Category Archives: Google Chrome Blog

The latest news from the Google Chrome team

Accessing the web on Chromebooks without a Wi-Fi access point

Chromebooks are built to deliver a consistently fast, easy-to-use and secure experience. And when you’re using a Chromebook, you should be able to access the internet quickly and effortlessly, no matter where you are. But the availability of an internet-enabled Wi-Fi access point isn’t always a guarantee. Starting today, Instant Tethering is available on more Chromebooks—this means that you can connect to the internet via a paired Android phone’s cellular network connection, as long as tethering is enabled on your mobile data plan.

Normally, connecting to your phone’s hotspot is a multistep process—one that involves switching on the hotspot on your phone, specifying a network SSID and password, opening the other device's settings to connect to the hotspot, then disabling the hotspot manually when you no longer need it. Phew! But with Instant Tethering, you can pair your Android phone with your Chromebook during an initial set-up process, then accessing the internet only takes a single click.

When your Chromebook detects that it has no Wi-Fi access point, it provides a notification that a data connection is available through your mobile device. Instant Tethering is activated once you click the “Connect” button on that notification. Additionally, Instant Tethering will automatically disconnect if it detects 10 minutes of no activity to save you power and data.

chromebookIT

Before today, Instant Tethering was available on only a few devices, including Pixelbooks and Pixel Slates paired with either Pixel or Nexus phones. But now, Instant Tethering is available on 15 additional Chromebook models and over 30 cell phone models. And we’ll be bringing Instant Tethering to even more Chromebook and phones in the coming months.

This is our latest feature that allows Chromebooks to work better together with Android devices. You can read more about Instant Tethering, how to enable it, and find out if it works with your devices here.

Source: Google Chrome


Choose your own adventure with 13 Google for Education tools

Editor’s note: This week, we’re joining thousands of educators and students at BETT in London. Visit us at booth C230, where you can demo a range of Chromebooks designed for education, including the brand new Chrome OS tablet. Follow along on Twitter and Facebook for the latest news and updates.

Power up a Chromebook and watch as it transports students to the Taj Mahal, the Great Barrier Reef or a state-of-the-art science lab. It’s like magic, except the magicians are the teachers who inspire engaged and focused learning. As the leaders of these journeys, teachers give students the opportunity to explore the limits of their imagination—all on a device that’s simple to use and easy to navigate. While we’re here at BETT, we’re exploring more ways to bring magic moments to the classroom. So open up a Chromebook, and try out a few of the things it can do.

Secure and accessible, out of the box

1. Learn with adaptable Chromebooks:We’re launching more devices for education, with 25+ new devices in 2019. Choose from tablets like the Asus Chromebook Tablet CT100, convertibles like the Acer Chromebook Spin 512 with a 3:2 screen ratio for a taller display to see more content, the Lenovo 300e Chromebook, and clamshells like the Dell Chromebook 3400. Chromebooks aren’t just for students—educators are turning to high performance devices like the Google Pixel Slate, Pixelbook and HP Chromebook x360 14.

2. Explore built-in security and accessibility features:When you customize your security settings with multi-layered security, automatic updates, individual profiles and data protection, they’ll follow you no matter what device you log into. Learn more about customizing settings in G Suite and on Chromebooks to support all learners—including those with visual aids, auditory aids and more.

3. Become an Internet Legend:With our online safety program developed in partnership with the experts at Parent Zone, all Key Stage 2 primary school teachers can now order the Be Internet Legends curriculum pack for free. It’s available in new languages, including Arabic, Belgian, Italian, Polish and will soon be available in Turkish.

Chromebook accessibility features

Plan with efficiency, collaborate & explore, check for understanding

4. Plan with Classroom and Course Kit:In addition to the new Classwork page, Classroom has a refreshed look and feel. And if you love G Suite but use a different LMS, you can now use Course Kit, a free toolkit that incorporates G Suite into your existing LMS.

5. Collaborate with Jamboard: Create, edit, and view Jams (a “Jam” is a collaborative whiteboard space) on your Chromebook or from a Chrome browser with Jamboard or the Jamboard app. You can now modify frames, switch quickly from selection to drawing and use familiar keyboard shortcuts when jamming. Soon, you’ll also be able to add images. Head over to Workbench for a new course on student agency and engagement using Jamboard.

6. Explore the world in Augmented and Virtual reality:Now students can create VR tours using Tour Creator on their Chromebooks, and view them together through a guided experience using the Expeditions Android app (coming soon to iOS). We’re also translating our most popular VR and AR tours into Arabic, French, German, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.

7. Sign up for the locked mode and Gradebook betas:On managed Chromebooks, locked mode prevents students from browsing away from the Quiz until they submit their answers. The new Gradebook in Google Classroom lets you check grades, see average grades by student or assignment, and choose to calculate grades by weighted average or total points-based.

Classroom 101

Bringing learning to life with STEAM

8. Code with CS First: We recently introduced CS First + Scratch 3.0, the latest version of the coding language designed for kids. The 3.0 version is complete with new videos and digital materials, plus lesson plans easily shareable in Google Docs. Check out the CS First Starter Guide and learn more about Scratch 3.0.

9. Prepare for the future with Applied Digital Skills: Students learn critical thinking, collaboration, communication, creativity and digital skills with new lessons mapped to the UK Essential Digital Skills Framework and the Computing National Curriculum in England, all on the new UK English Applied Digital Skills website.

10. Get hands on with Science Journal:Now, you can sign in with your G Suite for Education account to save and access your experiments across your devices using Google Drive. Check out new training modules and lessons on the Google for Education Teacher Center and Scholastic. For more hands-on science, order the new Science Kit from Arduino for middle school science classrooms, or try out Science Journal’s Android app with Vernier's new Go Direct line of classroom sensors.

11. Travel the globe with Google Earth:Bring the whole world to each desk in your classroom, no download required. Students can quiz their animal knowledge in Street View, learn about weather, volcanoes and sea surface temperature with map layers, measure area and distance, and see 3D views of buildings and landmarks.

Science Journal

Supporting educators through professional development


12. Learn with the Teacher Center:We’ve added new trainings on Jamboard, CS First, Applied Digital Skills and Science Journal. To support educators globally, the Teacher Center is now localized in 17 languages, with Italian coming later this year.

13. Engage with the education community:Looking for an expert? Coming soon, an updated Google for Education Directory can help you find a local expert to assist a school in any number of areas including teacher trainings, transformation support and advice from other schools. Looking for in-person interaction?  We just announced our 2019 Innovation Academies, with more locations including Stockholm and London, so apply now.

Visit us at BETT this week to check out the entire ecosystem of our tools, and if you’re not able to be with us in London, stay tuned on Twitter for more news.

Source: Google Chrome


Helping families develop healthy digital habits with Chromebooks

Parents care deeply about helping their kids build a positive and healthy relationship with technology. Last year, we introduced the Family Link app to help parents stay in the loop with how their children are using Android devices. Laptops also play an important role at home, with just over 50% of kids between 6-12 sharing or owning a laptop device. Today we’re sharing more Family Link features that can help parents of kids who use Chromebooks, like setting time limits, managing the apps kids can download and more.

Chromebooks enable families to work, play, and learn on the same device. The Family Link app can help parents set some digital ground rules as their kids are exploring online on their Chromebooks.

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Child view of Family Link on a Chromebook, and Parent view of Family Link on an Android device.

Keep an eye on screen time

It’s up to parents to decide the right amount of screen time for their kids. Family Link supports you by making it easy to set screen time limits and establish bedtime hours. Family Link also offers activity reports to show parents and kids how much time is spent on their favorite apps.

Guide kids to good content

It’s not just about how much time kids spend on their devices, it’s about the quality of that time as well. Family Link allows parents to customize a list of websites that kids can visit, and review and approve the apps they can download from Google Play, such as YouTube Kids or Google Play Books. Parents can also hide individual apps when necessary, and manage in-app purchases within apps already installed on the Chromebook.

Manage Google Accounts and Chromebooks from anywhere

Parents can also manage settings for their child’s Google account, and remotely lock supervised accounts on the Chromebook if necessary. This holds true whether the Chromebook is shared by the whole family, or is used only by the child.

These are just the latest features we’re rolling out to help families. As we continue to build new tools for families, please share your ideas and feedback with us, so we can learn how we can continue building features that matter to you.

Source: Google Chrome


Get quizzing with locked mode, and grade away with Classroom

Earlier this year, we announced locked mode—a new way to ensure students are distraction-free when taking Quizzes in Google Forms. We’ve also been working on a better grading experience in Classroom. We’re now opening up locked mode and Gradebook via a beta program, so sign up to express interest.

Show what you know with locked mode

For a lot of teachers, a day in the life might look like this: teach innovatively and creatively, quiz without distractions, grade efficiently, give thoughtful and constructive feedback, repeat. Teachers assess knowledge and check for understanding every single day, and many use Quizzes in Google Forms to do just that. But we’ve heard feedback from teachers that they want to ensure their students aren’t navigating to other browser tabs while taking quizzes. Available only on managed Chromebooks, locked mode prevents students from navigating away from the Quiz in their Chrome browser until they submit their answers. Teachers can enable locked mode with a simple checkbox in Google Forms, giving them full control over assessments.

Built-in Chrome OS accessibility tools such as ChromeVox, select-to-speak and visual aids— including high contrast mode and magnifiers—are all available when using locked mode. And to support students who use Chrome extensions during test taking, teachers can find out which extensions are available with locked mode. Introducing new tools means extra support: we’ve created a step-by-step guidebrief animated tutorial, and new Help Center instructions for Instructional Coaches, PD partners, and teachers to make learning how to use locked mode even easier. Don’t yet have Chromebooks and want to learn more? Get in touch.

To streamline the assignment process, we’ve also added the ability for all Classroom users to create a Quiz directly from Classroom. Instead of creating quizzes in a separate browser, you can create a quiz and assign it directly to your class, or multiple classes.

Locked mode in Quizzes in Google Forms

Better grading in Classroom

Earlier this year, we introduced new grading tools and a comment bank for richer, better feedback. Today, we’re continuing to strengthen the grading process in Classroom with a beta for a new Gradebook to better enable teachers to keep their assignments and grades in one place, and keep this important task more organized. Here are a few things you can do with the new Gradebook:

  • View grades in one place:A new Grades page lets you can view a grid of submissions across assignments to easily enter grades, saving time and providing a holistic picture of a student’s progress.

  • Average grades:In the gradebook grid, you can view average grades per assignment and per student, and see the overall performance in your class. You can share progress with students, so they can track their grades and know where they need to improve.

  • Grade categories & settings:You can select how to calculate grades (weighted average or total points-based), add grade categories to classwork, and choose whether you’d like students to see their average grades. Access these from the Settings page.

Gradebook in Classroom

Sign up for the locked mode and Gradebook betas today

Locked mode is only available on managed Chromebooks, and you’ll need to make sure your Chromebooks are running operating system 68 or higher. We’ll be slowly phasing the rollout for locked mode and Gradebook. If you’re interested in the new features, all teachers and administrators can express interest in either of the betas.


We’d love to hear all of the ways you’re using locked mode in Quizzes and improving your grading experience during the beta period, so please send us feedback using the “send feedback” button.


Source: Google Chrome


Tools that aim to reach all types of learners, wherever they are

Editor’s note: Before joining Google’s Education team, Morgan Weisman was a kindergarten teacher. Today she is sharing how one of her students inspired her to help build products that aim to meet the needs of all types of learners.

The first time I met six-year-old Jeremiah, he clung to his mom’s leg as he peeked into my kindergarten classroom. Soon he came alive as he talked about his favorite superhero: Spiderman. He ran around the colorful classroom, touched everything in sight and chatted aimlessly. However, when he realized my attention had shifted to his mom, he threw himself on the floor in a tantrum. That’s when his mom told me that they suspected he had autism, but were hopeful that the routine of school would help him focus.

This began a year long journey of giving Jeremiah the educational support he needed, while also teaching 24 other students with 24 different learning styles. Seventy-two percent of classrooms have special education students, and teachers have to work to keep them all engaged and invested in school. For me,  I leveraged technology to create differentiated lessons and support each student, especially Jeremiah.

Jeremiah lit up when he had a computer in front of him and headphones on. He could listen, engage and learn without distractions. We had him fitted for glasses, and he learned how to use the screen magnifier to make the words pop on his screen. He learned sight words, numbers and simple addition through songs and videos. Best of all, his social skills developed as he learned to share and take turns with devices.

As I learned what worked for Jeremiah, I started using the same strategies with other students. As my instructional coach used to tell me: “What works for kids with special needs works for everyone. The strategies that work, just work.”

Since joining Google, I’ve seen even more ways that educators use technology to help students succeed. We strive to support teachers, and one of the ways we are doing that is through built-in accessibility features in our products that aim to support the diverse needs of all students.

Morgan's kindergarten classroom on graduation day

My students on kindergarten graduation day... all decked out in gear from my alma mater, our class' theme.

The ABC’s of Chromebook accessibility

Accessibility settings are built in to all Chromebooks, and more are available through Chrome extensions and apps. No need to change settings when you switch devices because they sync to each student by default. Here are a few useful accessibility settings to get you started:

  • Visual aids: Increase the size of browser content by pressing Ctrl + Plus to increase, Ctrl + Minus to decrease, Ctrl + 0 to reset. The rest of the desktop is unaffected. You can enable high contrast mode by pressing Ctrl + Search button + H on the Chromebook keyboard. Adjust your font face and size, and install Chrome extensions for custom color support.

  • Mono Audio:For users who have limited hearing in one ear, there's a Mono Audio option to play the same sound through both speakers. Turn this feature on in Accessibility settings.

  • Spoken feedback: For users who need synthesized speech on occasion, we offer Select-to-speak. When enabled, press and hold the Search key, then click or drag to select content to be read aloud, and press Ctrl to silence. Change the word-by-word highlight color in Select-to-speak settings. We also have the ChromeVox screen reader that reads all text aloud, a free, browser-based screen reader that users can access from any device and built directly for ChromeOS.

  • Acapela text-to-speech voices: Now you can purchase and use more than 100 Acapela voices to read aloud text in 30+ languages on Chromebooks, including a variety of childrens’ voices.

ChromeOS Accessibility Features

The 123’s of G Suite Accessibility

G Suite is a set of tools that help students and teachers collaborate in real time and give personalized feedback. It’s also paperless and accessible from anywhere. Built into our G Suite tools are many accessibility features:

  • Slides: Turn on closed captions in Slides to support students who are deaf, hard-of-hearing or ENL. Simply use  Ctrl + Shift + c in ChromeOS/Windows or⌘ + Shift + c in Mac.

  • Voice typing, editing and formatting: Use the mic and enable the feature to use voice typing in Docs and Slides to write and edit without a keyboard.

  • Visual aids:Enable high contrast themes in Gmail and browsing, and use powerful keyboard shortcuts for those who can’t or don’t want to use a mouse.

  • Collaboration:G Suite works on all different platforms including Windows, Android, iOS devices and even multiple devices at one time. You can all be on different devices and still collaborate in real time.

  • Braille: Use a Braille display to read and edit Docs, Sheets, Slides and Drawings.

  • Screen reader & magnifier:Turn on the features in accessibility settings to zoom in or use the screen reader in Docs, Calendar, Sites, Classroom and even in other browsers.

Braille in Docs Editors

What else is new?

We’re supporting teachers through our own tools as well as strong partnerships with organizations who share our mission. One such organization is Don Johnston, a company that builds tools for people with all types of learning styles and abilities. We’re excited to announce them as a Google for Education Premier Technology Partner, with new integrations using our Drive API, Classroom API and Google single sign-on. Try out their core products in Chrome, Co:Writer, for word prediction, translation, and speech recognition, Snap&Read for screen reading, & their newest product, automatic quiz generator Quizbot with Google Forms. See how one Indiana teacher uses Chromebooks and Don Johnston tools to improve reading independence in her classroom.

Quizbot

Ready to make your teaching more accessible for all learners?

We have many resources to find out what’s new, and how to turn on and use features included in our Chrome browser, Chromebook settings, and G Suite products:

At Google for Education, we're passionate about building tools that make teaching and learning better for everyone. We love hearing stories of how technology is changing students’ lives, so please share ways that you’re using accessibility tools to support all types of learners.

Source: Google Chrome


All Kiwi schools get the license to Chrome

Schools tell us that Chromebooks fill three big needs: they’re easy for students and teachers to use, they’re easy to share and they’re easy to manage. Today, we have some exciting news about the management of Chromebooks that will make the Chrome Education license—our cloud-based device management console—more accessible to schools across New Zealand.  This follows on theannouncementlast year that Chromebooks are the number one device used in New Zealand schools, and is great news for schools and families using Chromebooks or considering investing in them.


Starting on November 1, as part of an agreement with Google and the New Zealand Ministry of Education, all state and state-integrated schools across New Zealand will be able to start claiming Ministry-funded Chrome Education licenses to manage new and existing unmanaged Chromebooks. The Chrome Education license was developed to make device management in schools a breeze, so that teachers and students can focus on what’s most important—teaching and learning. Equipped with the Chrome Education license, schools can utilize essential education features to better support the many ways Chromebooks are used in the classroom.


“This is fantastic news for the Manaiakalani Schools,” says Mrs. Dorothy Burt, Education Program Lead in the Manaiakalani Innovation team, “we have been using Chromebooks since they first became available to New Zealand schools in 2013 and have relied on the devices having the Chrome Education license to ensure the focus remains on learning and teaching.”  

Schools of all sizes can benefit from the Chrome Education license, as Mrs. Burt points out— “the positive impact of the license to schools is experienced in our big schools, with large fleets of Chromebooks to manage, and equally in our very small rural schools where the sole charge teaching principal has more important matters to focus on than the status of learner devices.”
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Point England School, part of the Manaiakalani community of learning, have been using the Chrome Education License to manage their Chromebook fleet since 2013.

Most importantly, quality teaching and learning is safely brought to the forefront, underpinned by our commitment to providing the best security measurements protecting teacher and student privacy “With this in place we have the confidence that our move to having young people learning on personal devices in a digital environment is well managed and safe. Expectations of whānau are easily applied across all devices. Teachers can spend their time where it counts—on children and their learning—rather than managing devices.”


The Chrome Education license allows schools to update any number of Chromebooks (once they are enrolled)—without touching a single one. In the simple cloud-based management console, there are over 200 policies that schools can apply to manage their fleet of Chromebooks.  You can learn more about them here, but for now, here are three of them that are sure to be the teacher’s pet!


Give teachers and students confidence that during class, they’re all the on same webpage!

The Education license lets school admins and teachers customize the user experience. This is a handy feature that can automatically load frequently used websites—such as Google Classroom, Khan Academy—on boot-up, as well as adding custom bookmarks, pinning apps and extensions, and blocking distractions.
image1

Lead students right to most used apps and extensions, such as WeVideo, Khan Academy, Pixlr, and the Google Classroom extension

The multi-tasker for school and family use
The “off-hours device policy” feature is particularly helpful for Chromebooks that are used at school and as the family device. For example, school admins can set a weekly schedule so that school settings are in place when students are using Chromebooks in class but, these same settings can be scheduled to turn off after school hours so they don’t apply when a parent might be using the device.


Spark school spirit
You can use the Education license to display digital signage, keeping students and parents informed. It’s simple to set up school-wide displays on computers in the library and monitors around the school to advertise of key school events and moments, like parent/teacher evenings, carnivals and assessment times.


We’re excited to see the growing number of countries like New Zealand partnering with Google to support teachers, schools and families to improve the use of technology in education.


Source: Google Chrome


See how the Night King uses Chromebook

“Winter is coming.”

You’ve heard it countless times. But what you don’t hear much about is the effort that goes into planning the attack on Westeros during the winter—it’s a real operation. There are new recruits to onboard, wargs to avoid, and 700-foot walls of ice to break through. Under these circumstances, a little organization and a Chromebook go a long way.

The Game of Thrones' army of the dead is collecting everything new recruits need to know into a single Google Slides presentation made with Chromebook. Now you can learn a few things about collaboration from the way they work.  

Disappointed with your team’s performance? Tell them exactly where they fell short with a comment in Google Slides. Stuck in another meeting about scheduling an invasion? Start doodling alternate routes in Evernote. Need your headshots to look professional, yet terrifying? Make photo adjustments in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom CC to give yourself that icy edge. You can do it all on Chromebook.

Here are a few especially important slides:

The army of the dead had a few thousand years to learn these tips, and now you can discover them all here: chromebook.com/whitewalkers

Source: Google Chrome


When Octoberitis spooks your students, we’re here to help

It's October. Pencils—once sharp and eager to write in August—are starting to dull. Students are gazing out the window, and it's not just because of the falling leaves—this happens every October, when the newness of the new school year has worn off.

To fight this Octoberitis, some educators get students moving by doing a gravity experiment in the stairwell, or role play activities during history. While you’re experimenting in the classroom, we’ll be launching new tools to help you keep the learning spark alive, and make the longer days feel shorter.

And want to know something that’s made our October a bit brighter? We’re excited to announce that over 40 million students and educators are now using Google Classroom, and 30 million are using Chromebooks, on top of 80 million using G Suite for Education globally.

Bring the outside world into the classroom

Back when we learned with just pen and paper, math class and functions could seem dull. But now, augmented reality can add another dimension to your lesson. With the latest update to the Acer Chromebook Tab 10, it became the first ChromeOS device to support ARCore, Google’s platform for building augmented reality experiences. Developers can build AR experiences for classrooms, like GeoGebra, an interactive geometry, algebra, statistics and calculus app. Students can toggle between 2D screens and AR in the 3D app as teachers guide them in exploring math in new ways.
GeoGebra

Using the Acer Chromebook Tab 10, educators can bring everything from a skeleton to the solar system into the classroom with the help of Expeditions AR. With content from partners like Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and Oxford University Press, the world comes to you when you can drop the works of Van Gogh into the middle of your Art History lesson, or a great Kapok tree when studying the rainforest. To unlock the power of AR, ask your IT administrator to enable these Android apps, and make sure your tablets are upgraded to the latest operating system.

To conduct a science experiment, the only equipment you’ll need is a Chromebook. Students can complete more than 40 science labs which map to high school biology, chemistry, and physics standards with Labster Chromebook labs. These online labs allow schools to offer unlimited lab practice time without needing to buy any extra equipment. Not only that, but these labs can also be assigned and graded with the Classroom integration, and teachers can track how students are progressing. To get labs at your school, visit labster.com/chromebooklabs.

Collaborate to reach every learner

You spend hours planning and customizing lessons to engage every learner in your class, but it can be difficult for students to follow along in rigorous and fast paced learning environments. To support students and faculty who are deaf or hard of hearing, we built closed captions in Google Slides (only available on Chrome web browsers), which uses machine learning to turn on automated closed captioning when presenting. Captions are currently available for U.S. English language only, but stay tuned as we explore adding more languages. Learn more about accessibility features in G Suite and ChromeOS.

Slides closed captions

We’ve launched new Docs updates to make writing a paper in MLA format a smoother process. You can already set left and right indentations as well as set hanging indents via a dialog box. Now, students and faculty can also adjust the margins of headers and footers, and use a vertical ruler to adjust placement of table rows and header and footer margins.

Educators can also give feedback to students in Classroom or Course Kit, our free toolkit that allows instructors to use G Suite within their existing LMS. Using the new grading tool, educators can leverage the comment bank to give feedback on Docs and PDFs. Use G Suite for Education but have a different LMS? Request access  to the Course Kit beta today.

Comment bank grading in Classroom

Jamboard - the collaborative whiteboard app - can also help shake things up. We’re bringing the jam to the web, where anyone can create and collaborate on jams from individual Chromebooks, no Jamboard hardware required. And with the new View Only mode, teachers can share jam sessions from their lessons that day while restricting edit access. Have a BYOD policy, or enabling Device Off Hours? Jamboard on the web is an easy solution for collaboration.

If you’re interested in trying out a Jamboard device in your classroom, you can apply for the new Jamboard Learning Space Transformation program. Continental U.S. based G Suite for Education customers can submit a proposal on how you’ll transform your learning space with Jamboard today.

Jamboard web editor

Hopefully these new features and product tips are the antidote you need to the Octoberitis that’s bound to hit your classrooms. If not, you have Halloween to look forward to...

Be sure to follow along on Google for Education’s Twitter and Facebook pages. We love hearing from you, so please share your tips for the best October yet.

Source: Google Chrome


Product updates based on your feedback

We recently made a change to simplify the way Chrome handles sign-in. Now, when you sign into any Google website, you’re also signed into Chrome with the same account. You’ll see your Google Account picture right in the Chrome UI, so you can easily see your sign-in status. When you sign out, either directly from Chrome or from any Google website, you’re completely signed out of your Google Account.

Chrome sign in .png

We want to be clear that this change to sign-in does not mean Chrome sync gets turned on. Users who want data like their browsing history, passwords, and bookmarks available on other devices must take additional action, such as turning on sync.

The new UI reminds users which Google Account is signed in. Importantly, this allows us to better help users who share a single device (for example, a family computer). Over the years, we’ve received feedback from users on shared devices that they were confused about Chrome’s sign-in state. We think these UI changes help prevent users from inadvertently performing searches or navigating to websites that could be saved to a different user’s synced account.

We’ve heard—and appreciate—your feedback. We’re going to make a few updates in the next release of Chrome (Version 70, released mid-October) to better communicate our changes and offer more control over the experience.

  • While we think sign-in consistency will help many of our users, we’re adding a control that allows users to turn off linking web-based sign-in with browser-based sign-in—that way users have more control over their experience. For users that disable this feature, signing into a Google website will not sign them into Chrome.
Chrome settings.png

  • We’re updating our UIs to better communicate a user’s sync state. We want to be clearer about your sign-in state and whether or not you’re syncing data to your Google Account.

Chrome UI.png
  • We’re also going to change the way we handle the clearing of auth cookies. In the current version of Chrome, we keep the Google auth cookies to allow you to stay signed in after cookies are cleared. We will change this behavior that so all cookies are deleted and you will be signed out.

We deeply appreciate all of the passionate users who have engaged with us on this. Chrome is a diverse, worldwide community, and we’re lucky to have users who care as much as you do. Keep the feedback coming.

Source: Google Chrome


Redesigning Chrome: An interview with Chrome’s lead designer

If you use Google Chrome, you may have noticed some changes that started rolling out last week. Yes, indeed, Chrome got a fresh look for its 10th birthday, and today we sat down with Alex Ainslie, Chrome’s lead designer, to go behind the scenes of the biggest redesign since Chrome launched 10 years ago.


So first, what changed in Chrome? Why and why now?


Alex: We’re introducing a major refresh on Chrome across all platforms, which aligns with Google’s new Material Theme. This update involved changing our approaches to shape, color, iconography, and typography. And why right now? You only turn 10 once, so we thought it would be the ideal moment.


For most people (who are non-designers), the modern browser is a simple window to the internet. Is it really that simple?


Alex: A major focus of our work is about finding ways to simplify web browsing. And we think about simplification not so much as a goal, but instead as a strategy for making Chrome more usable. The new, simplified tab strip, for example, makes it faster to find a specific tab when you have many open.

tabs

Goodbye "tablerone." Hello user-friendly icons.

We’ve learned from user research around the world it can be hard to decipher URLs with too many words and characters. So we simplified the text you see in the address bar to make it easier to understand where a URL is taking you.

url

A simple user interface also makes it possible for us to create bold warnings when things aren’t safe: for example, when you visit a dangerous or deceptive site. This is an example of Chrome's values of simplicity and security reinforcing each other.

security

Your team spent the last year working on the new design. What challenges did you face?

Alex: One of our key design challenges is to be a good citizen of all platforms. That means we work hard to ensure Chrome both looks comfortable and behaves in familiar ways on Windows, Mac, Linux, Chrome OS, Android, Daydream and iOS. For example, we respect platform conventions for window controls, button ordering, typography, and more. And we also take care to negotiate the relationship between these platform-specific elements and Google's new Material Theme because we want Chrome to feel at home on all of your devices and to feel recognizably Googley.

The design team is spread across several offices - Mountain View, San Francisco, Los Angeles, London, Munich, and Paris. So in addition to thinking about how to improve Chrome’s UI we also think about how to maintain a healthy design culture across offices and timezones.

Have your team’s design principles changed since Chrome launched 10 years ago?

Alex: We still rely on the early Chrome team mantra, “Content, not chrome,” which is based on the idea of designing the browser UI to make the web content stand out. And our core values remain the same, though they’ve expanded. For example, in the case of speed, we think both about performance improvements to make pages load faster and about how Chrome can help people get things done more quickly. The improved Omnibox—which merges the search and address bar into one—is a great illustration of this.

malibu

What’s your proudest moment from the 8 years you’ve been on the team?

Alex: I appreciate that the Chrome team takes on difficult, long-term projects. For example, helping to move the web to HTTPS has been a multi-year effort. From improving our connection security indicators to marking HTTP sites as “Not secure,” we have plenty of examples of how design can help keep people safe and contribute to change throughout the ecosystem. So it’s not any specific element in Chrome’s UI that I am most proud of, but instead the broader outcomes that impact people out in the world.

Source: Google Chrome