Tag Archives: Google Chrome Apps

Chrome Starts Blocking Extensions, Apps and Greasemonkey Scripts Outside Chrome Store

When Google launched the Store, it was one a good step ahead to provide users with Extensions and apps from a centralized location. However, Chrome still allowed users to install extensions and user scripts from any website making it a little insecure.

Chrome Blocking Extensions

However, it looks like Google is now beefing up on security and disallowing users from installing extensions, apps and user scripts from outside the . Users will now be prompted with a message saying “Extensions, apps and user scripts can only be added from the Chrome Web Store” when they try to install something which is not part of the Chrome Web Store.

While this is a good thing, it means that and Stylish scripts will stop working out of the box now unless a users changes Chrome’s settings or till they are included as a part of the Chrome Web Store.

So will users be able to still install extensions and scripts that are not part of Chrome Web Store? Well, the answer is Yes. Earlier this month, Martin from GHacks had posted about this problem and the potential fix. The fix is listed in a Chrome bug report which says:

You are no longer supposed to be able to install extensions off-store in Chrome. See  bug 55584  for details.

In order to install off-store extensions, the user must download them to a directory and drag them onto chrome://extensions/.

I intend to polish this UI a bit to hide the download bar so that people don’t click on it. I’d also like to add some UI that tells users that extension install is disabled off store or something, but we still haven’t figured out what that will look like.`

The bug referred in the above fix was a feature request which will allow enterprise users to disable users from installing extensions outside the Chrome Store while providing them with an option to whitelist other sources through an admin interface.

So dragging and dropping those extensions and user scripts to the extension page should currently allow you to install those extensions. You can also completely disable this feature by loading Chrome with the “–enable-easy-off-store-extension-install” flag. However, this is not recommended.

*Please note that the blocking currently does not happen in stable builds of Google Chrome.

Local Player – Plays Your MP3 Collection in Chrome Browser

I’m sure you all have your favorite music players. Why would you even need to play your MP3 collection using a web browser? I found one good reason. Recently, I was testing Splashtop, an operating system (similar to Browser Linux) that doesn’t have a music player installed. All I had was the Chrome browser. I was inspired to take a look in the Chrome Web Store for a solution, and that’s how I found Local Player.

Here are the main features:

  • A music player in your browser for LOCAL FILES.
  • Drag mp3/ogg files from file browser into the window.
  • You can also add files from a file dialog, which appears when you click the ‘+’ button.
  • You’ll find the file names show up, and the player will automatically start playing.
  • If you double-click a file name in the file list, it’ll play that file.
  • Supported file types – mp3, ogg, aac, and m4a

Once installed, you’ll find the app shown by it’s icon in Chrome’s New Tab page.

local-player-icon

The player controls are easy to figure out. Everything you need is there, including Forward, Back, Pause/Play, Progress, Volume, Random Play, Repeat and Color Themes. I chose the dark theme, as you can see in the image below.

Best Social Web Browser For Twitter And Facebook

I use and a lot. In fact I spend more time than I would want to on those sites. Though I use for browsing Facebook and Twitter feeds, I feel a little bit of disconnect when the links I click open in a new browser window.

Layers Social Experience

I guess someone out there heard me, because I came across a really good for called Layers, which provides users with a connected Social web browsing experience. It is like the media integration Twitter has, but for everything and done in a better way.

Layers Social Web Browser

In a nutshell, Layers is a social web browser. It allows you to browse through your Facebook and Twitter feeds and allows you to preview links, videos and pictures without disconnecting you from the experience. In addition to that, it also allows you to like, comment and share content on Facebook and Retweet or reply to Twitter users from within their interface.

What Does Layers Do?

The Layers app for Google Chrome transforms the experience of surfing through the social web into an elegant, visual flow, providing users a beautiful way to get updates, view videos and share content.

  • Let it flow: See sites in a beautiful, flowing stream
  • Stop clicking.  Preview, and watch videos, maps and images in a single place
  • Connect. Watch what your friends are doing, saying and sharing on one channel
  • Discover. Find stuff you’ll love and related to stuff you already like
  • Stay up to date. Follow your favorite sites and blogs
  • Keep it simple. Get the most out of your social networks using only the options you need

As you can see, Layers tries to make the social experience better by providing you with a neat platform that rocks. In addition to adding Facebook and Twitter feeds you can also add RSS channels to layers and browse them within Layers. They are also planning to add support for so that you can read your feeds within Layers.

I have been using layers for less than a day now and totally love the experience. It is definitely one of the best I have seen and makes my social experience complete.

This is a highly recommended extension for anyone who has a Twitter or Facebook account and want to browse their feeds elegantly. Download Layers for Google Chrome.

Chrome Web Store Analysis: Millions of Downloads, Top Apps and Interesting Facts

Google launched the on December 7th, 2010 at the conference. I have downloaded and used several of these apps on , many of these are really good apps and shows that the future of the web store is really bright.

However It has been almost 2 weeks since the Web store launched, so how has it performed? How many apps have are there in the web store? Which are the best selling apps? Which apps have been downloaded the most? To find answers to these questions I decided to do an analysis on how the web store has worked out and what the stats are like.

Chrome Web Store

I have based this analysis on the current numbers available at the Chrome Web Store since Google has not provided users statistics about the Chrome Web Store yet.

Facts About Chrome Web Store

First of, Chrome Web Store has seen millions of downloads, with the top 15 seeing over 1.5 million downloads so far. Here are some more facts about the Chrome Web Store and Apps:

  • There are ~2200+ apps in the Chrome Web Store right now
  • There are over ~10,500 and themes.
  • Top 15 apps have been downloaded over 1.5 million times
  • The top two most downloaded apps in the Chrome Web Store are games, and they account for almost half a million downloads
  • All apps except for are web shortcuts
  • NY Times is the only news app among the top 15 downloaded apps
  • Out of the top 15 downloaded apps, 9 are Google products
  • Groove Shark is the only music app in the top 15

Top 15 Apps in Chrome Web Store

The Chrome Store has several apps to choose from. I have written about quite a few of them (read about the Chrome Apps). Many of the apps are just web shortcuts, but the number of in-browser apps has been increasing. The top 15 apps on the Google Web Store currently features the following:

What’s Lacking In Chrome OS Cr-48 Right Now? 100% Cloud Storage

I have been playing around with the new Cr-48 (check out pictures) for over a day now and I can tell you that I can live with it for a long time. However, before I do my full review of the experience, I have to talk about certain things that are lacking in the Cr-48 and in general.

Chrome OS Cr-48 Netbook

One of the important things I have missed is the password sync, of course it should come out soon, so I will not delve much into it right now, however Chrome OS and Cr-48 have a bigger problem on hand than that.

Chrome OS Cr-48 is Not Cloud Safe

Let me backtrack a bit. When the came out, I started using a lot of , several of which provided me with in-browser experience (apps which were not just shortcuts). I reviewed quite a few of them including TweetDeck, Write Space  and Sticky notes and Note taking apps.

All of the above mentioned apps stored their data locally. I have also been using an excellent weather app called Weather Bug which works inside the browser and does not use a shortcut, however, all this data is stored locally.

Now the problem is not the apps itself, when I setup the Cr-48 and logged in all my apps were there thanks to Chrome Sync. Google is definitely driving the point of no data loss with it destroying 25 laptops, however, here is the BIG problem I wanted to talk about, If your Chrome netbook dies, you LOSE data.

What data? Well the data which these apps have stored locally, you lose them. You cannot get back that data even if you use Chrome Sync, maybe not for which stores profile information in the cloud. However, you will lose all your tabs in TweetDeck and have to set it up again.

So if you have taken tons of notes and stored it locally, when your Chrome OS Cr-48 crashes all that data will be gone, forever. There is no way to get it back and this is the biggest problem with Chrome OS and Cr-48 in general.

Like a good beta/alpha tester I reported this problem to Google, hopefully they should take note of it. Here is what I had to say to them:

I am not sure if you already do, but you should definitely provide App developers with an API to hook into Chrome Sync.

The biggest frustrating experience I have had with Cr-48 is having to reset all the settings for the apps I use. This is fair enough, little work, but your concept of having destructed several laptops to drive the cloud storage feature seems a bit flawed in this case.

If I destruct my laptop, I can get all my extensions back, but not the settings and saved data, so you are definitely not 100% cloud safe. I would seriously love to see developments in this area and also a push to developers to start using Chrome Sync rather than an external service to store data.

Of course not everyone will oblige, but I am Ok with it as long as I have access to my data no matter which laptop or netbook I use.

Cheers

Keith

As you can see, my biggest problem has been the lack of cloud storage for information which Chrome does not have access to. Of course, it is up to Chrome to provide an API to Chrome Sync so that developers can make use of it to sync data in the cloud. I believe that would be a good move since many developers do not have the money to setup their own servers to store data. And frankly, I would prefer all my data sits in one place rather than it being scattered across the internets.

I am very sure that Google will add this feature to and the shortly. But, if you wanted an honest opinion from me about the Cr-48, I would say that it is not yet 100% cloud-safe.

No Video Recording Capabilities

Another feature that is lacking in Chrome OS and Cr-48 in general is the lack of native video recording. Though this is specifically my own blogging rant, I do feel that it should include a feature.

For example, I wanted to record something on Chrome OS itself, but wasn’t able to do it properly. Of course I used a camera to do it but the video was not perfect at all. To top it there are no apps right now in the Chrome Web Store which support video screencasting. This is not a big deal but people will want it in future.

Overall, there are several more things which I am exploring right now, however, the app data store in Chrome Sync is definitely a feature I will be looking forward to.

AppJump Is An App Launcher And Extension Manager for Google Chrome

Since the opened a few days ago, I have gone ahead and installed tons of new and in . However, having lots of extensions and apps can be a bad experience since it makes finding them a bit more difficult.

Chrome App Launcher

AppJump Launcher is a which allows you to quickly find and launch apps you have installed in Chrome. The extension provides you with a quick view of all the installed apps and extensions through an icon. Using that you can find and launch any app quickly.

In addition to the quick access to apps, AppJump also provides a full page view of all the installed apps and extensions where it allows you to launch apps, disable them or uninstall them. You can reach this full page view by clicking on the + button in the icon listing. The AppJump full page option is actually replacement for Google’s in-built extension manager.

Chrome App Launcher Manager

Well I am not done yet, another useful feature in AppJump is that it allows you to create groups and add applications to it. Using this feature you can easily browse apps or extensions based on the groups you create.

AppJump is definitely a great extension for Chrome and it makes managing all your extensions and apps a breeze while providing a beautiful interface for it. One thing I would like to see in a future update of AppJump is the ability to search apps and launch them, something similar to what Launchy does, but just for Chrome. Having that feature would definitely be awesome and was already on my wish list for Chrome.

Download AppJump for Chrome

How To Uninstall Chrome Apps or Extensions

Google recently rolled out the through which users can download several new and . There are tons of cool apps out there out of which we reviewed few including TweetDeck, Distraction Free Writing and some Note Taking and Sticky Notes App.

If you went on a app installing spree, the new tab page feels a bit cluttered. However, you can uninstall Chrome Apps or Extensions easily without having to break your head.

Uninstall Chrome Apps

To uninstall an that you installed, open a new tab and scroll till you see the app you want to uninstall. Now, right click on that app, and click on "Uninstall" from the available options. Click on the "Uninstall" button in the popup window and the app will be removed. The good thing is that if you use Chrome Sync, the app will be removed across the board on all the computers you use.

Uninstall or Disable Chrome Extensions

To uninstall an extension in , Click on the Settings icon and then click on Extensions from the Tools sub-menu. This will take you to the extensions page, alternatively you can just type chrome://extensions in the browser address bar. On the extensions page, you will see all the installed extensions. You can either disable an extension or remove it entirely by clicking on the available links below the extension description.

Have fun and do try out new extensions and apps that Chrome Web Store.

Note Taking and Sticky Notes Apps for Chrome

Since the was launched, I have been playing around with quite a few and am already loving the experience with it. Many Chrome Apps are not shortcuts and work inside the browser itself. In the next few days I will be posting about several new and interesting Apps you can start using including one for and Distraction Free Writing.

Today, I will talk a few apps for Note-taking and creating sticky notes (checkout 11 Sticky notes software for your desktop). First off, you might spend a lot of time on the browser, researching content or discovering new content on an everyday basis. Having a handy notepad to take notes is definitely one of the most important things for researching and taking notes which you can refer back to later .

chrome_notes_app

The Quick Note app for Chrome is a simple and easy to use Note-Taking app for Chrome which you will definitely come to love. It has simplicity written all over it but it really good. The app allows you to create multiple notes and search within notes. You can also easily copy and paste images into your notes which makes it pretty powerful.

Chrome Website Note

Quick Note also allows you to create a new note while browsing a website through the context menu, you can then toggle the note and continue reading the content while you continue with your work. Whenever you want to add some more notes, just click on the note in the right hand side again.

All of the notes are saved locally, so you will have access to them even if you close the application. Overall, if you are looking to take notes in Chrome, the Quick Note is the app I recommend. Download Quick Note app for Chrome.

Sticky Notes for Chrome

My second favorite app is the Stickies app for Chrome which allows you to create Sticky notes and stack them up in the browser. You can create as many sticky notes as you want and also recycle them after you are done with.

Creating Sticky notes is pretty easy too, just double click anywhere on the Stickies window and your sticky note is ready to be used. Once you are done with the Sticky note, just drag it to the recycle bin to get rid of it. However, disposed sticky notes can no longer be recovered. Download Stickies app for Chrome.

Did you find any other app that does the same job? Do let me know through your comments.

Write Space Brings Distraction Free Writing To Chrome

The launched yesterday and though there are hundreds of apps many are just simple bookmarks to a webpage. However, there are some brilliant ones including the TweetDeck app for Chrome.

writespace_chrome_app

Write Space is another which is really good. If you are a writer or a blogger, you will definitely love this app since it allows you to write without distractions and just concentrate on what you want to write. Using this in conjunction with Full screen (F11) cuts off anything distracting from the environment.

Write Space also saves data on each keystroke, so just have to concentrate on writing and forget tasks like saving et all. This is definitely a really good app and I would suggest anyone who writes content to start using it.

Download Write Space app for Chrome.

Techie Buzz Verdict

Write Space is definitely a great app and can come in very handy to writers and bloggers alike. However, what I would love to see with Write Space is the ability to save the written content to the cloud so that I can start writing on one computer and then continue writing on another one without having to do anything.

Another thing I would want to see with Write Space is the ability to create multiple writing spaces and then sift through them through a menu or something. Of course that would make things a bit complicated, but it would be a good option to have.

Techie Buzz Ratings: 4/5 (Excellent)

TweetDeck App For Chrome Is Awesome

When Google announced their Chrome OS netbook and web store earlier today for , my initial thoughts were that I would definitely miss a lot of desktop apps, like Windows Live Writer and .

TweetDeck Chrome App

However, I guess my worries have disappeared now after I started using the TweetDeck app for Google Chrome. If you have already used TweetDeck on the desktop or on the or based device, you will see a very familiar UI with the Chrome App. The app allows you to add multiple accounts, follow lists and more among other things.

The app also has smooth scrolling within columns so that you can view updates you have missed. It is almost similar to the desktop experience you get. TweetDeck for Chrome also has almost all the features which you might find in the desktop app. TweetDeck for Chrome also imports all your settings from TweetDeck desktop to the web app making it easier to replicate your information.

TweetDeck is the perfect app that shows how much can be done within the browser and that living in the cloud is a really not going to be that bad after all. If you haven’t done it yet, go ahead and download the TweetDeck app for Chrome from here.

For those not in the know, TweetDeck is a social networking app for , , LinkedIn and MySpace among other things. You can download the desktop version of TweetDeck from here.