Tag Archives: Chrome

Experiment with AR and VR made for the web

Augmented and virtual reality are opening up the possibilities of how we interact with the world and information around us. WebXR brings together AR and VR on the web to make them more convenient and widely accessible.

Today on the Experiments with Google platform, we’re launching the new WebXR collection to showcase what is possible with this technology — from helpful utilities to get things done, to playful and immersive experiences:

From left to right: Sodar, Measure Up, Floom and Picturescape

Sodar helps to visualize social distancing. By activating a personal augmented reality radar from your browser, you can see what six feet (or two meters) looks like in any environment.

With Measure Up, you can calculate the length, area and volume of the things around you without using a tape measure. 

Floom is a fun new way to explore the planet, built with WebXR and Google Maps. Open your browser to tunnel through the earth and see what’s on the other side.

And coming soon, Picturescape turns your Google Photos library into an immersive gallery so you can explore your memories in augmented reality.

All you need to try these experiments is a supported Android device and the latest Chrome browser.

Check them out now and submit your own at g.co/webXR.

Source: Google Chrome


Privacy, sustainability and the importance of “and”

When other browsers started blocking third-party cookies by default, we were excited about the direction, but worried about the immediate impact. Excited because we absolutely need a more private web, and we know third-party cookies aren't the long-term answer. Worried because today many publishers rely on cookie-based advertising to support their content efforts, and we had seen that cookie blocking was already spawning privacy-invasive workarounds (such as fingerprinting) that were even worse for user privacy. Overall, we felt that blocking third-party cookies outright without viable alternatives for the ecosystem was irresponsible, and even harmful, to the free and open web we all enjoy. 

Since 2019, we’ve been working on a collaborative open-source effort — the Privacy Sandbox — to develop a set of new privacy-preserving technologies that make third-party cookies obsolete and enable publishers to keep growing their businesses and keep the web sustainable, with universal access to content. It’s a polarity to balance, but one we think is critical to keep the web open, accessible and thriving for everyone.

Today, a new piece of web technology — Federated Learning of Cohorts (FLoC) — will start to roll out as a developer origin trial in Chrome. Keeping in mind the importance of “and,” FLoC is a new approach to interest-based advertising that both improves privacy and gives publishers a tool they need for viable advertising business models. FLoC is still in development and we expect it to evolve based on input from the web community and learnings from this initial trial.

Here’s a bit more information on how FLoC currently protects your privacy:

  • You’re part of a crowd.FLoC allows you to remain anonymous as you browse across websites and also improves privacy by allowing publishers to present relevant ads to large groups (called cohorts). Cohorts are defined by similarities in browsing history, but they’re not based on who you are individually. In fact, which cohort you are in frequently changes as your browsing history changes. Of course, when you want an individual experience, you can still sign into websites and share the personal information you choose.
  • FLoC doesn’t share your browsing history with Google or anyone. With FLoC, your browser determines which cohort corresponds most closely to your recent web browsing history, grouping you with thousands of other people who have similar browsing histories. The identification number of the cohort is the only thing provided when requested by a site. This is different from third-party cookies, which allow companies to follow you individually across different sites. FLoC works on your device without your browsing history being shared. Importantly, everyone in the ads ecosystem, including Google’s own advertising products, will have the same access to FLoC.
  • Chrome browser won’t create groups that it deems sensitive. Before a cohort becomes eligible, Chrome analyzes it to see if the cohort is visiting pages with sensitive topics, such as medical websites or websites with political or religious content, at a high rate. If so, Chrome ensures that the cohort isn’t used, without learning which sensitive topics users were interested in. We have created a detailed technical paper on how this works. And of course, sites can also opt out of FLoC, meaning the browser will not include visits to that site when determining a cohort.

The initial testing of FLoC is taking place with a small percentage of users in Australia, Brazil, Canada, India, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Philippines and the U.S. We’ll expand to other regions as the trial expands globally. If you’ve chosen to block third-party cookies with the current version of Chrome, you won’t be included in these origin trials. In April, we’ll introduce a control in Chrome Settings that you can use to opt out of inclusion in FLoC and other Privacy Sandbox proposals.

To help support this important milestone we’re also launching a new site, privacysandbox.com, dedicated to our Privacy Sandbox proposals where you can find an overview of this effort, FAQs on FLoC and links to additional resources, with more content to come over time. We’ll continue to share updates as we collaborate with the broader web ecosystem. And we welcome Privacy Sandbox contributions from publishers, ad tech companies, advertisers and developers.

Local students team up to help small businesses go online

Posted by Erica Hanson, Global Program Manager, Google Developer Student Clubs

Recently young developers in Saudi Arabia from Google Developer Student Clubs, a program of university based community groups for students interested in Google technologies, came together to help local small businesses. As more companies across the globe rely on online sales, these students noticed that many of their favorite local stores did not have a presence on the web.

So to help these local shops compete, these up-and-coming developers went into the community and began running workshops to teach local store owners the basics of building a website. Inspired by Google’s fundamentals of digital marketing course, these learning sessions focused on giving small business owners basic front-end skills, while introducing them to easy to use coding tools.

Front-end skills for small business owners

Image of Chrome Devtools

The first goal of these student-run workshops was to teach local store owners the basics of building web interfaces. In particular, they focused on websites that made it easy for customers to make purchases. To do this, the students first taught store owners the basics of HTML, CSS, and JS code. Then, they showed them how to deploy Chrome DevTools, a collection of web developer tools built directly into the Google Chrome browser that allows programmers to inspect and edit HTML, CSS, and JS code to optimize user experience.

Next, the students challenged participants to put their knowledge to use by creating demos of their businesses' new websites. The young developers again used Chrome DevTools to highlight the best practices for testing the demo sites on different devices and screen sizes.

Introduction to coding toolkits

Image of demo created and maintained in workshop.

With the basics of HTML, CSS, JS code, and Chrome DevTools covered, the students also wanted to give the store owners tools to help maintain their new websites. To do this, they introduced the small businesses to three toolkits:

  1. Bootstrap, to help templatize future workflow for the websites.
  2. Codepen, to make testing new features and aspects of the websites easier.
  3. Figma, to assist in the development of initial mockups.

With these basic coding skills, access to intuitive toolkits, and completed website demos, the local businesses owners now had everything they needed to launch their sites to the public - all thanks to a few dedicated students.

Ready to join a Google Developer Student Club near you?

All over the world, students are coming together to learn programming and make a difference in their community as members of local Google Developer Student Clubs. Learn more on how to get involved in projects like this one, here.

Local students team up to help small businesses go online

Posted by Erica Hanson, Global Program Manager, Google Developer Student Clubs

Recently young developers in Saudi Arabia from Google Developer Student Clubs, a program of university based community groups for students interested in Google technologies, came together to help local small businesses. As more companies across the globe rely on online sales, these students noticed that many of their favorite local stores did not have a presence on the web.

So to help these local shops compete, these up-and-coming developers went into the community and began running workshops to teach local store owners the basics of building a website. Inspired by Google’s fundamentals of digital marketing course, these learning sessions focused on giving small business owners basic front-end skills, while introducing them to easy to use coding tools.

Front-end skills for small business owners

Image of Chrome Devtools

The first goal of these student-run workshops was to teach local store owners the basics of building web interfaces. In particular, they focused on websites that made it easy for customers to make purchases. To do this, the students first taught store owners the basics of HTML, CSS, and JS code. Then, they showed them how to deploy Chrome DevTools, a collection of web developer tools built directly into the Google Chrome browser that allows programmers to inspect and edit HTML, CSS, and JS code to optimize user experience.

Next, the students challenged participants to put their knowledge to use by creating demos of their businesses' new websites. The young developers again used Chrome DevTools to highlight the best practices for testing the demo sites on different devices and screen sizes.

Introduction to coding toolkits

Image of demo created and maintained in workshop.

With the basics of HTML, CSS, JS code, and Chrome DevTools covered, the students also wanted to give the store owners tools to help maintain their new websites. To do this, they introduced the small businesses to three toolkits:

  1. Bootstrap, to help templatize future workflow for the websites.
  2. Codepen, to make testing new features and aspects of the websites easier.
  3. Figma, to assist in the development of initial mockups.

With these basic coding skills, access to intuitive toolkits, and completed website demos, the local businesses owners now had everything they needed to launch their sites to the public - all thanks to a few dedicated students.

Ready to join a Google Developer Student Club near you?

All over the world, students are coming together to learn programming and make a difference in their community as members of local Google Developer Student Clubs. Learn more on how to get involved in projects like this one, here.

Chrome can now caption audio and video

Captions make online content more accessible. If you’re in a noisy environment, trying to keep the volume down, or are part of the 466 million people in the world who are deaf or hard of hearing, having captions lets you follow along to whatever content you are watching — whether it’s viral feta pasta videos, breaking news or a scientist discussing their latest research. 


Unfortunately, captions aren’t always available for every piece of content. Now with Live Caption on Chrome, you can automatically generate real-time captions for media with audio on your browser. It works across social and video sites, podcasts and radio content, personal video libraries (such as Google Photos), embedded video players, and most web-based video or audio chat services.

Screen recording showing the steps to turn on Live Caption feature in Chrome followed by demonstration of the feature in use to add captions to a video of a dog
10:25

Turn on Live Caption in Chrome to see captions for media with audio played in your browser window

Laura D’Aquila, a software engineer on Google Workspace who is hard of hearing, tested out the feature early on. “With Live Caption, I no longer have to miss out on watching videos because of lack of captions, and I can engage in real-life conversations with family, friends or colleagues about this content. Just recently, my coworker sent a video to our team's chat, but it was not captioned. With Live Caption I was able to follow along and share my reactions to the video with my team.” 


These captions in Chrome are created on-device, which allows the captions to appear as the content plays without ever having to leave your computer. Live Caption also works offline, so you can even caption audio and video files saved on your hard drive when you play them in Chrome.  


To turn on Live Caption in Chrome from your desktop, go to Chrome Settings, click on the Advanced section, then go to the Accessibility section. The feature currently supports English and is available globally on the latest release of Chrome on Windows, Mac and Linux devices and will be coming soon to ChromeOS. For Android devices, Live Caption is already available for any audio or video on your mobile device.

Chrome OS’s Jenn Chen on a decade of design

Ten years ago, Chrome OS principal designer Jenn Chen was hardly what you’d called a techie. “I was the last person I knew who got a smartphone,” she says, laughing. “I was a total Luddite! I didn’t want to do it!” But today, things are different — and not just for Jenn. The devices we use and how we use them have both changed dramatically over the years. “Technology plays a bigger part in our day to day,” she says. “So it’s increasingly important that we have a human, respectful approach in how we design and build products.” 

Chrome OS embraced that change, and Jenn’s seen the evolution from the inside. Originally, she was the only person on the team dedicated to Chrome OS user experience (UX) — now, she leads an entire team. We recently had the chance to talk to Jenn about a decade of Chrome OS, and what her path to design work was like. 

What kickstarted your interest in working in UX and design?

Growing up, I had a lot of different interests but never felt like they quite added up to a clear career path. I dabbled in biology because I loved marine life, read up on cognition because I was fascinated by how minds worked and even explored being a full-time pianist. One day in college, I tagged along with a friend who organized a visit to a design agency and I found it absolutely riveting. Here were different people with different professions — anthropologists, surgeons, engineers — all working together to solve a problem through a multifaceted, human-centered approach which I learned was called “design thinking.” This really sparked my interest in learning more about product design and building creative solutions to serve real user needs, which led to studying HCI (human-computer interaction) and user experience.

What’s the “movie version” of your job? How is it portrayed in pop culture, and how does that compare to reality? 

The perception is that UXers are in the lab all day, and that every user insight we learn immediately leads to a light bulb moment and design solution! There’s so much testing out ideas, learning that they won’t work and moving on — or years later, bringing that thing back and seeing there is something there, but the timing wasn't right or the tech wasn’t ready before. There’s a lot of constant failure. We designers call it “iteration,” but I think people forget that also means being wrong a lot — and being OK with being wrong, because it helps us learn. The movie version of my job glosses over all that.

Chrome OS was such a new idea. What were some of the early challenges of launching something so different?

Computers have been around much longer than Chromebooks, so people have established expectations and habits. The challenge is meaningfully rethinking what a computer can be while also meeting people where they are. I’ve been incredibly lucky to work with and learn from experts in this space as a part of the Chrome OS team and a part of the broader Google UX community.

One good example of this was that Chrome OS started out with a minimal approach when it came to task management: Users could only have full-screen windows with multiple tabs. We quickly learned that how people manage their tasks is personal, so flexibility is absolutely necessary. We introduced more window controls and tools over time. Today, we've expanded task management abilities for Desks to help people organize their apps, windows and tabs across virtual work spaces, but still benefit from a simplified, more constrained model when they only have a touchscreen handy. 

Early Chrome OS task management

Early Chrome OS task management

Chrome OS desks in 2021

Chrome OS desks in 2021

Jenn Chenn 10 years ago survey

What new launches are you excited about?

So many things! The team has been hard at work on a whole suite of features for Chrome OS’s 10th birthday. I’m really excited about the everyday efficiencies we’ve built, whether it’s helping you find that article you had open on your phone with Phone Hub or making screenshots and recordings more precise with Screen Capture — definitely things that I use daily as a designer. 

Ten years later, what keeps you interested in this work?

I came from the startup world, and to be totally honest I didn’t think I’d be at a larger company for this long. But one of the things I love about working on Chrome OS is that it’s kind of like a startup in a big company: We’ve come a long way after starting out as a little fish in this pond, there’s much more we aspire to do, and I get the huge privilege of being a part of the journey with an amazing team of people. 

What’s especially motivating for me is witnessing how computing impacts people’s economic and social mobility — whether it’s being part of the distance learning solution in a pandemic or supporting refugees in settling in to their new communities. I’m excited to see how some of the bets we’ve made play out, and to be a part of shaping the future of computing.

Create a space for yourself in Chrome

If you're one of the many families who share a computer in your home, or someone who uses their computer for both work and personal browsing, these stories may be familiar: You spent the previous day hand-picking your favorite browser colors and theme, only to discover that someone changed everything up. Or, you're trying to login to a retailer site to buy a saved pair of shoes, but autofill keeps suggesting the wrong password (your partner's, you guess?). It can be frustrating and messy, and that's why Chrome is revamping its profiles experience, making it even easier to create, customize or switch to your personal space within Chrome.

Choose the profile you want to use when you restart Chrome.

Choose the profile you want to use when you restart Chrome.

You can easily give everyone with whom you share a computer a space that’s just for them, including a color scheme and background (check out the new theme series by Black artists for inspiration), bookmarks organized just the way they want them, and their saved passwords. Also new in this update: for all those articles you want to read later, you can now add them to your reading list in Chrome on Android and desktop.

Once everyone's set up, it's easy to select the right profile for the right moment, switch to another profile as needed or instantly create a new one. Using different colors for different profiles makes it easy to distinguish them at a glance.

Customize your profile, so you easily recognize “your space”.

Customize your profile, so you easily recognize “your space”.

You can also access your Chrome profile on your other devices. Just turn on sync and get that theme you’ve selected, along with anything else you’ve saved such as your new reading list, your favorite bookmarks and your saved passwords across your devices.

We hope Chrome's new profiles experience brings you more structure and ease, and helps you better separate work from personal activities for each member of the household. Keep an eye out for these new features as they roll out on desktop over the coming weeks.

Source: Google Chrome


Create a space for yourself in Chrome

If you're one of the many families who share a computer in your home, or someone who uses their computer for both work and personal browsing, these stories may be familiar: You spent the previous day hand-picking your favorite browser colors and theme, only to discover that someone changed everything up. Or, you're trying to login to a retailer site to buy a saved pair of shoes, but autofill keeps suggesting the wrong password (your partner's, you guess?). It can be frustrating and messy, and that's why Chrome is revamping its profiles experience, making it even easier to create, customize or switch to your personal space within Chrome.

Choose the profile you want to use when you restart Chrome.

Choose the profile you want to use when you restart Chrome.

You can easily give everyone with whom you share a computer a space that’s just for them, including a color scheme and background (check out the new theme series by Black artists for inspiration), bookmarks organized just the way they want them, and their saved passwords. Also new in this update: for all those articles you want to read later, you can now add them to your reading list in Chrome on Android and desktop.

Once everyone's set up, it's easy to select the right profile for the right moment, switch to another profile as needed or instantly create a new one. Using different colors for different profiles makes it easy to distinguish them at a glance.

Customize your profile, so you easily recognize “your space”.

Customize your profile, so you easily recognize “your space”.

You can also access your Chrome profile on your other devices. Just turn on sync and get that theme you’ve selected, along with anything else you’ve saved such as your new reading list, your favorite bookmarks and your saved passwords across your devices.

We hope Chrome's new profiles experience brings you more structure and ease, and helps you better separate work from personal activities for each member of the household. Keep an eye out for these new features as they roll out on desktop over the coming weeks.

Source: Google Chrome


Celebrate Black creative visions with Chrome

This Black History Month, the Chrome team is showcasing exciting new work by Black artists in a collection of themes that let you customize the look of your browser.

We commissioned six contemporary artists and invited them to turn Chrome into their canvas. Working in different mediums and bringing different points of view, each artist has presented their interpretation of the ways people use Chrome: finding new knowledge, connecting with each other, exploring our world and taking action towards our goals.

Our design team crafted themes around their work to fuse them seamlessly into Chrome, coordinating the colors of your tabs and making sure the work looks great on all types of laptop and desktop screens.

We drew inspiration from the #drawingwhileblack hashtag, organized by featured artist Abelle Hayford, as well as from the many artists who have used their talents to advance the call for justice and give us visions of a better future. We hope these themes help you discover new artists, and bring you energy and joy throughout your day as you go to new places through art. 

Browse all 24 themes in the collection on the Chrome Web Store, and read on to hear from the artists:


Extending enterprise zero trust models to the web

For over a decade, Chrome has been committed to advancing security on the web, and we’re proud of the end-user and customer safety improvements we’ve delivered over the years. We take our responsibility seriously, and we continue to work on ways to better protect billions of users around the world, whether it’s driving the industry towards HTTPS, introducing and then advancing the concept of a browser sandbox, improving phishing and malware detection via Safe Browsing improvements or working alongside Google’s Project Zero team to build innovative exploit mitigations. 


To continue our work of making a safer web for everyone, we’ve partnered with Google’s Cloud Security team to expand what enterprises should expect from Chrome and web security. Today the Cloud Security team is announcing BeyondCorp Enterprise, our new zero trust product offering, built around the principle of zero trust: that access must be secured, authorized and granted based on knowledge of identities and devices, and with no assumed trust in the network. With Chrome, BeyondCorp Enterprise is able to deliver customers a zero trust solution that protects data, better safeguards users against threats in real time and provides critical device information to inform access decisions, all without the need for added agents or extra software. These benefits are built right into Chrome, where users are already spending much of their workday accessing the apps and resources they need to be productive, and IT teams can easily manage these controls right through our Chrome Browser Cloud Management offering.


By extending zero trust principles to Chrome, we’re introducing the following advanced security capabilities that will help keep users and their company data safer than ever before:


Enhanced malware and phishing prevention: BeyondCorp Enterprise allows for real-time URL checks and deep scanning of files for malware.


Notification that reads "sample.zip is dangerous, so Chrome has blocked it."

Sensitive data protection across the web:IT teams can enforce a company’s customized rules for what types of data can be uploaded, downloaded or copied and pasted across sites.


Notification that reads "This file has sensitive or dangerous content. Remove this content and try again.

Visibility and insights: Organizations can get more insights into potential risks or suspicious activity through cloud-based reporting, including tracking of malicious downloads on corporate devices or employees entering passwords on known phishing sites. 


Three bar charts labeled "Chrome high risk users," "Chrome high risk domains," and "Chrome data protection summary."

Including Chrome in your zero trust strategy is critical not only because your employees spend much of the working day in the browser, but also because Chrome is in a unique position to identify and prevent threats across multiple web-based apps. Enhanced capabilities surrounding data protection and loss prevention protects organizations from both external threats and internal leak risks, many of which may be unintentional. We’ve built these capabilities into Chrome in a way that gives IT and security teams flexibility around how to configure policies and set restrictions, while also giving administrators more visibility into potentially harmful or suspicious activities. Naturally, these threat and data protections are also extended to Chrome OS devices, which offer additional proactive and built-in security protections.  


As with many of the major security advances Chrome has introduced in the past, we know it takes time to adopt new approaches. We’re here to help with a solution that is both simple and more secure for IT teams and their users. As you look at 2021 and where your security plans will take you, check out BeyondCorp Enterprise


Chrome will host a webinar on Thursday, January 28, highlighting some of our recent enterprise enhancements, and offering a preview of what’s to come in 2021. We’ll also talk more about the Chrome-specific capabilities of BeyondCorp Enterprise. We hope you can join us!

Source: Google Chrome