Tag Archives: Chrome

PageSpeed Insights, now powered by Lighthouse

At Google, we know that speed matters and we provide a variety of tools to help everyone understand the performance of a page or site. Historically, these tools have used different analysis engines. Unfortunately, this caused some confusion because the recommendations from each tool were different. Today, we're happy to announce that Pagespeed Insights (PSI) now uses Lighthouse as its analysis engine. This allows developers to get the same performance audits and recommendations everywhere: on the web, from the command line, and in Chrome DevTools. PSI also incorporates field data provided by the Chrome User Experience Report (CrUX). Version 5 of the PageSpeed Insights API will now provide CrUX data and all of the Lighthouse audits. Previous versions of the PSI API will be deprecated in six months.
Pagespeed Insights is now powered by Lighthouse

PageSpeed Insights provides the following information:
  • Lab Data. PSI fetches and analyzes the page using Lighthouse, which simulates how a mobile device loads a page. It computes a set of performance metrics for the page (such as First Contentful Paint and Time to Interactive) and summarizes these metrics with a performance score from 0-100. Scores are categorized into three levels; 90 and up is considered to be a good score.
  • Field Data. PSI also displays real-world performance metrics (First Contentful Paint and First Input Delay) for the page and its origin. (As a result, we've also deprecated the origin: query in PSI). Note that not all sites may have field data available for display. The data set relies on a version of the Chrome User Experience Report that is updated daily and is aggregated over the previous 28 days. Keep in mind that the metrics here may be different from the ones in the Lab Data section as they capture a wide spectrum of real-world network conditions and devices used by Chrome users.
  • Opportunities. PSI provides suggestions on how to improve the page's performance metrics. Each suggestion in this section estimates how much faster the page will load if the improvement is implemented.
  • Diagnostics. This section provides additional information about how a page adheres to best practices for web development.
The PSI v5 API now returns this new analysis together with CrUX data, and all Lighthouse category data (Performance, Progressive Web App, Accessibility, Best Practices, and SEO) for a given URL.
We have more information about the changes in our FAQ. If you have any questions, please use Stack Overflow and tag your question with the pagespeed-insights tag.

Posted by Rui Chen and Paul Irish, PageSpeed Insights and Lighthouse teams

Notifying users of unclear subscription pages

Every month, millions of Chrome users encounter pages with insufficient mobile subscription information. Surprising charges that come from unclear communication are a poor user experience. That’s why starting from Chrome 71 (December 2018), Chrome will show a warning before these pages, so that users can make informed decisions when signing up to mobile based subscription services. Users will be offered the choice to proceed to the page or go back if they were unaware that they were entering a billing page.

Unclear mobile subscriptions


Picture this: Andrea is browsing the web on a mobile connection to access a gaming page and they’re presented with a page that asks them for their mobile phone details.




They fill in the blanks with their mobile number and press Continue, and get access to the content.

The next month, the phone bill arrives and they see a charge they were not expecting. Was the subscription to the online gaming service really that expensive? Did they really agree to pay that specific price for the service? How much did they agree to be charged to access the content?

Clearer billing information for Chrome users


We want to make sure Chrome users understand when they are going through a billing flow and trust that they’ll be able to make informed decisions while browsing the web.

To adequately inform users, it’s important to provide a sufficient level of details within the billing page as outlined by our new mobile billing charges best practices. Pages that answer positively to the following questions generally provide sufficient information for users:
  • Is the billing information visible and obvious to users? For example, adding no subscription information on the subscription page or hiding the information is a bad start because users should have access to the information when agreeing to subscribe.
  • Can customers easily see the costs they’re going to incur before accepting the terms? For example, displaying the billing information in grey characters over a grey background, therefore making it less readable, is not considered a good user practice.
  • Is the fee structure easily understandable? For example, the formula presented to explain how the cost of the service will be determined should be as simple and straightforward as possible.

If Chrome detects pages that don’t provide sufficient billing information to users, the following warning will be displayed to the user on Chrome mobile, Chrome desktop and Android’s WebView:



The warning will be shown to users entering unclear billing pages.


When we identify such pages, we will notify the webmaster through Search Console where there will be an option to let us know about the changes they’ve made to clarify the billing process. For websites that aren’t verified on Search Console, we will do our best to get in touch with the webmasters affected and will be available to answer questions in our public support forum available in 15 languages. Once an appeal has been sent via Search Console, we will review the changes and remove the warning accordingly.

If your billing service takes users through a clearly visible and understandable billing process as described in our best practices, you don't need to make any changes. Also, the new warning in Chrome doesn’t impact your website’s ranking in Google Search.

If you have any questions, please come and have a chat with us in the Webmaster Help Forum.


Posted by Emily Schechter‎, Chrome Security, Giacomo Gnecchi Ruscone & Badr Salmi El Idrissi, Trust & Safety

Making creative tools more accessible for everyone

Before I got into the accessibility field, I worked as an art therapist where I met people from all walks of life. No matter the reason why they came to therapy, almost everyone I met seemed to benefit from engaging in the creative process.  Art gives us the ability to point beyond spoken or written language, to unite us, delight, and satisfy. Done right, this process can be enhanced by technology—extending our ability and potential for play.

One of my first sessions as a therapist was with a middle school student on the autism spectrum. He had trouble communicating and socializing with his peers, but in our sessions together he drew, made elaborate scenes with clay, and made music.

Another key moment for me was when I met Chancey Fleet, a blind technology educator and accessibility advocate. I was learning how to program at the time, and together we built a tool to help her plan a dinner event. It was a visual and audio diagramming tool that paired with her screen reader technology. This collaboration got me excited about the potential of technology to make art and creativity more accessible, and it emphasized the importance of collaborative approaches to design.

This sentiment has carried over into the accessibility research and design work that I do at the NYU Ability Project, a research space where we explore the intersection of disability and technology. Our projects bring together engineers, designers, educators, artists and therapists within and beyond the accessibility community. Like so many technological innovations that have begun as assistive and rehabilitative tech, we hope our work will eventually benefit everyone. That’s why when Google reached out to me with an opportunity to explore ideas around creativity and accessibility, I jumped at the chance.

Together, we made Creatability, a set of experiments that explore how creative tools–drawing, music and more–can be made more accessible using web and AI technology. The project is a collaboration with creators and allies in the accessibility community, such as: Jay Alan Zimmerman, a composer who is deaf; Josh Miele, a blind scientist, designer, and educator; Chancey Fleet, a blind, accessibility advocate, and technology educator; as well as, Barry Farrimond and Doug Bott of Open Up Music, a group focused on empowering young disabled musicians to build inclusive youth orchestras.

Creatability keyboard

The experiments explore a diverse set of inputs--from a computer mouse and keystrokes to your body, wrist, nose, or voice. For example, you can make music by moving your facedraw using sight or sound, and experience music visually.

The key technology we used was a machine learning model called Posenet that can detect key body joints in images and videos. This technology lets you control the experiments with your webcam, simply by moving your body. And it’s powered by Tensorflow.js—a library that runs machine learning models on-device and in your browser, which means your images are never stored or sent to a server.

Creating sound

We hope these experiments inspire others to unleash their inner artist regardless of ability. That’s why we’re open sourcing the code and have created helpful guides as starting points for people to create their own projects. If you create a new experiment or want to share your story of how you used the experiments, you can submit to be featured on the Creatability site at g.co/creatability.

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


Tips from the people behind your favorite Google products

I’m one of those people who always cuts it close at the airport—it’s a race through security, with just enough time to grab the airline essentials: water bottle, magazine, a soft pretzel if I’m lucky. But I just learned that I can whip out Google Maps to find my way around the airport (by searching the airport name and terminal number), so I no longer waste time running around looking for my snack of choice.

For two decades, Google has built products that make my life more useful. Eight of these products now have a billion users, and with all that extra time at the airport, I got to thinking—how many other unknown tips and tricks are out there? Since Google is celebrating its 20th birthday this month, I present a party favor: tips on Google’s most-used products, straight from the people who helped build them.

Search

  • For lovers of covers:Try searching for a song and then tapping “other recordings” for different renditions.
  • Don’t burn daylight: Make the most of your daylight hours by knowing when the sun will go down. Search [sunset] to get the time the sun will set today.
  • For content connoisseurs:If you’re a fan of bingeable TV shows or a movie buff, you can see all the places to stream any show or film by searching [watch] followed by the title. (Head’s up: this is available in the U.S., Great Britain, Australia, Germany and India). 
Emily Moxley, Director of Product Management


Maps

  • Beat the crowds:Use Google Maps to find out the estimated wait times and popular times to visit your favorite restaurants and businesses. 
  • Don’t get lost in the parking lot:If you’ve ever spent way too long searching for your parked car, this tip’s for you. After navigating to your destination, tap on the blue dot and then “Set as parking location” so you can always find your way back to your parking spot.
  • Quickest route to the airport snacks:If you’re flying to a new place, you can use Google Maps to help you find your way around an airport. A quick search for an airport terminal name, say “SFO Terminal 1,” will show you the lay of the land, including nearby gates, lounges, restaurants and stores.
Dane Glasgow, VP of Product


YouTube

  • Just add popcorn:Developed to cut down on glare and give you that movie theater experience, Dark Theme turns your background dark while you’re watching YouTube. It’s available on desktop, iOS and now rolling out to Android. 
  • Pick your pace:Speed up or slow down the playback of a video by tapping on the three dots at the bottom right of any video. 
  • Take a shortcut:While watching a YouTube video, use the numbered keys to seek in a video. For example, hitting “2” will take you 20 percent into the video, “6” will take you to 60 percent into the video, “0” will restart the video. 
Brian Marquardt, Director of Product Management


Gmail

  • The ultimate to-do list: Open Tasks in your side panel within Gmail, then drag and drop emails to turn your messages into action items. 
  • Shhhh:Declutter your inbox with Gmail’s mute feature, which pushes the entire conversation to your archive and any future conversations on the thread bypass your inbox to be automatically archived as well. 
  • Take it back:Don’t fret over embarrassing typos, unintentional reply-alls, or other email taboos. In your Gmail settings, just implement a 5-30 second cancellation period on your sent emails and once you’ve fired one off, you’ll receive a prompt to “Undo.”

Kevin Smilak, Engineering Director


Google Drive

  • Give your docs a gold star:Find your favorite Drive items by starring your most important docs within the Drive main menu, and then bookmarking your Starred page. 
  • File_name_V2:Freeze moments in time by naming different versions of the docs you edit frequently. In a Doc, Sheet, or Slides go to File > Version History > Name current version. Name any version then access it easily from "Version history" by name. 
  • Your search is our command:Google Drive makes the text within all of the images and PDFs you upload searchable. Try searching for a phrase that you know is inside a picture or PDF, which is especially helpful when you can’t remember your filename. 
Alexander Vogenthaler, Director of Product Management


Android

  • Lost and found:If you’ve misplaced your Android phone, Find My Device lets you locate it by signing into your Google account. Or you can call it directly from a browser by typing “find my device” on Google. Lock your phone remotely or display a message on the lock screen, so if someone finds it they know who to contact. If you’re convinced it’s lost for good, you can erase all your data.
  • Always reachable:Don’t miss any urgent phone calls and messages from important contacts like close family members or your child’s school, even when you have Do Not Disturb turned on. Just add a star to people that matter to you, and then allow calls and messages from “starred contacts only” in Do Not Disturb settings. 
  • Use your voice:You can ask your Google Assistant to handle tasks on your Android phone (running Android 6.0 Marshmallow or later). Start by saying “OK Google,” then try “take a screenshot,” “turn on flashlight,” or “open WiFi setting.” You can even ask to “take a selfie”—this will open the camera app and start a countdown. Cheeeeeeeese. 
Sagar Kamdar, Director of Product Management


Google Play

  • When you’re good with faces, but not names:Just hit pause on your movie, tap the circle around the actor or actress's face, and learn more about them and what other movies they’ve been in.
  • Read like a superhero: When you’re reading a comic on your phone, tap on a voice bubble and use your volume buttons to zoom in on the dialogue between two characters.
  • What you wish for:You can create a wishlist to keep track of items you want to install or purchase on Google Play.
Kara Bailey, Global Merchandising Director


Chrome

  • Access history across devices:Open Chrome and click on “History.” From the drop down menu, click “Full History” and “Tabs From Other Devices.” If you’re signed into the same Google account on both your phone and your computer, you’ll see the article you were just about to finish on your way into work.
  • Keeping tabs on your tabs:You can save eight days of time per year using keyboard shortcuts. Try this one in Chrome: jump between tabs at light speed by pressing Ctrl and the tab number you want to go to (i.e., Ctrl+1, Ctrl+2, Ctrl+3).
  • 👀☝😀 = 🎉. Right-click in any text field for a shortcut to access emoji on any platform Chrome can be found.
Ellie Powers, Group Product Manager, and Chris Beckmann, Product Management Director 

So many tips, so much saved time.

Source: Gmail Blog


Try AdWords & Google Ads API Web Navi

Have you ever wanted to see the AdWords API and Google Ads API services or reference pages relevant to the new Google Ads experience web page you’re browsing? Now you can easily do so by using our new Chrome extension, the AdWords & Google Ads API Web Navi!

How does it work?
The tool shows the AdWords API and Google Ads API resources (e.g., guides, service reference pages, report references) related to the web page of the new Google Ads experience you are visiting. Just choose the tab for the API of interest to view the relevant resources.

For example, in the animation below, a user has clicked on the extension’s icon while browsing the Ad groups page of the new Google Ads experience. The extension then shows some relevant resources for the AdWords API, e.g., Objects, Methods, and Services, AdGroupService, and Adgroup Performance Report. When the user clicks on the Google Ads API (Beta) tab, its resources are shown instead.

Below are the screenshots of both tabs:
The AdWords API Resources The Google Ads API Resources


Resources in each tab are divided into sections — Guides, Services, and Reports for the AdWords API, and Guides, Services, and Fields for the Google Ads API.

In each AdWords API and Google Ads API release, we will update the tool to reflect the addition, update, and deletion of resources. Note that for services, the tool always shows the latest version of the API.

If you have any questions or comments, please post on our forum or add your comments directly in the Reviews tab of the extension page.

Gmail Offline Chrome app to be removed later this year

We’ve heard from customers that they want to use the same Gmail app whether they’re online or off. Our new offline feature makes that possible, allowing you to search, write, delete, and archive up to 90 days of messages, even when you don’t have an internet connection.

This native capability is easier to use and performs better than the Gmail Offline Chrome app, so we’re removing it from the Chrome Web Store after December 3rd, 2018. This is part of our ongoing effort to move Chrome apps to the web.

In preparation, we recommend that affected G Suite admins who want to preserve offline access enable Gmail web offline for their domains and then encourage their users to do the following:

  1. Enable Gmail offline in their individual settings.
  2. Uninstall the Gmail Offline Chrome app.

To access Gmail while they’re offline, users should simply navigate to mail.google.com in a Chrome browser (v61 or higher).

Please note that you can only use the native Gmail offline feature in the new Gmail.

More Information
G Suite Updates blog: Work offline in the new Gmail
Help Center: Work offline in Gmail
Help Center: Use Gmail offline

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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


Optimistic dissatisfaction with the status quo of security

This article is a condensed version of a keynote speech Parisa gave at Black Hat Conferenceon July 8, 2018.

As I kid, I used to spend hours at the arcade playing whack-a-mole. With a toy mallet in hand, I’d smash as many plastic moles as possible. But the more moles I whacked, the faster they popped up out of their holes.

I haven’t played this arcade game in years, but there have been times when my career in computer security felt like a reality version of whack-a-mole. Computer security issues are emerging at a quickening pace, and everyone’s energy is spent knocking out the same problems over and over and over.

We have to stop taking a whack-a-mole approach to security. Instead, we need to focus our energy on tackling the root causes of bad security, strategically investing in long-arc defense projects, and building out our coalitions beyond security experts.

Tackle the root cause

As the world becomes more dependent on safe and reliable technology, we can no longer be satisfied with isolated security fixes. Instead, we need to identify and tackle the underlying causes of bad security—whether they’re structural, organizational or technical.

Project Zero, a team that formed at Google in 2014, aims to advance the understanding of offensive security and improve defensive strategies. Over the past four years, the team has reported more than 1,400 vulnerabilities in a variety of targets, including operating systems, browsers, antivirus software, password managers, hardware and other popular software. But what's more impressive than that number is the impact we’re seeing across industry in terms of tackling the root causes of bad security.

In the case of Project Zero, the team recognized that vendor response times for fixing critical security reports varied hugely, and it often didn’t tip in favor of the people using the technology. Unfortunately, software vendors don’t always have incentives aligned that prioritize security. To address that underlying problem, Project Zero introduced a consistent 90-day disclosure policy that removed the historical, time-consuming negotiation between security researchers and vendors.

Initially, this deadline-driven approach was controversial. It caused short-term pain for organizations that needed to make structural changes. But sticking to this approach resulted in  vendors investing more in solving root problems that, for whatever reason, weren’t previously addressed. Since the introduction of the deadline-driven disclosure policy, one large vendor doubled the number of security updates released each year, and another vendor improved response time by 40 percent. When it came to the controversial deadline, 98 percent of the security issues Project Zero reported have been fixed within 90 days, up from 25 percent.

Through all of this, Project Zero worked in the open to advance the public’s understanding of exploitation techniques. Ultimately, the team recognized that one individual security researcher isn’t likely to change the behavior of a large vendor, but a larger public response can. The team sought out opportunities for collaboration with other vendors, and people came together, both inside and outside the walls of Google, to analyze and build defenses against exploits discovered in the wild.

Solving the root problems—especially in today’s distraction-driven environments—isn’t always the fastest or easiest route to take, but it builds a foundation for a more secure future.

Celebrate milestones to make progress on strategic projects

To make real security change, we need to commit to long-arc defense efforts, no matter how complex they may be or how long they take to complete. Maintaining momentum for these projects requires strategically picking milestones, communicating them repeatedly and celebrating progress along the way.

In 2014, the Chrome team set out on a mission to drive the adoption of HTTPS on the open web. We wanted the web to be secure by default, instead of opt-in secure. We also wanted to address confusion in our existing network security indicators; users weren’t perceiving the risk of HTTP connections given our lack of a warning. We knew this project would take many years to complete because of the complexity of the web ecosystem and the associated risk of making big changes to browser security warnings.

It's important to remember that nobody owns the web. It’s an open ecosystem of multiple players, each with different incentives and constraints—so projects of this magnitude require wrangling a lot of moving parts. To avoid creating warning fatigue and confusion about the web, we set strategic milestones over a long period and share them publicly.

My job as a manager was to make sure my team believed change was possible and that they stayed optimistic over the entire course of the project. We shared a comprehensive step-by-step strategy and published the plan on our developer wiki for feedback. Our milestone-based plan started out simple and increasingly upped the pressure over time. Internally, we found fun and inexpensive ways to keep team morale high. We kicked off a brainstorming day with a poetry slam—finger snapping included! We made celebratory HTTPS cakes, pies and cookies. We also had a team chat to share updates, challenges and a lot of GIFs.

https cake

Building momentum externally was equally important. When sites made the switch to the more secure HTTPS, we celebrated with the broader community—usually via Twitter. And we published a transparency report that shed light on top sites and their HTTPS status. Hooray for openness!

Since our official announcement of these changes, HTTPS usage has made incredible progress. The web is ultimately more secure today because of a loose coalition of people who were able to stay committed to seeing a long, ambitious project all the way through. Which brings me to my third point...

Build a coalition

As we proactively invest in ambitious defense projects where the benefits aren’t immediately clear, we need to build a strong coalition of champions and supporters.

In 2012, the Chrome team started its Site Isolation effort, a project that mitigated the risk of cross-site data theft on the web. The project turned out to be the largest architecture change and code refactor in the history of Chrome! This was no small task considering Chrome is 10 years old, has more than 10 million lines of C++ code and has hundreds of engineers committing hundreds of changes each day from around the world. The core Site Isolation team was made up of only around 10 people, so building a strong coalition of support for the project outside of the team was critical for its success.

Originally, we thought this project would take a year to complete. Turns out we were off by more than a factor of five! Estimation mistakes like this tend to put a bullseye on a project’s back from upper management—and with good reason. Luckily, the team regularly articulated progress to me and the reasons why it was more work than first anticipated. They also demonstrated positive impact in terms of overall Chrome code health, which benefited other parts of Chrome. That gave me additional cover to defend the project and communicate its value to senior stakeholders over the years.

Aside from management, the team needed allies from partner teams. If other Chrome team members weren’t motivated to help or didn’t respond quickly to questions, emails and code reviews, then this 10-person project could have dragged on forever. The team kept a positive attitude and went out of their way to help others, even if it didn't relate directly to their own project. Ultimately, they conducted themselves as good citizens to build a community of support—a good lesson for all of us. We might be able to find the problems and technical solutions on our own, but we rely on everyone working on technology to help clear the path to a safer future.

We’ll keep finding complex problems to solve as technology evolves, but I’m optimistic that we can continue to keep people safe. It just requires a little bit of change. We need to take a different approach to computer security that doesn’t feel like playing whack-o-mole. So let’s band together—inside and outside of our organizations—and commit to ambitious projects that solve the root problems. And let’s not forget to celebrate our wins along the way! 🎉

Source: Google Chrome


As the Chrome dino runs, we caught up with the Googlers who built it

We’ve all been there: you’re trying to load a news article, urgent email, or video when you suddenly lose internet access, either from slow network performance or spotty Wi-Fi. A few years back, the Chrome team realized that downtime doesn’t have to be a downer. "There's nothing fun about getting kicked offline—unless you have a friendly T-Rex to keep you company, that is," explains Chrome UX engineer Edward Jung on the motivation behind Chrome’s offline Dino game. The hidden game shows itself on the new tab page when Chrome users find themselves offline—press the spacebar, and the dino turns into a runner game.

dino gif


The running T-Rex made its debut on Chrome four years ago. On the occasion of Chrome’s 10th birthday this week, we sat down with its creators from the Chrome Design team—Edward, as well as Sebastien Gabriel and Alan Bettes—to learn more about the dinosaur’s journey from the Cretaceous period to the modern browser.

How did you come up with the idea of running T-Rex?

Sebastien: The idea of “an endless runner” as an easter egg within the “you-are-offline” page was born in early 2014. It’s a play on going back to the “prehistoric age” when you had no Wi‑Fi. The cacti and desert setting were part of the first iteration of the “you-are-offline” page, while the visual style is a nod to our tradition of pixel-art style in Chrome’s error illustrations.

bolan

First design iterations of the dino character, code name Project Bolan (if you get that reference, we’ll strike a gong in your honor).

Alan: The only restriction we placed on ourselves was to keep the motion rigid, reminiscent of vintage video games. At the beginning we thought, “What if it did a cute little kick in the beginning like our favorite 90’s hedgehog? What if it roared to signal to people that it was alive?” But in the end, we settled on the basics of any good runner game: run, duck and jump.

dino roar

One of the original ideas: Roaring dino

The new easter egg was submitted in September 2014, under the guise of a page redesign. How did the launch go?

Edward: It was the first time I'd written a game, so I had a lot to figure out—jump physics, collision detection, and cross-platform compatibility. The first iteration played terribly on older Android devices, so I ended up having to rewrite the whole thing. But by December 2014, the game had scaled to all platforms.

We can imagine that the Chrome Dino got quite popular.

Edward: Yes! There are currently 270 million games played every month, both on laptop and mobile. Not surprisingly, most users come from markets with unreliable or expensive mobile data, like India, Brazil, Mexico, or Indonesia.

It also got to the point where we had to give enterprise admins a way to disable the game because school kids—and even adults who were supposed to be working—really got into it.

Sebastien: We also created the chrome://dino URL, where folks can play the game without going offline. The page offers an “arcade mode” so players can train for the best results in a full-window experience.  

dino

The dino has become the Chrome team's internal mascot. This is just a fraction of the Dino swag you might spot on Google's campus.

You currently have a special edition of the game out. Can you tell us more about that?

Alan: Over the years, the game got a few upgrades, like pterodactyls and night mode. The latest one rolled out this week: a special “anniversary edition” for Chrome’s 10th birthday. Look out for cake, balloons, and a fancy birthday hat.

What flavor is the cake?

Alan: Edward is actually an amateur baker, so he decided on a classic vanilla birthday cake. If our dino is going to be eating this millions of times over, it should taste good!

dino bday

The “birthday edition” dino was happy to have a costume change for the 10th anniversary.

How long does it take to beat the game?

Edward: We built it to max out at approximately 17 million years, the same amount of time that the T-rex was alive on Earth… but we feel like your spacebar may not be the same afterwards.

Source: Google Chrome