy and paste them.

Chrome OS Grows UpThe very basic file manager in Chrome OS.

Printing through Google Cloud Print was simple, even though I didn’t have access to an official Cloud printer. I set up cloud printing on my desktop at work (it’s a setting within the Chrome browser), then the Chromebook could use any printer my desktop could access, including printers on the PCWorld network.

Chrome OS now has a desktop, though you likely won’t spend much time there. There’s a taskbar, where you can put shortcuts to apps you use frequently, and a status area that reports things like Wi-Fi connection status and battery life. But I couldn’t find a way to put a shortcut to an app or file on the desktop itself — it’s really just a pretty picture.

Chrome OS Grows UpThe Chrome OS desktop looks pretty, but doesn’t do a lot.

You can now use multiple windows in Chrome, though they’re all just separate browser windows. Still, that can be helpful — you can jump from one window to another with Alt-Tab or with a special function button. Each window has something that looks like a Windows maximize button, but it operates four ways through gestures. If you click on it and drag down, the window minimizes. Drag up and it goes full screen. Drag to the left or right and the window docks on either side, taking up half the screen. It’s a fun innovation.

Chrome OS Grows UpYou can now work with multiple windows in Chrome OS.

The Chromebook still features its quirky keyboard. The biggest quirk is the lack of a Caps Lock key — that’s replaced with a pretty unnecessary search button. All the search button does is open a new tab, something that’s easily done with Ctrl-T. If you miss Caps Lock, you can restore it through the Chromebook’s settings. Other unconventional keyboard choices work better. I like the function button for switching between windows and one for toggling between full screen and normal mode. There are also dedicated forward, back and reload buttons, which make lots of sense for a notebook built for the web. Hit Ctrl and the Search button and you’ll go to an smartphone-like grid of shortcuts to your apps. And if you have a better memory than I do, you can learn the dozens of keyboard shortcuts — hit Ctrl+Alt+? for a full list.

Chrome OS Grows UpHit a keyboard shortcut and you see links to your apps in a smartphone-like grid.

As much as I liked the Chromebook I tested, it had one fatal flaw. I’ve left it to the end of this review because I hope that it’s just a failing of my particular test machine and not one that’s endemic to the Samsung Chromebooks. The problem: My Chromebook would regularly lose its connection to the web — kind of a big deal for a notebook built to work almost entirely online.

I noticed the problem both at work and at home. In both cases, I had other systems on the same Wi-Fi network at the same time and they never seemed to lose their connection. I tried using a mobile hotspot and experienced the same problems. In some cases when I had connection problems, the status area would report that it was trying to reconnect to my Wi-Fi network. In other instances, it would report it was firmly on my Wi-Fi network, even though the browser was unable to reach the web. When I tried surfing from my other system on the same network at the same time, I had no problem. A Samsung representative said she hadn’t heard about similar problems with other test machines. I’ll work with the company to troubleshoot the problem and update this story with what I find out.

All in all, the Chrome OS and Chromebooks seem to have made vast strides forward. It’ll never be a good solution for people who are often away from a web connection (though it does have a built-in Verizon wireless broadband connection — you get 100MB per month free and can pay for more) or depend on sophisticated desktop software. Or for those who don’t want to have their whole life wrapped up in the Google solar system of Gmail, Google Drive, Google Calendar, etc.

But if much of what you do happens in the cloud anyway, a Chromebook has a lot of advantages — it’s cheaper, fast, simple to operate and gets great battery life. Google’s other OS has grown up a lot in the past year and a half. Chromebooks are already a good option for many people. If Google can add the ability to do significant work offline, all laptop buyers should give them serious consideration.

Article source: http://www.pcworld.com/article/256684/chrome_os_grows_up.html

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26 Apr 12 Knoodle’s Deep Integration With Google Apps, YouTube And Chrome Extends Social …


/PRNewswire/ – Knoodle, the enterprise social learning company, today announces a newly expanded set of capabilities that give companies more ways than ever to deploy collaborative learning and continuous knowledge sharing programs leveraging the GoogleApps ecosystem.

To view the multimedia assets associated with this release, please click: http://www.multivu.com/mnr/55732-knoodle-fully-integrated-cloud-based-social-learning-platform

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20120425/MM92055 )

Along with basic integrated user management and single sign-on through Google Apps, Knoodle provides additional built-in functionality for:

  1. Importing presentations, images, audio and video from Google Docs and YouTube into Knoodle, providing direct access to content stored on Google and more seamless ways to build learning modules and courses on Knoodle.
  2. Direct, one-click publishing of Knoodle presentations to Google Docs and YouTube, extending the reach to share Knoodle presentations privately throughout the organization or publicly across the world.
  3. Access via the Chrome Web Store, providing additional reach and availability, as well as full native Chrome and Google Cloud Print support.
  4. True end-to-end mobile learning capabilities with full functionality on Google Chromebooks and Android enabled devices.

These new capabilities solidify Knoodle’s position as the only social learning platform that gives businesses a full range of integrated social learning capabilities that leverage not only the application and user management power of Google Apps, but also seamless access to content, connections and reach for both rapid content authoring, as well as publishing and sharing within both private and public audiences.

“We believe strongly that learning technology for the social enterprise must do much more than just facilitate internal collaboration,” said Michael Rose, General Manager of Knoodle. “These new capabilities are a reflection of our commitment to enable continuous learning and the seamless exchange of ideas between internal teams, as well as with remote field organizations and the external ecosystems of customers and partners leveraging leading social enterprise platforms like Google Apps.  We have seen strong initial demand for Knoodle from Google Apps companies, and we’re looking forward to continued growth within the Google ecosystem.”

The expanded reach, authoring, and sharing capabilities now available through the Google ecosystem go hand in hand with the rapid authoring, testing, and analytics capabilities that have made Knoodle a leader in the enterprise learning space.  By leveraging already familiar tools such as PowerPoint presentations and standard image and video formats, Knoodle makes it easy to rapidly build and deploy anything from product how-to demos, to online certification courses, to new employee onboarding programs, to fully collaborative subject matter expert communities. 

To try Knoodle for free, install Knoodle on your Google Apps domain from our listing in the GoogleAppsMarketplace, or visit www.knoodle.com

About Knoodle Knoodle is the social learning platform for your company. We help your people learn faster and do their jobs better by combining the depth of traditional enterprise learning technology with the immediacy and interactivity of social tools to make learning and knowledge sharing a natural part of the work day. 

Companies big and small trust Knoodle to achieve a broad range of critical business objectives, ranging from product training and demos, to employee onboarding, training and certification programs, to broad social learning communities that bring together employees, customers and the ecosystem of partners. Knoodle delivers its solutions through the cloud, so there is no software to install and manage, deployment occurs in minutes not months, and is accessible anywhere and on any device.

For more information, visit www.knoodle.com.

SOURCE Knoodle

Article source: http://www.sacbee.com/2012/04/25/4441407/knoodles-deep-integration-with.html

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04 Feb 12 Google Cloud Print: It’s Actually Awesome, and Here’s How to Set It Up


Google Cloud Print: It's Actually Awesome, and Here's How to Set It UpGoogle Cloud Print is an under-appreciated service that can send print jobs from virtually anywhere to a connected printer in any other location. Normally that involves tedious configuration on your network, but Cloud Print can do it in just a few minutes. It’s really easy to set up, and there are a few things you can do to extend its support beyond the browser to make all your printing tasks a lot easier. Here’s a look at what it can do, how you can set it up, and how to make it even better.

What You Can Do With Google Cloud Print

Google Cloud Print: It's Actually Awesome, and Here's How to Set It UpGoogle Cloud Print makes it possible to send any document or image to a printer from any location. For example, if you wanted to print out a letter at home while at work, you could use the service to send that letter to your home printer and have it waiting for you when you get back. Normally this kind of setup requires a tedious network configuration, but with Google Cloud Print you just click a few buttons and you’re done. The service can also print web pages and other documents to PDF format and save them in your Google Docs account. This is can be especially handy if you’re keeping your account synchronized with all your computers using a third-party service called InSync (more info here). Basically, if you want to print anything from any device to practically any location, Google Cloud Print can make that happen.

If you want to get started with Google Cloud Print, here’s what you’ll need:

  • The Google Chrome web browser.
  • A regular or internet-enabled printer. (Virtually any printer is fine, but the setup process varies depending on the type of printer you have.)
  • An active, internet-connected computer that the printer is connected to if it is not an internet-enabled printer.
  • A Google account. (If you don’t have one, sign up for one here.)

Once you’ve got all of that ready to go, you can start setting it up.

How to Set Up Google Cloud Print

Google Cloud Print: It's Actually Awesome, and Here's How to Set It UpThere are two ways to set up your printers with Google Cloud Print. A handful of newer printers have internet connectivity built in and so you can connect them to Google directly. This process varies by printer, so visit this page to learn if your printer is compatible and, if so, how to set it up. If you have a traditional printer that’s connected to your computer, however, the setup process is always the same. Just follow these steps:

  1. First, make sure everything is in place. You’ll need Google Chrome installed on your computer. Also, ensure that your printer is connected to your computer, it’s currently on, and you can print from it normally. (Note: You’ll only be able to send print jobs to this printer when it is connected to your computer, so it’s best to set this up on a desktop machine where the printer will always remain connected and powered on.)
  2. Google Cloud Print: It's Actually Awesome, and Here's How to Set It Up
  3. Once you have everything in place, open up Google Chrome and click the wrench icon in the upper right corner, choose “Options” (“Preferences” on a Mac), and then click the “Under the Hood” tab. Alternatively, just click this link. Now scroll down to the Google Cloud Print section towards the bottom and click “Sign in to Google Cloud Print.”
  4. In the resulting window, sign in with your Google Account. This will enable the Cloud Print Connector on your computer.
  5. When a new message appears with a button labeled “Finish printer registration,” click it.
  6. You’ll receive a confirmation if everything worked properly, and it’ll offer a link called “Manage your printers.” Click on it to verify all the printers on your computer are now listed.

To test out your new setup, try printing something from within Google Chrome (such as this web page). When the printing options appear, choose “Print with Google Cloud Print” from the Destination menu. Click the “Print” button and you’ll be asked to choose one of your cloud printers. Pick the one you want and, assuming everything is working correctly, your printer should print out a document.

Do More with Google Cloud Print

If you followed the instructions in the previous section, you already know how to print from a web page, but there’s still more than you can do. Currently there are plenty of ways you can print from your smartphone, and even from your Mac desktop (if you prefer to avoid using Chrome for the task).

Print From Your Smartphone

Google Cloud Print: It's Actually Awesome, and Here's How to Set It UpGoogle Cloud Print has an tons of support in Android, of course, with a dedicated Android app and cloud printing support in the Google Docs Android app. You can also use third-party apps such as PrinterShare™ Mobile Print and Easy Print to get even more printing support out of Android. iOS users can check out PrintCentral Pro for iPhone and iPod touch or iPad to print with Google Cloud Print as well. Any mobile device can utilize cloud printing services by simply using Google’s mobile web apps. Just visit m.google.com on your mobile device to get started.

Print from Your Mac

Google Cloud Print: It's Actually Awesome, and Here's How to Set It UpStrangely, there is no Windows app for Google Cloud Print but there is one for Mac OS X. It is aptly named Cloud Printer, and you can download it for free on the Mac App Store. It’s not a perfect application, as it can only handle documents that Google Docs can view. Also, it doesn’t function like an actual printer and instead requires you to choose a file you want to print from the dedicated app. You can, however, follow these instructions to use Automator to set up a virtual printer if you really want to use the standard print dialogue. Even with these disadvantages, it’s still a simple (and free) way to print from your Mac without the aid of Google Chrome.

For a few other niche options, and to stay up-to-date on the latest Google Cloud Print extensions, apps, and add-ons, keep an eye on this page.


Got any helpful tips for getting the most out of Google Cloud Print? Share ‘em in the comments!

Article source: http://lifehacker.com/5882060/google-cloud-print-its-actually-awesome-and-heres-how-to-set-it-up

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20 Dec 11 Review: Chrome, the Sweet 16 Web Browser?


Say hello to Chrome 16: Google's lastest browser.

Say hello to Chrome 16: Google’s latest browser.

Mozilla, bless its heart, keeps trying to make Firefox relevant again with its speedy update schedule, but it just hasn’t been working out. Google, on the other hand, with its new Chrome sweet 16 release keeps getting better than ever.

No, there’s nothing new in capital letters in this release. It’s still fast, but as fast as it once was, and it includes a couple of nice, useful improvements. Under the hood, as always, there are several important security improvements.

If you haven’t tried Chrome yet, here are the basics. The Chrome Web browser has a minimalist interface. Instead of a tool-bar, the basic interface has a combination address and search bar, the Omnibox, at the top with tabs above that. The handful of visible control buttons consist of Back, Forward, a combined Stop/Reload button, and a preferences wrench icon. That’s it.

If you add extensions, they’ll appear as icons on the right of the Omnibox. If you like having lots of tool-bars and endless interface tweaking power, Chrome is not for you. If you want a clean, fast Web browser Chrome is for you.

That’s not to say you can’t add a lot of extra stuff to Chrome. The whole point of a Chromebook, for example, is that you can do pretty much anything you need to do on a computer with just a Web browser and a bunch of cloud-based applications and extensions. To find these with Chrome, head over to the Chrome Web Store.

Which of the big five Web Browsers is the Best? (Review)

Chrome 16 does come with two new features that you might like. The first is you can now print any Web page to any Google Cloud Print printer you’re allowed to use. Cloud Print is a Google service you can use that enables you to turn any printer into an Internet-connected printer. You control who can print to your Cloud Print-connected printers.

With Chrome, you can now print across the Internet.

With Chrome, you can now print across the Internet.

The second, and this one at this point I don’t see as being that useful, is you can sync multiple users to one copy of Chrome. So, for example, you can have multiple people via their Gmail accounts, running their own Chrome settings. So, for example, when I log into my Google account on my laptop’s copy of Chrome, I get my applications, bookmarks, and settings. When my buddy logs in, she’ll get her settings.

So far, so good, but, there’s no security between logins. She can see all my settings and I can see hers. You may be OK with that, but I’m not and I can’t see it in a work environment where people share PCs. Once they have some rudimentary security between sessions I’ll find this feature much more useful. You may find it useful now.

To use this multi-user function, go to the wrench icon, Personal Stuff, and you’ll see a new option: Users. Once there, slect the add a new user and your friend or co-worker be up and running in a minute.

Chrome 16 won't let you run out-of-date applets unless you tell it to.

Chrome 16 won’t let you run out of date applets unless you give it express permission to run them.

Thinking of security, besides the usual array of security fixes that any browser gets with a new release, Chrome now won’t let you run any out of date plug-ins unless you explicitly agree to let it run. So, for example, if you try to run an old copy of Flash, you must, on every page, agree to let it run. Considering how many security problems can be laid to the door of browser plug-ins these days, I think this is a good move. I’d like to see other Web browser developers adopt this policy.

Moving along to the basics, Chrome is still great at observing Web standards. Like almost all modern browsers, it gets a perfect score on the Acid 3 compatibility test, which checks how well a browser complies with various Web standards such as CSS, JavaScript, and Extensible Markup Language (XML),

On the HTML5 Test, which checks to see how compliant the Web browser is with the HTML5 Web page standard, Chrome 15 scored 344 out of a possible 450. The next best is Firefox 8 with a score of 314.

When it comes to performance, I ran Chrome against latest releases of Firefox, 8.01, and Internet Explorer, 9.08, on a Gateway DX4710 Windows 7 SP1 test box. This PC is powered by a 2.5-GHz Intel Core 2 Quad processor and has 6GBs of RAM and an Intel GMA (Graphics Media Accelerator) 3100 for graphics. It’s hooked to the Internet via a Netgear Gigabit Ethernet switch, which, in turn, is hooked up to a 60Mbps (Megabit per second) cable Internet connection.

For my first test, Chrome went up against the others on Mozilla’s Kraken 1.1 benchmark. In Kraken, which like most Web browser benchmarks measures JavaScript performance, lower scores are better. Here, Chrome left Firefox and IE in the dust with a score of 3990.9ms. Firefox came in next with a score of 6792.9ms followed by IE with an awful 16,630.7ms.

Google has its own JavaScript V8 Benchmark Suite, where higher scores are better, Chrome, to no surprise, won again. This time it scored 7,661. Firefox came in next at 3,775, with IE behind it with 2,193.

On the grand-daddy of JavaScript tests, SunSpider 0.9.1, where lower results are better, Chrome didn’t do that well. IE won with a score of 252.6ms, Firefox came in second with 303.5ms, and Chrome came in last with 319.7.

On the Peacekeeper Web browser test suite, which looks at JavaScript performance and beyond to HTML5 compatibility, video codec support and other Web browser features as well, Chrome won again. On this benchmark, where higher is better and Chrome once more won out with a score of 2,673. Firefox and IE were both far behind with scores of 1,699 and 1,626 respectively.

What it all means in the final number-crunching is that Chrome 16 is actually slightly slower than Chrome 15. Still, generally speaking it’s still faster than the other major Web browsers, experts agree that it’s the most secure Web browsers, and its features make it the best of the current Web browsers. Put it all-together and Chrome at its sweet 16th release is still the Web browser to beat.

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Which of the big five Web Browsers is the Best? (Review)

Article source: http://www.zdnet.com/blog/networking/review-chrome-the-sweet-16-web-browser/1759

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17 Dec 11 IE9 Now Auto-Updates; Chrome 16 Gets Cloud Printing


Internet Explorer will now auto-update to the latest version if auto updating is enabled in Windows Update.

Following Mozilla and Google’s lead, Microsoft said on Thursday that Internet Explorer will begin to update itself automatically to the latest version starting in January.

Customers in Australia and Brazil will see the auto-updating first if the feature is turned on in Windows Update. A rollout schedule for other territories is unknown at this point, but Microsoft’s Ryan Gavin said in a company blog that, like the release of IE9 earlier this year, Microsoft will take a measured approach, scaling up over time.

Obviously Microsoft’s first priority is to get customers using older versions of Internet Explorer forcibly updated to the latest stable build. “For consumers, the safety benefits are one of the key reasons that the industry has been moving towards automatic updates as the norm,” he said. “This is increasingly important since the biggest online threat these days is socially engineered malware, which typically targets outdated software like Web browsers.”

But Microsoft also understands that there are situations where upgrading is not possible or desired. Thus, the company has released the Internet Explorer 8 and Internet Explorer 9 Automatic Update Blocker toolkits to prevent automatic upgrades of IE. Additionally, customers who have declined previous installations of IE8 or IE9 through Windows Update will not be automatically updated.

“Customers have the ability to uninstall updates and continue to receive support for the version of IE that came with their copy of Windows,” Gavin said. “And similar to organizations, consumers can block the update all together and upgrade on their own. Finally, future versions of IE will provide an option in the product for consumers to opt out of automatic upgrading.”

Meanwhile, arch enemy Google Chrome 16 now adds cloud print by default. Google Cloud Print (GCP) made its debut earlier this year, appearing as one of the main features in Chromebooks and as a product test in the Chrome beta channel. The goal, according to Google, is to enable simple, secure printing from any app on any device to any printer without the use of cables and drivers.

“People with Chromebooks have always had access to the latest and greatest Google Cloud Print features, but today, we’ve reached a new milestone: starting with the latest release of Chrome, anyone using the browser on Windows, Mac and Linux will be able to print any webpage to Google Cloud Print,” writes product manager Akshay Kannan. “We’ve also turned on print preview for Chromebooks, so you’ll get the same familiar experience wherever you use Chrome.”

On Thursday website analytics company StatCounter said that the older-yet-stable Chrome 15 has become the most popular web browser version worldwide for the first time on a weekly basis. In the last full week in November, Chrome 15 took 23.6-percent of the worldwide market compared to Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 8 at 23.5-percent.

“If one aggregates all versions then IE still leads the global market with Chrome in second position, having overtaken Firefox in November,” StatCounter claims.

The company added that in the U.S., Internet Explorer 8 continues to be the most popular browser version with 27.0-percent for week beginning December 5 compared to 18.1-percent for Chrome 15.

Article source: http://www.tomshardware.com/news/Internet-Explorer-Windows-Update-Google-Chrome-Cloud-Print,14308.html

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16 Dec 11 Google Cloud Print Connects 6M Printers Via Chrome


Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) said Google Cloud Print has
connected more than 6 million printers via the Google Chrome Web browser, the
first time the search engine giant-turned business computing provider has
released statistics for its Web-based printing service.

More importantly, the new Chrome 16 build lets anyone
using the browser on Windows, Mac and Linux computers will print any webpage to
Google Cloud Print. Previously, this capability was only available via
Chromebooks.

Google introduced Google Cloud Print in April 2010 to let any application print to any
printer from any computing device using Google’s cloud computing
infrastructure.

The Web service was designed to enable printing for
notebook computers based on its Chrome Operating System, a Web-based operating
system that eschews drivers. Google, which is positioning Chrome OS as a way to
extend its cloud and mobile computing efforts, said it did not want to build a
bunch of printer drivers for every computing device and operating system.

Thus Cloud Print, which the companyformally rolled out this year and gained support from printer power
Hewlett-Packard in April 2011.

Chrome OS-based Chromebooks rolled out from Samsung and Acer rolled out this
past summer, but adoption of the machines has been tepid at best.Both companies are now selling the machines for $300.

Despite the lukewarm reception to Chromebooks, Google Cloud Print Product Manager Akshay
Kannan said
in a blog post Google has seen “a surge of enthusiasm from
users and developers.”

In addition to the 6 million Cloud Print-connected
printers, he said dozens of cloud-ready printers have been released or
announced by Epson, HP and Kodak. Also, developers have built applications and
extensions to port the service to run on mobile devices based on Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS and Google’s own
Android platform.

Kannan also noted that Google now enables Cloud Print
users to their printers with friends and family, while users can now save their
online receipts and confirmation pages to the Google Docs collaboration
app. 

Webmasters can add the print button
element to their Website to enable printing functionality for tablets and
mobile phones, and Google turned on print preview for Chromebooks.

Google plans to enable Cloud Print from more Google apps
and work with partners to add more printers and printing services.

 


Article source: http://www.eweek.com/c/a/Printers/Google-Cloud-Print-Connects-6M-Printers-Via-Chrome-254938/

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16 Dec 11 Google Chrome Adds Cloud Print Option, Multiple Profile Support


The newest version of Google Chrome now has an option to print any webpage using Cloud Print and multiple profile support for users on one computer to maintain separate settings. The additions are available in version 16 for Windows, Mac and Linux users. Here’s a quick look at what’s new to Chrome 16.

Print to the cloud

Google Chrome Adds Cloud Print Option, Multiple Profile SupportGoogle Cloud Print, which launched in January, lets you print to your home or office printer from almost any Web-enabled device. But using Cloud Print was restricted to webpages with a special Cloud Print button, specific Google apps such as Docs or desktop apps such as Cloud Printer for Mac. Now, any user can use Chrome to print to a Cloud Print-ready printer or a computer acting as a Cloud Print server.

To use Cloud Print select Print from Chrome’s menu options underneath the wrench icon. This will take you to a print preview page where you can select “Print with Google Cloud Print” from the “Destination” dropdown menu on the left-hand side of the screen. Then select “Print” at the top of the print dialog when you’re ready to put ink to paper.

Multiple profiles

Google Chrome Adds Cloud Print Option, Multiple Profile SupportMultiple profiles first appeared in Chrome’s beta channel in November as way for multiple users to keep their bookmarks, Web apps and other settings separate. This can be a handy feature if you have more than one user clamoring to use a household PC, but you can’t be bothered to switch user profiles using your PC’s operating system.

To get started, click on Chrome’s wrench icon and select “Preferences” to open the browser’s settings page in a new tab. Then, on the left-hand side, click on “Personal Stuff.” Alternatively, just type in “chrome://settings/personal” in an empty browser tab.

Google Chrome Adds Cloud Print Option, Multiple Profile SupportThe second item from the top should be called “Users.” Select “Add new user.” A new browser window will open with a blank profile using a generic name such as “Fluffy” or “Awesome” and one of Chrome’s 26 user avatars. The active user’s avatar will appear in the upper-right corner of the Chrome browser in Mac and on the left-hand side for Windows. You can edit each profile’s username and avatar under “chrome://settings/personal.”

Each user can also sign in separately to their Google account to sync Chrome settings stored online. This is a handy feature if you want access to your Chrome settings on a PC that isn’t yours. But as my colleague Jared Newman pointed out in November, just make sure that you erase your user profile on any computers that aren’t yours. Chrome profiles are not secure, there is no password protection so anyone using the same PC will have access to your browser settings.

Connect with Ian Paul (@ianpaul ) and Today@PCWorld on Twitter for the latest tech news and analysis.

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Article source: http://www.pcworld.com/article/246285/google_chrome_adds_cloud_print_option_multiple_profile_support.html

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