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Sep052018

10th Anniversary Edition Google Chrome: Refreshed UI, Smart Omnibox, New Features for SEO and Developers

On the occasion of the Google Chrome 10th anniversary, the new edition of Chrome will bring for more immersive browsing experience with integrated augmented reality (AR) and artificial intelligence (AI).

Chrome will also integrate with machine learning (ML) for faster detection of phishing and malware sites, and malicious extensions.

With a smarter Chrome, you will be able to do more than just look at a web page, says Google. For example, “With (AR) built into Chrome, users will be able to virtually interact the information across the web right from their smart phone.” While, “with AI, Chrome will better understand what a user is trying to get done, and will help in doing it faster.”

When we first launched Chrome, Sundar said: “We think of the browser as the window to the web.” A decade later, it’s still the tool people use to access all of the websites and applications that help them do what they want to do. As Chrome heads into the next 10 years, we want to expand that window— so you can see more and do more.

It’s not just Chrome, but Google is also turning 20 years on September 27. The company was incorporated on September 4, 1998, and is now part of the Alphabet, parent company created in 2015.

Since, then Google now has seven products used by over a billion people every month. And, from a handful of employees in a Menlo Park garage, it now has tens of thousands of employees and offices in nearly 60 countries.

Google 20th Birth Anniversary Flipbook

Google 20th Birth Anniversary Flipbook

Here is a quick rundown of the updates releasing as of today:

The new Chrome jazzed up its look across desktop, Android, and iOS— now sporting rounded shapes, new icons, a new color palette, as well as simplified prompts, menus, and even the URLs in the address bar.

In addition to the new look, Chrome can be personalized, too, as it now lets create and manage shortcuts to favorite websites directly from the new tab page. Simply open a new tab and “Also, the tab background can be customized as will a photo.

Updated tabs shape on the desktop now shows website icons (favicons) more clearly. While on iOS the toolbar is moved to the bottom.

Here is a GIF animation of the new Chrome new UI:

Refreshed Chrome UI

Chrome now more accurately fills online forms with passwords, addresses, and credit card numbers. This information now saved to Google account can also be accessed directly from the Chrome toolbar.

Chrome Dino, the new password manager now generates and stores unique, strong passwords on both desktop and on the phone.

Here is an animation of new password manager:

Dino Chrome Password Manager

Omnibox, the top bar that combines search and address into one will also now show answers directly in the address bar.

Plus, if you have multiple tabs open across three browser windows, you can search a website in the Omnibox and if found opened, Chrome will offer a new “Switch to tab” to go directly to it.

Also, soon Google will enable searching of Google Drive directly from the Omnibox.

An animated screenshot of new Omnibox showing get all your answers without leaving your current tab:

New Smart Chrome Omnibox

In addition to the visual updates, Google is also rolling out a number of new experimental improvements to Chrome that include startup time, latency, usage of memory, and usability.

Other under the hood changes that made into Chrome this year, such as an ad blocker protects from malicious and annoying ads, moved to HTTPS, site isolation which provides deeper defense against attacks, including Spectre, as well as VR and AR browsing.

For developers in The Chromium Projects, updates including new CSS features to the improved performance tracking ability are also released.

Developers features in Chrome 69, include:

  • CSS Scroll Snap allows developers to create smooth, slick, scroll experiences by letting them control where a user scrolls to in an image carousel or within paginated sections.
  • Display cutouts (aka notches) give developers greater control over how a website looks on a mobile device. A developer can create a web page that spills over into the full area of the mobile screen, including any space behind the display cutout, sometimes called a notch.
  • Web Locks API allows developers to asynchronously acquire a lock, hold it while work is performed, then release it. While the lock is held, no other script in the origin can acquire the same lock, helping to coordinate the usage of shared resources.
  • Conic gradients additional CSS 4 properties allow developers to create color transitions around a circle. There are also animations that can be created.

There are many more CSS features that are adopted into Chrome 69, you can read more here.

In other news, Google is now using a new web browser technology called “Service Worker” to cache repeated searches on Chrome for Android. With Service Worker, repeated search results load twice as fast.

Google Director of Engineering Dion Almaer, shared this information at Pluralsight Live in Salt Lake City, Utah, stating that it was the “largest deployment of Service Worker probably out.”

“Google Search’s mission is to get relevant results to you as quickly as possible. So they invested in the largest deployment of Service Worker probably out thereby being able to extra work on the fly and give you results sometimes twice as fast,” Almaer said.

They were able to get Service Worker to “give you results sometimes twice as fast” by caching repeated searches to serve to users faster.

“A lot of it is to do with optimizing the Service Worker pipeline, how quickly can it start up and do its thing, networking stack — low-level stuff,” Almaer added reports VentureBeat.

Also, European publishers accuses Google and Facebook of “‘plundering” their content have stepped up lobbying for a proposed European copyright law that would effectively force tech companies, including Google and Facebook to more aggressively police copyright online and potentially pay them for links and snippets of content as part of “link taxes”.

The first version of the proposed copyright rules was initially defeated in an EU parliamentary vote in July. At the center of the debate were two controversialprovisions:

  • Article 13 would require platforms like Google/YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and others to monitor potential copyright infringement much more aggressively or face liability. These sites would thus be compelled to scan content for violations before being uploaded (creating a risk of censorship).
  • Article 11 would require permission and licensing fees to embed links unless there’s a copyright exception. Aimed at Google and Facebook primarily, that is effectively a “link tax.”

Finally, Google has made available a new feature, called “Art Selfie” via the Google Arts & Culture app on Android and iOS globally.

Art Selfie uses computer vision technology based on machine learning to match a selfie with a piece of artwork in Google Arts & Culture collection.

As Google explains, “[W]hen you take a selfie, your photo is compared with faces in artworks our museum partners have provided.” After a short while, “selfie matching results along with a percentage to estimate the visual similarity of each match and user face will be shown.”

The selfie then becomes a doorway into art and a tap on the lookalike will let discover more information about it or an artist.

Google can match a selfie with tens of thousands of artworks from collections belonging to its partner museums from around the world.

Google noted that Art Selfie as an option will also appear in Google Lens on Android.

In order to use Art Selfie, just grab the latest Google Arts & Culture update and scroll down the homepage until you see the feature.

Art Selfie by Google Arts & Culture

Watch this video to learn more about Arts Selfie:

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