Mute Video/Music Sound in Google Chrome

Tabbed browsing has definitely changed the way we access webpages in browsers. However, I have faced a few problems with multiple tabs, one of them being   a scenario where I have 20 tabs open in and one of them suddenly starts playing loud video or music.

Finding the offending tab is often like finding a needle in a haystack and the best recourse is to just mute your system music. But what if you are playing music on another app? You would mute that too right. Another solution would be to just close all the tabs at once and get rid of the annoyance. Neither of these solutions are really graceful.

There have been several forum threads about this issue, but Google engineers have stated that it is hard for them to isolate a tab which is playing music or video and allow users to mute them, thanks to limitations in the operating system.

However, there is an option in the form of a which will allow you to mute music or video sounds in all the tabs at once, using a toolbar option or a keyboard shortcut (Alt + W).

Mute All Tabs Google Chrome

The extension in question is the Chrome Toolbox Options, which also provides with several other interesting features to enhance your Google Chrome experience including preventing Google Chrome from closing down when you close the last tab and more.

The “Mute all tabs” is definitely a great feature, but what if you want to now find and close the tab which is playing the loud music or video? Are you going to go through each individual tab and find the culprit? Well, that would take a long time. Well, another extension called “Mute Tab” can come in handy.

Mute Tab is an   which will allow you to find out which tabs are playing videos, music or flash and then allow you to mute them. This is definitely handy if you want to find a culprit tab and shut it down rather than having to browse through individual tabs.

That’s it, using these two extensions will save you a lot of trouble, and probably embarrassment Winking smile when you are using Google Chrome. Do feel free to post your own suggestions if you use different methods to get rid of this annoyance.

Sync Open Tabs And Custom Search Engines In Google Chrome

Apart from speed and robustness, one of the best features of Google Chrome over any other browser is cloud sync. Your bookmarks, saved passwords, extensions, preferences, auto fill options and themes are automatically backed up to your Google account, so you can quickly restore them on any other computer.   If you browse the web in your office computer and make changes to bookmarks, settings or change a password, the changes will automatically reflect in your home computer.

While Google Chrome’s cloud sync is perfect, the developers have added two more options under the sync belt the ability to sync open tabs and custom search engines. Before you head over to Google Chrome’s options page to enable this feature, type chrome://flags/ in the address bar and enable syncing open tabs and syncing custom search engines in Google Chrome:

enable-sync-open-tabs

Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click Relaunch nowto restart Google Chrome.

Now go to the options page, navigate to Personal stuffand click Customizeunder your Google Chrome sync profile. You should get the option to sync open tabs and all your custom search engines, following is an example:

customize-sync-preferences

I tested both the features in Google Chrome’s latest stable release (15.0.874) and it worked as advertised. This feature is a lifesaver when you have more than 20 open tabs in Google Chrome and the browser crashed or your laptop ran out of power. You can always re-open the last used tabs on the same computer but there is no way you can re-open the last used tabs on another system, running Google Chrome. With open tabs sync added to chrome, no longer you have to worry about which tabs were open in your office computer and which webpages you were reading on your home computer. Personally, I would prefer the bookmark all tabsoption over open tab sync, as Google Chrome sync is not real time yet. However, if the browser crashes or your operating system goes to sleep, this little setting might just save the day.

Another feature I am loving in the latest release of Google Chrome is the experimental smooth scrolling (activate it from Chrome://flags). Gives a feeling of scrolling in a touch device, with your mouse wheel of course!

Remove Installed Greasemonkey Scripts in Firefox and Google Chrome

scripts are lightweight JavaScript files which add additionally functionality to browsers such as and . In the past we have talked about several interested Greasemonkey scripts which are both useful and help solve problems. One of the most recent one was removing Black bar in Google.

However, there are times when the Greasemonkey script you install might not work as expected or cause problems on other websites. If you are facing a similar problem you can easily uninstall the Greasemonkey script and get rid of the problem.

Google Chrome allows users to install Greasemonkey scripts as extensions so to uninstall scripts on Google Chrome, you will have to follow the steps given in How to uninstall apps and extensions in Google Chrome. However, if you are Firefox user and want to uninstall a Greasemonkey script, you will have to follow the steps given below.

Manage User Scripts Greasemonkey

Step 1: Click on the arrow next to the Greasemonkey icon and click on "Manage User Scripts"

Disable Greasemonkey Scripts

Step 2: Click on "Disable" button to disable the script temporarily or click on the "Remove" button to remove the script completely.

That’s it. Once you have disable or removed the script, just refresh the webpage and your problem will be solved.

Halloween Apps, Wallpapers, Screensavers and Themes

Halloween is celebrated in many countries across the world. While many associate this holiday with ghosts, witches and goblins, a lot of us think it’s just a great time to get together and have fun. If you have a computer, tablet or smartphone, you might want to add something to it that helps you get into the fun Halloween mood. Below are some links to a few of our past Halloween articles and some new stuff as well.

Screensavers

If you enjoy using screensavers on your Mac or Windows computer, you’ll find a nice collection of Halloween screensavers at NewFreeScreenSavers. Here are some screenshots of these great free screensavers. You can download them on the Halloween page.

halloween-screensaver01.jpeg (586×157)

halloween-screensaver02.jpeg (586×157)

halloween-screensaver03.jpeg (586×157)

halloween-screensaver04.jpeg (586×157)

halloween-screensaver05.jpeg (586×157)

Phones

Get Ready For Halloween with Halloween Android Apps  – also with wallpapers, themes, and ringtones.

Halloween Theme for Nokia and Symbian Smartphones

Top 5 Halloween Apps For iPhone/iPad

Computer Wallpapers

Download High Quality Halloween Wallpapers – for the PC, Mac and Linux

High Quality Halloween Wallpapers For Your Desktop or Mac

 

25 Places to Get Creepy Halloween Wallpapers

Web Browsers

Halloween Personas for Firefox  (themes)

Phantom of the Opera: Special Edition Opera Browser for Halloween

Apps, Themes and Extensions for Google Chrome Browser

Even More …

We have even more stuff for you to look over. Just follow this link to a Halloween search of Techie-Buzz.

 

 

 

 

Chrome Remote Desktop Extension Lets You Remotely Control Any Desktop Or Share Yours

chrome-logoRemote desktop utilities are indispensable, if you often find yourself in a situation where you need immediate control of a remote computer. Maybe your mom is just beginning to learn how Windows 8 works and you don’t want to attend half a dozen phone calls in office, just to answer really basic questions. Or if your business client is not as tech savvy as you are, save yourself from the frustration of writing emailable tech support and do the stuff right from your own computer.

For a remote desktop connection to work, you need two things. An Always ONInternet connection and a remote desktop utility which will connect your computer with a remote computer via an authorization access code. There are quite a good number of remote desktop applications for Windows, Linux and MAC but most of them have the disadvantage of not supporting all platforms and operating systems. You want a single application which can provide remote support on any operating system – be that Linux, MAC or a primitive Windows computer. At the same time, you don’t want the app to be messy and bundled with tons of settings and useless features. That’s because the person on the other side is most likely to be clueless about these options and he will ring you back to know Where should I click?

The Chrome remote desktop extension by Google changes all this.

Chrome remote desktop allows users to get access to another computer or share their own computer with anyone else, using a secured one time authentication code. You can use the extension to provide tech support to anyone who is using Google Chrome or a Chromebook, and has the extension installed.

Here is how to get started with the Chrome remote desktop extension:

1. Install the extension, sign in with your Google account and grant extended access permissions to your computer by hitting the Continuebutton:

chrome-remote-desktop-beta-authorize

2. On the next page, hit Allow access

chrome-remote-desktop-beta-authorize1

3. If you want to let your computer act as the host computer, click on Share this computer. This will launch the app in a new browser tab and you will be given a one time access verification code, as shown in the following screenshots:

access-shared-computer

access-verification-code

To let your partner gain access to your computer, pass this one time 12 digit access verification code via email or IM (don’t tweet though). When your partner has access to your Chrome remote access code, he can click on Access a shared computer, enter the code and see your desktop in a new chrome tab on his computer.

As a remote user, you will be able to completely control the entire host computer from your remote desktop, and not just the browser where the remote desktop app is running. You can open up Windows start menu, create new files, browse through Windows explorer, install applications, delete files and folders, access the command prompt and perform any action on the remote computer. It works the same way as other remote desktop utilities work, the difference lies in the fact that this one works directly from your browser and requires one time installation only (if you are using Google Chrome sync that is).

Google says that the goal of this beta release is to demonstrate the core Chrome remote technology and get feedback from users. Additional use cases such as being able to access your own computer from another remote computer are coming soon.

Apple’s Safari Grows To 8% Browser Share

According to a new report from Net Applications’s NetMarketShare data, Safari has exceeded 8 percent of web browser use across all devices due to the strong growth in iPod touch, iPhone, and iPad sales. Also, Apple’s WebKit, the second most widely used rendering engine, combined with Google Chrome makes it second to Internet Explorer and slightly ahead of Firefox.

Net Apps Browser Data

In addition, the data shows that in the last two years, Internet Explorer’s marketshare has dropped from nearly 67 percent to 52.8 percent. Firefox has also seen a decrease in marketshare from almost 23 percent to 21.48 percent. However, Google’s Chrome has seen massive increase in marketshare. Chrome’s marketshare increased from 2.84 percent to 13.45 percent, while Safari’s nearly doubled from 4.07 percent to 8.05 percent.

Safari and Chrome’s marketshare combined now represent over 21.5 percent of web users, making it slightly ahead of Firefox even before counting the small number of WebKit browsers.

Clearly Safari’s growth isn’t going to stop here. Apple’s development of not just a desktop browser but also converting the desktop version of their browser to the first “fully usable” mobile version browser has not only tremendously changed the web browser market but also has affected the web-related development market as well.

Browse the Web Using Mouse Gestures on Google Chrome

Google Chrome is the most widely used web browser. Google is taking every possible step to increase Chrome’s growth rate. Recently, we saw Google introducing Angry Birds on the Chrome Web Store. This has definitely got a huge number of people to switch over to Chrome. However, one of the primary reasons why many people use Chrome is because of its speed and the availability of a number of extensions. One such extension that I highly recommend is Smooth Gestures, which will speed up many tasks that you usually use to navigate through the web.

Smooth Gestures is a free extension for Google Chrome that allows you to browse the Internet by using mouse gestures. The extension helps you browse the web quickly and easily, by allowing you to execute commands without having to use the keyboard, menus or toolbars.

Also Read:  Google Chrome Extensions List

The extension comes with pre-defined mouse gestures. It also allows you to set your own gestures, according to your feasibility. It enables you to use gestures to perform usual tasks like opening and closing tabs, go forward and back in history, view source code, list all stored cookies, reloading a page, and so on. It also has gestures for less used tasks like undoing closed tab, merge tabs, pin tabs, etc.

However, the extension does not work on the extension website, or other built-in chrome pages due to security restrictions (including new tabs and Speed Dial). But it does work on almost all http:// and https:// pages.

Learn How to: Install Google Chrome Extensions in Firefox with Google Chrome Extensions Manager

To begin with, install the extension on your Chrome browser. Once done, hold your right mouse button down and do the gesture shown below. It would open up the Options page for Smooth Gestures.

Smooth Gestures - Option page

The Options page is pretty self-explanatory. It shows how you gestures work and how to use them. As you scroll down the Options page, you would see several pre-defined gestures that you can use right away. If you scroll down further, you will find some difficult gestures to perform, however to start with, you can get used to the easy ones.

Creating Your Own Gestures

Although there are common gestures that are already pre-defined, you can still create your own custom gestures. Here’s an example of how I created a gesture to load Techie Buzz.

Click on the + Add Custom Actionto define an action. Click save after you have filled in the details.

Smooth Gesture - Techie Buzz

Click the “+” button to create a gesture. A pop-up window will open where you need to hold the  right  mouse button and draw a shape (gesture). In my case, I drew the letter Twhich was then auto reshaped to a properly curved design. Once you are satisfied with the shape, you can save it.

Smooth Gestures - Techie Buzz

You can see that I have added a gesture to load Google as well. The shape resembles the letter “G”. Now, if I have to open Techie Buzz or Google, all I have to do is draw a Tor “G” anywhere within the browser’s  work space or display window. Simple!

Go on, play around with it. I’m sure you will love it.

If you want to uninstall Smooth Gestures, then right click on the logo in the address bar and uninstall it.

Smooth Gestures - Uninstall

Let us know how useful the extension is to you by adding your feedback in the comments section below.

Google Chrome the Most Used Browser on Techie Buzz

There is something about which I have not seen in any other browser. It is one of the fastest growing browsers across the world and currently has around 20% usage world wide.

Google Chrome Market Share Techie Buzz

Many tech related websites around the world are seeing that Google Chrome has been overtaking . Last year both TechCrunch and Techmeme reported that Chrome was the most users on their site which prompted me to write the article; Why is Chrome Winning and Firefox Losing Market Share?. Back then, Chrome’s market share was around 10% was constantly growing on our site too.

Recently, I wrote an article on How Chrome is Growing in India and Hurting Microsoft and Mozilla. In that article, I delved upon how Chrome has been dominating Indian markets even though the internet usage there is around 15% of the population. This definitely showed how much impact Chrome has had on the browser market.

Google Chrome Market Share Graph Techie Buzz

Today when I was checking the browser market share for Techie Buzz I saw that Chrome has overtaken Firefox as the most used browser. Last month, Chrome was behind Firefox by 2%, so the month over month growth is pretty impressive. This means that almost 1+ million out of the 3.5+ million users on the site were using Google Chrome to visit Techie Buzz.

One of the reasons for Google Chrome’s growth is the heavy advertising Google is doing for it. I see many ads which pitch users to play Angry Birds on Google Chrome and I can swear that those have converted many users to switch to Chrome including my own brother who is a big fan.

Google is also landing some punches on rival browsers like Firefox and Internet Explorer by stopping development on certain products while providing plugins for them too. Recently, Google has decided to stop development of Google Toolbar for Firefox 5. This has sent Mozilla in a frenzy because lot of users are not upgrading to Firefox 5 from because of the incompatibility of the .

Google also provides Internet Explorer users with something called as Google Chrome Frame to bring Google Chrome’s technology to Internet Explorer. As you can see from our browser stats, we have around 0.13% IE users who have installed the Google Chrome Frame.

Additionally, Google has also been blocking several features in their products on . Our in-house Opera guru Pallab has always been finding problems using Google’s features on Opera including the recently introduced .

So is Google intentionally doing all these things to switch users to their own browser? It could very well be possible, however, they are also backing that up with an excellent browser and I for one have been using Google Chrome as my primary browser since it launched and yes some of the new features in it including the Multiple Chrome Profiles are definitely good.

What do you think about Chrome’s dominance? Is it good or bad? Do you use Google Chrome as your primary browser? If not which one do you prefer to use? Please let me know through your comments.

Google Chrome Profiles Get Cheekier – Add Icons and More Functionality

A few months ago, I had spoken about few new features in . One of the new feature was Multiple Profiles in Chrome. The Google Chrome Profile switcher allowed users to create multiple profiles using different Google accounts. While that feature was in it’s infancy earlier on, it has grown to a full fledged profile manager in the latest development and canary builds of Google Chrome.

Google Chrome Profiles

One of the new additions to Google Chrome profile manager is the ability to choose different icons for different profiles you create as seen in the screenshot above. This is similar to what you would see in an operating system like , Ubuntu, Mac OS X and now too.

The newer profile switcher now resides in the left-hand corner of the browser and provides options to switch icons for your profile, customize it, delete it and also create new Google Chrome profiles.

Google Chrome Profiles Canary

However, this is not just it. Both the Development and Canary versions of Google Chrome now contain a better profile which allows you to easily create new profiles. The Canary build also contains newer icons which are not seen in the development build. This is similar to what I have seen in and Windows 7. However, I would also like to see an option to specify custom images for different profiles in the upcoming builds.

create_new_chrome_profile

As I told you earlier, Google Chrome dev and canary versions also have a revamped version for the profile manager which looks and feels like a regular operating system. However, one thing I found problematic with the new profile creator is that users have to use the "Customize your profile" option to add a Google account for synching data manually. It would have been better if Google implemented a wizard where they would allow users to create as well as customize the entire Google Chrome profile in one go.

Another good thing about the new feature is that switching between multiple profiles is instant and very fast. This can be very helpful when you want to quickly switch between your home and work profiles without delay. Think of it as a "Boss Key" Winking smile.

Overall, I found that the new Google Chrome profiles are cheekier than before and have been simplified. There is still more work to be done. I will wait and watch how it eventually pans out.

How Google Chrome is Growing in India and Hurting Microsoft and Mozilla [Editorial]

India has had a history of being a tech savvy country for more than a decade now. The adaption rate of newer technology in India has been higher than many other countries, which is why there are around 840 million mobile users (TRAI data – PDF File). However, hardly 10-15% of the Indian population have access to internet.

Indian Internet Penetration

According to public data available in Google, the total internet users in India was over 61 million in 2009. This should be more than 100 million now. However, this is a really small number considering a population of 1.2 billion. Nevertheless, this is still 1/3rd of the population of U.S. on which most of the metrics and measurements are made.

This definitely makes India a very lucrative market and considering the growing economy and purchasing power there it should definitely be. Consider this, when I bought my first mobile phone in 2002 or so (it was a Motorola), I parted with Rs. 4500 (~$115) with a heavy heart. This was a second hand phone with no contracts etc. Coming back to 2011, I see people splurging Rs. 20,000-30,000+ for a mobile phone without blinking an eye. This shows how the spending power has increased in India.

Looking at some of the public data available today, I was intrigued to look at who is dominating the market and guess what, it is none other than good old Google. I did some research and here are some facts on how Google is dominating the browser market which was once the forts of Microsoft and Mozilla.

Browser Growth in India

browser_global_stats_june

Recently, there were quite a few blog posts about overtaking 20% market share worldwide in the Internet browser market. In those cases, people were measuring Global traffic (U.S market share is still below 20%). However, one region where Google Chrome is really putting the pressure on Internet Explorer  and is India.

Browser Stats - April to June 2011 India

Take for example the above chart which displays the usage for Google Chrome in India for the past three months. The total usage for IE was around 36%, Firefox was around 33% and Chrome was around 27%.

Browser Stats June 2011 India

The scenario remained the same if you take June 2011 into consideration. No surprises there.

Browser Stats July 2011 India

However, if we now take a look at the stats for July 2011 (which is only for 8 days), you will see a huge jump in the number of users who are using Google Chrome. Of course, this data is premature, but it does reflect a huge jump. What could be the reason? It could be anything any everything including more and more users shifting to Google Chrome thanks to .

The %age gain in the above graph may not look significant, but even a 1-2% jump might mean that around 2 million users switched to Google Chrome in the last 8 days, that is a significant number in itself. The loser was Internet Explorer which shed their percentage. Firefox remained almost stagnant.

Browser Versions in India

Browser Versions India June 2011

In June 2011, was the most used browser in India followed by Google Chrome 12 and . Firefox 5 which launched last month was at 8, followed by Internet Explorer 9 which launched earlier this year. There were several other users who were using outdated browsers, but the growth of the latest stable version of Google Chrome is significant.

Browser Versions India July 2011

However, July 2011 tells a completely different story altogether. Chrome 12 has jumped to become the number 1 browser in India by a huge margin followed by Internet Explorer 8 and Firefox 5. The traffic measured during this period might not add up when we see monthly stats at the end of July 2011, but it is definitely surprising that there is such a huge difference.

Looking Back and Summarizing the Future

In 2009, Google Chrome had a 8% market in India even though it was released only in September 2008. This says a lot because it took market share from both Firefox and IE and jumped who have been languishing at the bottom for quite sometime now. A new browser gaining so much traction was unknown prior to that. During that same period, Google Chrome’s worldwide market share was around 2%.

In 2010, Google Chrome had a 10% market share worldwide, whereas in India it had a 18% market share. The growth rate more than double for Indian users. Since January 2011 till date, Google Chrome has a 26% market share in India whereas the worldwide usage is still less than 20%.

All in all, Indian users have adapted Google Chrome at a much higher rate than any other country and this definitely means that they are moving ahead towards newer technology. The adaption rate for Firefox in these periods have either remained the same or have dropped, similar for Internet explorer.

India is definitely a lucrative market for Internet Browsers, Mobile Phones and Operating systems. This goes on to show where these companies will invest in the future. Even if the internet usage in India grows by 20-30% all these companies will be vying for around 300 million users, and that is not a small number by any denomination.

So how did this happen? Money power, sheer brilliance or the power of Google? I will leave that to another editorial I will write in the next few days. Till then, tell me your thoughts through your comments.

(All stats in this post were collected using Google, TRAI and Stat Counter)