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Chrome OS 72

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Google
  • Chrome OS 72 brings improved support for Android, Linux apps and more

    Chrome OS 72 is starting to roll out to users with a wealth of changes, including a tablet mode, improvements for Android apps and plenty more.

    For one, Chrome OS 72 brings native Google Assistant and Android Pie to more Chromebooks. Those features initially came with Chrome OS 71 but were limited to the Pixel Slate.

    Speaking of the Slate, it and Chromebooks like it now have access to a tablet mode that should improve usability.

  • Google Outs Chrome OS 72 with Android Improvements, Picture in Picture Support

    Google promoted the Chrome OS 72 operating system to the stable channel, a release that introduces several improvements to make your Chromebook experience better, more secure, and enjoyable.
    The Chrome OS 72 release introduces numerous improvements, especially for dealing with Android files. Among these, we can mention external storage access support for Android apps via /storage dir and MediaStore APIs, and the ability to search app shortcuts for Android apps in the Launcher.

    To find an app shortcut, you need to right-click or long-press on an Android app. Chrome OS 72 also introduces Picture in Picture (PiP) support and touchscreen support in tablet mode for the Chrome web browser, and the ability to view saved Google Drive through from Backup and Sync in the Files app under My Drive/Computers.

Google's Chrome OS "Wilco" Driver Working Towards Mainline Linux

Filed under
Linux
Google

For years now Google has been designing their own embedded controller (EC) for use within Chromebooks / Chrome OS devices.

But after about five years of the "ChromeOS EC" (cros_ec), there is a new embedded controller they have been working on. Coming soon to the mainline Linux tree will be the kernel support for a new ChromeOS "Wilco" Embedded Controller.

Wilco is Google's new embedded controller wired up over an eSPI bus. The new driver doesn't yield much to get excited about, however, but great that Google continues working on their own ECs and they are backed by open-source firmware and first-rate Linux support given their Chrome OS usage.

Read more

Also: Better Bluetooth sound quality on Linux

Stable version Chrome OS 72 arrives: Here’s what you need to know

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Google

First up is USB support for Crostini, the containerized instance of a full Linux distro; Debian is the default. This opens up the ability to mount a USB or SD card drive in Chrome OS and share it with Linux. To share it, find the external storage in the Chrome OS Files app, right-click it, and choose “Share with Linux”. The external storage device will then appear as a file mount available at /mnt/chromeos/removable/[name of storage] with the name of the card or USB drive inserted where I have brackets (don’t include the brackets when accessing your mount in Crostini).

Also, there’s no longer a need to move downloaded .deb package files for Linux apps from the Chrome OS filesystem over to the Linux files. That step is gone because the Chrome OS package installation process has been updated to work securely and directly from your Chromebook files, right in the native Files app.

Read more

Google: FOSS, Security, and Android

Filed under
Android
Google
OSS
Security

Chromebooks and Chrome

Filed under
Google
  • Using AVX2 With Android's Bionic Library Can Yield Much Better Chromebook Performance

    Intel's Open-Source Technology Center has published a whitepaper looking at the Android application performance impact on Intel-powered Chromebooks when the Android Bionic Library is optimized for AVX2.

    To little surprise considering the AVX (Advanced Vector Extensions) performance benefits we have seen on the Linux desktop when binaries are built with AVX support, and especially on platforms like Clear Linux that really exploit the potential of these instruction set extensions in modern CPUs, the performance improvement on Chromebooks can be quite profound.

  • Chrome 73 Beta: Constructable stylesheets, a new RegExp function, and passive mouse events

    Unless otherwise noted, changes described below apply to the newest Chrome Beta channel release for Android, Chrome OS, Linux, macOS, and Windows. View a complete list of the features in Chrome 73 on ChromeStatus.com. Chrome 73 is beta as of February 8, 2019.

  • Chrome 73 Rolls Out Into Beta With Linux Improvements & More

    Google developers on Friday pushed Chrome 73 into their beta channel as they prepare to button up this web browser update for debuting as stable around 12 March.

    On the Linux front with Chrome 73, they enabled the mojo video decoders. There are also more Wayland improvements within the Chrome 73 release, but sadly nothing new to report on the Linux desktop video acceleration front.

  • Google introduces Media key functionality with new Chrome 73 Update

    Google, while having a significant impact on how we interact with the internet, has established itself quite well in the market. Perhaps it was when they introduced their web browser, Chrome, back in 2008. Since then, their browser has evolved quite a bit to what it will be, come its update 73.

Chromebooks: GNU/Linux Software on Chrome OS

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Google
  • Chrome OS’s app ecosystem is a mess, but the ‘App Service’ could fix it

    If nothing else, a unified marketplace could make Chrome OS’s Linux app support a more beginner friendly experience, as there are presently no app discovery methods included. Currently, to install Linux applications, one needs to use the “apt” command or manually download and install .deb files.

  • The best Linux apps for your Chromebook

    Slowly but surely, Google is bringing support for Linux applications to Chrome OS. Even though the feature is primarily aimed at developers, like those who want to get Android Studio running on a Pixelbook, there are plenty of apps that can benefit normal users. We already have a guide about installing Linux apps on Chrome OS, but if you're not sure what to try, this post may point you in the right direction.

    This isn't a simple compilation of the best Linux apps, because plenty of those exist already. Instead, the goal here is to recommend solutions for tasks that cannot be adequately filled by web or Android apps. For example, serious photo editing isn't really possible through the web, and options on the Play Store are limited, but Gimp is perfect for it.

  • Fact Check: ‘Rammus’ Is NOT The Next Google Chromebook

    Speculation is fun. Scouring the Chromium repositories and looking for juicy morsels is exciting to us and often times it takes some serious mental acrobatics to create educated hypothesis on upcoming devices that are more than simple conjecture.

    Despite our best attempts, occasionally we miss the mark but it isn’t for lack of trying. With that being said, often times some simple fact checking goes a long way. The articles that filled my news feed last week about Google’s “mysterious Rammus” device are a perfect example of flat out bad reporting and failure to do an ounce of research before vomiting an article that is click bait, plain and simple.

  • VPN TUN support coming soon to Linux on Chromebooks with Crostini

    One of the benefits to running Linux desktop apps on a Chromebook via Project Crostini is having access to more apps that work in a business environment. But one of the fairly standard requirements in many businesses is using a VPN, or Virtual Private Network, for security reasons. Chrome OS network traffic can be securely routed through an Android VPN client but that security doesn’t extend to Linux apps in a Crostini container.

  • Chrome is getting a unified app management page, includes Android apps on Chromebooks

    According to the folks at Chrome Story, Chrome's Canary channel just picked up a new app management page, triggered via a new flag. Although it's present across desktop platforms, on Chrome OS this page contains not only Chrome apps (which Google is still trying to retire) but Android apps as well. That's right, Chrome OS is finally picking up a unified way to manage apps — but Linux applications sadly aren't included just yet.

Chromebook and Mozilla's Strategy Competing With Chrome

Filed under
Google
Moz/FF
  • Chromebook Instant Tethering Now Works On More Android Devices

    One of the advantages of having a Chromebook device is the fact that you can utilize Instant Tethering — a Chrome OS feature that allows you to share an Android phone’s cellular connection with a Chromebook.

  • Acer Announces New Chromebase Models (Reminder: That’s a Chrome OS All-in-One)

    It’s been quite a while since we heard anything about a “Chromebase,” the informal term for an all-in-one desktop computer based on ChromeOS (as opposed to a Chromebook). Acer announced two new designs based on Intel 8th-gen processors.

    The Chromebase 2412 and its more button-down “Chromebase for Meetings 24Vs” variant hide all of their computer guts behind a 24-inch, 1080p touchscreen. Said guts include a maximum Core i7-8550U processor (a screamer for ChromeOS), 4-8GB of RAM, and 32-128GB of storage. The computers come with a USB-C port, plus four USB 3.1 ports, HDMI-out, an SD card slot, and an Ethernet port. Both machines have a standard VESA mount—a nice touch, and one that’s not always included for all-in-one designs.

  • Mozilla Finally Blocks Auto-Playing Audio In Firefox 66

    irefox users will finally get rid of annoying auto-playing audio with the introduction of a new feature designed to block audible multimedia content from auto-playing.

    The browser will “only allow a site to play audio or video aloud via the HTMLMediaElement API once a web page has had user interaction to initiate the audio, such as the user clicking on a ‘play’ button,” writes Mozilla’s software engineer Chris Pearce.

  • Putting Users and Publishers at the Center of the Online Value Exchange

    Publishers are getting a raw deal in the current online advertising ecosystem. The technology they depend on to display advertisements also ensures they lose the ability to control who gets their users’ data and who gets to monetize that data. With third-party cookies, users can be tracked from high-value publishers to sites they have never chosen to trust, where they are targeted based on their behavior from those publisher sites. This strips value from publishers and fuels rampant ad fraud.

    In August, Mozilla announced a new anti-tracking strategy intended to get to the root of this problem. That strategy includes new restrictions on third-party cookies that will make it harder to track users across websites and that we plan to turn on by default for all users in a future release of Firefox. Our motive for this is simple: online tracking is unacceptable for our users and puts their privacy at risk. We know that a large portion of desktop users have installed ad blockers, showing that people are demanding more online control. But our approach also offers an opportunity to rebalance the ecosystem in a way that is in the long-term interest of publishers.

    There needs to be a profitable revenue ecosystem on the web in order to create, foster and support innovation. Our third-party cookie restrictions will allow loading of advertising and other types of content (such as videos and sponsored articles), but will prevent the cookie-based tracking that users cannot meaningfully control. This strikes a better balance for publishers than ad blocking – user data is protected and publishers are still able to monetize page visits through advertisements and other content.

Web Browsers: Chrome and Firefox

Filed under
Google
Moz/FF
Web
  • Firefox 65 takes a long time to close & high CPU usage

    Well, well, I've encountered a new, interesting and - ultimately - annoying problem. On one of my Windows machines, I upgraded Firefox to version 65. Then I noticed that the close sequence for the browser takes a very long time. Previously, this would be a very short thing - 1-2 seconds max. Now, it was taking a whole minute and eating one core worth of CPU. So I decided to dig into this issue more deeply and figure out whether this is something in my own setup or a fresh issue in Firefox.

    As always, the Internet wasn't very helpful. I had the usual slew of recommendations - update drivers, refresh this, refresh that. The worst kind of suggestions that completely ignore the problem or the reasons why it manifested. After all, if you don't understand the issue, making changes only masks the whole thing in the long run. To that end, I set about doing this the right way. Follow me.

  • Google Chrome 72 for Android Improves Privacy with Updated Incognito Mode

    Google released today the Chrome 72 mobile web browser for Android devices ahead of the desktop platforms (Linux, Mac, and Windows), an update that improves privacy and security.
    If you're a fan of the Google Chrome web browser and you use it on your Android smartphone or tablet, you should know that it's been updated to version 72.0.3626.76, a new stable release adding stability and performance improvements, as the company noted in the brief release announcement.

    To tackle various security and privacy issues that users have reported since previous updates, Google decided to update the built-in Incognito Mode of the Chrome web browser by making the media player controls and notifications incognito as well, which means that they're now invisible to the naked eye.

  • Chrome is right to remove the webRequest extension API

    …but the proposed declarativeNetRequest API isn’t a good replacement. So where does that leave us?

    Headline writers have had their fun over the last week playing on people’s mistrust of Google’s motivations and their governance of the Chromium web browser project. Despite the headlines: Google is not about to kill ad-blocking extensions in Chrome.

Mozilla Thunderbird and Firefox Nightly, DevTools, and Chrome 72

Filed under
Google
Moz/FF
OSS
Web

Web Browsers: Chromium, Chrome, and Firefox

Filed under
Google
Moz/FF
Web
  • Working on the Chromium Servicification Project

    It’s been a few months already since I (re)joined Igalia as part of its Chromium team and I couldn’t be happier about it: right since the very first day, I felt perfectly integrated as part of the team that I’d be part of and quickly started making my way through the -fully upstream- project that would keep me busy during the following months: the Chromium Servicification Project.

    But what is this “Chromium servicification project“? Well, according to the Wiktionary the word “servicification” means, applied to computing, “the migration from monolithic legacy applications to service-based components and solutions”, which is exactly what this project is about: as described in the Chromium servicification project’s website, the whole purpose behind this idea is “to migrate the code base to a more modular, service-oriented architecture”, in order to “produce reusable and decoupled components while also reducing duplication”.

  • Google Chrome to get warnings for 'lookalike URLs'

    Once enabled, this new mechanism will show a dropdown panel under the Chrome address bar, asking the user if he really meant to type and access that URL, which Chrome deemed dangerous due to its close resemblance with a more legitimate site.

  • Google Chrome Will Soon Show Warnings If You Mistype URLs

    Often, we misspell a website’s name in the Google Chrome Omnibox and end up on some weird-looking webpages. And many times, these sting sites are bundled with pop-up ads or hold phishing web pages.

    But with Google Chrome, it will all be over soon. As first spotted by ZDNet, Google is set to instill a new feature that will warn users before accessing “lookalike” websites.

  • Mozilla B-Team: happy bmo push day!
  • Mozilla Improves Privacy Controls in Firefox 65

    Mozilla released its first web browser update for 2019 on Jan. 29, with the debut of Firefox 65.

    The open-source Firefox 65 web browser improves a number of different features and has a strong focus on helping to advance user privacy. Mozilla is integrating redesigned controls in the updated browser release to enable users to more easily identity and set the level of privacy protection they want. The privacy controls are part of Mozilla's larger effort to enhance tracking protection for web users.

    "Simplified content blocking settings give users standard, strict, and custom options to control online trackers," Mozilla states in the Firefox 65 release notes.

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