Tag Archives: chrome

Google Chrome is a Dog

I love Google Chrome. It’s my default (or go-to) browser on just about any platform. It’s feature-packed and always-up-to-date.

However, that said, it’s a performance dog on damn near every OS. Honestly, how Google could let performance remain on the bottom of the stack for so long is beyond me. Sure, it executes JavaScript quick as lightning, but… let me just tell you where I’m getting ready to drop-kick Google Chrome to the curb.

On OS X, despite both browsers relying on WebKit as the foundation, Safari’s desktop performance blows Chrome out of the water. In Safari, I don’t really have to worry about dropped frames or stuttery / laggy scrolling. Google+ seems to buckle Chrome’s ability to cope – ironic, eh?

Then there’s Android. Why not use Google Chrome there? I mean, it’s Google’s + Google’s – right? I couldn’t stand opening up the browser on my Nexus 7 because it has just been a god-awful experience compared to other tablet platforms which have no issue when it comes to scrolling. There’s nothing smooth about Google Chrome on Android. It’s just as much of a slug on ChromeOS, too.

So, here we have bad performance with Google on Google.

It wasn’t until my community recommended that I try the free Dolphin browser on Android that I really saw just how bad Chrome has been – or, more to the point, just how inconsistent an Android experience can be for a user (and between various apps on the same platform).

In 5 seconds, Dolphin changed my experience with browsing the web on Android – and it puts Chrome’s performance, once again, to shame. If you don’t believe me, download Dolphin for Android and head over to The Verge’s web site. Then, visit the same site from Google Chrome for Android. The difference, I can pretty much assure you, is astounding.

So, uh… what’s up, Google? When you gonna start making this less stuttery on all platforms? I’m begging you. :)

How to Disable Animated GIFs in Chrome

I admit it: I’m a huge fan of the animated GIF. Don’t worry, though – I’m not going to embed any in this post, because the chances of you wanting to see an animation after reading that headline are slim.

There’s nothing wrong with the GIF image file, itself – it’s just that when frames are spliced together into a single GIF file, the resulting animation may be jarring to some (especially when used as a web page background).

In most browsers, you can simply tap the ‘Esc’ key to halt the sequence (since turning off support for GIFs altogether is never advised). Google Chrome, however, doesn’t currently support such a feature – so, until that happens within the browser itself, there are a few Google Chrome Extensions you might try using:

If you care to test any one of these scripts, here’s a page with a simple animated GIF to try. Did the extension work for you?

I was prompted to assemble this post after one too many people complained that they didn’t want to see any more animated GIFs cluttering up their Google Plus experience. They may still appear in My Google+ Profile from time to time, but that shouldn’t stop you from following me (especially with these extensions installed).

Tips, Tricks and Shortcuts for Google Chrome

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Google’s Chrome browser may be considered as the #2 browser for both Mac and Windows systems. However, many geeks consider it to be the number ONE browser of choice. We tend to feel that it offers a better browsing quality along with faster performance. You also can’t deny that there are many excellent Extensions available.

No matter which browser you choose, your experience will be even better if you know some of the shortcuts available. Matthew happens to be a Chrome guru and has put together several keyboard shortcuts, tips and tricks to help you out.

  • CTRL + SHIFT + B – This shows or hides your bookmarks bar.
  • CTRL + T – This opens up a new tab inside of Chrome.
  • CTRL + SHIFT + T – Automatically remembers the last tab you closed and re-opens it for you.
  • CTRL + W – Closes the current/active tab.
  • CTRL + N – Opens a whole new Chrome window.
  • CTRL + H – Quickly access your browser history.
  • CTRL + J – Navigate to your downloads history/menu quickly.
  • CTRL + L – Quickly highlight the text in your URL bar.
  • CTRL + SHIFT + DEL – Opens up the Clear Browsing Data box so you can quickly delete your history.

There are a couple of features you may have never heard of before. Dragging a link up into your tab area will automatically open that link in a new tab. Be careful of the links you drag, though. You never know what might open!

Hitting SHIFT + ESC on your keyboard will open the Chrome task manager. Many people don’t even realize this exists. You can manage problematic tabs from this task manager. Instead of occupying one process that takes a huge amount of system memory, Chrome separates tabs into single processes. Separating the processes is actually much more secure than having them lumped into a giant one. Being able to lock down each tab ensures that malware doesn’t have as much capability to infect your entire browser or system. This is also much more stable. You have likely experienced a crash inside of Chrome at some point. However, that crash only affects a specific tab due to it being set up as its own individual process.

If you want to go back to a page you were just on but don’t want to leave the page you currently have open, use CTRL + Back Button. This will open a new tab with the last-viewed page inside of it. You can also use this same basic feature to open links: hold down CTRL while clicking a link on a web page. A new tab will open with that link inside.

If you have a lot of tabs open and want to scroll through them quickly, hold down your CTRL key and use the numbers 1-9. This allows you to fast-switch between each tab to see what content is there and find what you need even faster.

Here’s a neat little trick: you may want to take a regular tab and turn it into a new Chrome window. Simply click and hold the tab, drag it out of the tab area and let go. A new stand-alone browsing window will open right up. If you want to put it back into your tab bar, just hit the ESC key.

A nifty trick involving the URL bar: Let’s say you want to go to LockerGnome.com. Type the word LockerGnome into the URL bar and hit CTRL + Enter. Instead of doing a Google search for the word LockerGnome, Chrome will add the www. in front of the term, and .com to the end, taking you directly to the website in question!

What other Chrome tips and tricks do you have? Does your browser support awesome shortcuts like this?

Are You Printing from the Google Cloud?

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All documents go to Heaven. In some instances, they head to the Cloud, instead. Google Cloud Print allows you to print to your printer of choice from any computer or smartphone – no matter where you happen to be. Simply activate the service connector within Google Chrome and your printer is automagically available to you from all Google Cloud Print enabled web and mobile apps.

This service is completely free. When running this for the first time, I was seriously impressed. It only takes a matter of seconds to send a job to the printer that I chose on my home network. I couldn’t believe how simple it truly was – and how seamlessly it worked.

You will need a Windows PC and one of the latest builds of Google Chrome in order to use the Cloud Print. This is the best implementation of network printing that I have seen in my entire life. One of the coolest features of the service is what happens to your document if your host computer or printer aren’t online at the time you choose to print from another device. The document job will wait patiently in the print queue – right in the Cloud. Your printer will download and print the job normally as soon as it it turned on.

You can connect as many printers as you wish to Google Cloud Print. If you accidentally delete any of them, it’s simple to re-add them the next time you log in. All print jobs are submitted over https, making them only available to you and the printer they are sent to.

Google keeps copies of the actual document only until they have finished printing. This is done to make sure that the job is actually completed. Once the job is complete, the document is deleted from Google’s servers – mostly. The company does keep information about print jobs such as the job title, the printer it was sent to and the printer status as a record. This is done in conjunction with your Google account id to allow you to view and edit your print history through the Cloud Print dashboard. The actual document contents are not saved.

Are you printing from the Google Cloud yet? How has your experience been with the service?

WeatherBug Chrome Extension: Weather Done Right

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Marques is here this week talking about the very VERY cool WeatherBug Chrome extension. WeatherBug has been a community and Gnomedex supporter for years, and we’re always happy to take a look at what they’re doing. They’ve outdone themselves, though. This extension has some seriously awesome features, including live local weather conditions, detailed forecasts, severe weather alerting, maps and cameras right from your browser.

The visuals are really good in this Extension. You can add as many cities as you like to check current weather quickly in several locations. Change the metering system and even check out some live cameras.

When the live cameras are enabled, you can switch through nearby locations to see where it may be storming. If you live somewhere that doesn’t get any snow, why not check out the live cams in places that are having a blizzard? You can enjoy the action as it is happening.

I have to agree with Marques that this is an excellent addition to your Chrome install, even if it is supposedly only a “beta” version. Well done WeatherBug – and Marques.

How to Shorten a URL Within a Browser

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Matthew is here this week to show off a very cool Google Chrome extension which is built on the Bit.ly platform. It helps you quickly – and easily! – shorten any URL in a matter of seconds… without having to go to a different web page or tab.

  • Shorten, share and track links with bit.ly, right from your browser!
  • Preview metrics and page titles for bit.ly and bit.ly Pro links before you click them.
  • Receive instant notifications about your trending bit.ly links.
  • Shorten links on Twitter with a single click.
  • See a feature that’s missing? Request it

If you have trouble after installation, you should note that Chrome doesn’t allow execution of content scripts on pages that are already open. The team recommends restarting Chrome immediately after installing the extension.

If you are a Firefox or Internet Explorer user, you can check out the cross-browser sidebar.

Thanks, Matt, for an excellent screencast tip!

Google CR-48 Mini Review

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Lamarr is a lucky dude. He got his hands on a Google CR-48 laptop. I’m pretty sure the one that was delivered to his house is the one that was meant for me. I can’t help but wonder how he managed to divert the shipment. He’s just sneaky that way, I suppose.

In any case, Lamarr is the proud owner (and tester!) of the hot new machine from Google, featuring the Chrome operating system. This video details his thoughts on the machine and the OS.

Lamarr is quick to point out that this is simply a plain laptop with a browser… and that’s all. Google’s Chrome OS resides completely within a browser, folks. This is likely going to take some getting used to for many of us, but I have no doubt we geeks will adapt pretty quickly.

The machine comes with built-in 3G from Verizon… 100MB per month free for two years. That’s a pretty sweet deal if you ask me. Of course, it can be used with a standard WiFi connection, so you shouldn’t hit that 100MB cap.

This operating system is not for everyone. All it does is – Internet. But if you’re like Lamarr (or me!), this will work really well for you. This machine is clearly not a desktop replacement. If you do a lot of work online, then this is going to be the machine for you.

Lamarr felt the machine is a bit sluggish. He cannot pinpoint WHERE the lag is coming from, though. Could it be the unnamed hardware in the test machine or the beta operating system itself? Only time will tell.

Have you gotten your hands on this sweet little device yet? What are your thoughts thus far?

Why Do You Use Google Chrome?

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Someone in our live community recently asked what I feel the advantages – and disadvantages – are for using Google Chrome. We are talking about the web browser in this instance, not the operating system. Google Chrome is built upon the Chromium foundation, as are Flock and RockMelt.

One advantage of Chrome is that they are constantly releasing new versions. It’s not going to disappear into obscurity. Google’s entire business model IS “the Web.” They are going to do their best to continue to try and build the best browser possible. There’s seemingly always a new beta version available, proving further that they are evolving on a regular basis.

I honestly can’t come up with a disadvantage, unless someone doesn’t want statistics sent back to Google. There are occasional crashes, as well, but yeah – EVERY browser has that problem at times. Is there anything you can think of?

What are YOUR thoughts? Is Chrome a good choice – or not?

Organize Your Life With Quick Note

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This week, Marques is showing off one of his favorite Chrome Extensions: Quick Note. It’s such a simple way to organize yourself, remind yourself and keep yourself sane.

As of right now, you can only save notes locally to your own machine. However, the team behind the Extension is working to bring Cloud functionality into the swing of things. This will allow you to sync your Notes with services such as Diigo, Dropbox, box.net, Google docs, and Evernote.

Quick Note is simple to use. It loads instantly, as a notepad should. It boasts one-click access to all of your Notes, instant search to find what you need and the ability to add something new right within the app or via a right-click menu.

What note-taking/keeping program or app do you use?

Holiday Charity: Chrome for a Cause

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Bowman is using his time this week to urge you to help donate to charitable organizations – without giving up a single cent of your own money. From now until December 19th, Google will donate money on your behalf for every Chrome tab you have open. You’ll need to install the free Chrome for a Cause Extension in your browser. Google has said they will donate up to one million dollars in this venture.

The Extension will keep track of how many tabs you use each day. At the end of the day, choose where you would like your donation to be sent: The Nature Conservacy, Charity: Water, Doctors Without Borders, Un Techo para mi País or Room to Read. That’s all you have to do – choose. Google will do the rest, including writing those checks.

What is the Chrome Web Store?

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This week, Marques is talking about the new Chrome Store. The things you’ll find here are sort of a cross between web apps and desktop apps. The Chrome Web Store is an online marketplace where you can discover thousands of apps, extensions and themes for Google Chrome.

Every item in the store has its own page, where you can read and contribute reviews and ratings. If you use multiple computers, synchronize your apps, extensions, and theme across all your computers with browser sync.

Web apps are advanced interactive websites. They may provide a wide-ranging set of features or focus on a single task like photo-editing or shopping. Extensions let you add new features to your browser. For example, an email notifier extension can show an email alert in your browser toolbar so you don’t have to log in to your email in a separate window to check if you have new messages. Themes allow you to you customize the look and feel of your browser, including themes from leading artists and designers around the world.

Thanks for another excellent screencast, Marques!

YouTube Chrome Extension

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Veronica Belmont from Tekzilla has graced us with her presence this week to tell all of you about a very cool Chrome extension. Adding the YouTube Feed extension to Chrome will give you easy access to everything that’s happening on YouTube.

If you have YouTube friends or subscription who create content you don’t want to miss, then this instant-notification extension is perfect for you. This extension notifies the user whenever new videos are available in his YouTube Homepage Feed. These are videos that their friends uploaded, favorited, liked, commented on, etc.

Once installed, you’ll see a YouTube icon to the right of your address bar. Clicking it will bring up a list of the last ten items from your subscription feeds. It’s the fastest way for you to keep up with everything that’s going on around the popular video site.

We appreciate Veronica and the team at Revision3 taking the time to share this with all of you. Keep your eyes open for future videos starring your favorite Tekzilla star.

Want to embed this video on your own site, blog, or forum? Download the video!


How do You get Your News on the Go?

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I am fortunate to be a YouTube partner. This video was made for – and paid by – Google as a part of the Google Demo Slam project.

If you’re like me, you love links and like looking at things, such as iconic representations of news stories. If you’re on the go, it’s easy to get information quickly from your desktop browser to your phone using the free Site to Phone Google Chrome extension. Not only can you send links to your devices with ease, it will allow you to do so much more.

Youtube, Mail, Phone and Maps links open directly in the corresponding apps on iOS. Send any page, link, image or even text via the right-click menu. Settings are synced between multiple installs of Chrome and can be set up on multiple devices.

Getting the news from my workstation to my phone has never been easier, and it’s all thanks to Google.

Google Chrome Brings You Free Gogo Wi-Fi During Holiday Flights

Happy holidays from Google Chrome! The team behind the browser says that they love “innovations that make our lives on the web and in the browser better” so much that they are going to give all of us free Internet access at 30,000 feet this holiday season! These people truly feel that the innovations they work so hard to bring to the table would be nothing unless people are able to connect to the web – and they’re right, of course. Why would you need a browser if you cannot connect to the intertubes of information?

From November 20th, 2010 until January 2, 2011, Google Chrome is teaming up with several airlines to give you free Internet access on enabled flights. These carriers include AirTran, Delta and Virgin America. This may seem like a small gesture to many – but it’s a large one if you ask me. Keeping you connected to your family, friends and even co-workers (or boss!) when you’re traveling home for the long holiday weekends can be crucial for most of us. Heck, it can even mean the difference between being stuck in the office and being allowed to go home for turkey or presents.

To get more information, be sure to visit freeholidaywifi.com, and give a little thanks to Chrome by checking out their latest browser version if you haven’t already.

View PDF Documents Right in Google Chrome

The newest beta of Google Chrome includes a built-in PDF viewer. This is a big deal for Windows users, since you’ll no longer have to install something just to read those types of documents. Chrome will let you open them right within the browser without waiting for an external program or app to load it up.

Your PDF will load quickly and without flaws as soon as you click on it. Google has even made sure your experience is as secure as it can possibly be:

Just like we do with web pages viewed in Chrome, we’ve built in an additional layer of security called the “sandbox” around the Chrome PDF viewer to help protect you from malware and security attacks that are targeted at PDF files.

For now, you have to satisfy yourself with the beta version of the new PDF viewing capabilities. Google hasn’t given a time-frame for a stable release, but promises it will be soon.

If you’re not already a Google Chrome user, is this new feature something that will make you switch to it as a default browser?