What Are Chrome Apps?

Chrome Apps let you use HTML5, CSS, and JavaScript to deliver an experience comparable to a native application.

Why build a Chrome App?

By building a Chrome App, as opposed to going with a traditional web app or a native mobile app, you expand your potential audience and extend your development capability.

Expand your potential audience

When you write a Chrome App, as opposed to an app that runs natively on a particular operating system, you immediately make your app available to a much wider audience.

To any desktop

Instead of writing and maintaining separate applications for Windows, OS X and Linux, you can write a single application that runs anywhere Chrome runs. This includes Windows, Linux, and OS X.

To mobile devices [via Cordova]

Using Chrome Apps for Mobile (MCA), you can deploy your applications to mobile and target hardware features only available on Android and IOS platforms.

And of course, to a Chromebook

Writing a Chrome App is the ONLY way to have your app installed on a Chromebook. Chromebooks are appealing, inexpensive, low maintenance devices that provide a full web experience.

Extend your development capability

You might be thinking, “If I write a standard web application, I can run it on any platform that has a web browser.” Of course, this is absolutely right, but remember that Chrome Apps extend your development capacity beyond what you can do with traditional web apps:

  • Chrome Apps can integrate seamlessly into the desktop and look more like desktop applications than traditional web apps.
  • Chrome Apps for Desktop have no omnibox (address bar) and tab strip like normal browser-based apps, because like native desktop apps, they don’t live in a browser.
  • The Chrome App Launcher makes it easy for users to find and start your Chrome App.
  • OS X users can use the integrated spotlight search to find and start your app.
  • Chrome Apps for Desktop can access the host computer’s file system and make use of hardware features (like USB, Bluetooth and attached human interface devices).

The best way to see what Chrome Apps look like is to install some.

Who should build Chrome Apps?

Everyone! But some sectors have a special interest in Chrome Apps.

Device manufacturersThe cross platform nature of Chrome Apps makes writing device drivers less painful. A device manufacturer only needs to write one application for configuring their device and it will run on any device.Educators

Chromebooks are an inexpensive, low-maintenance option for bringing laptops into every classroom. Chrome Apps make teaching easy with easy to install applications that run natively on Chromebooks. For example:

  • Google Classroom
  • More Teaching, Less Tech-ing

Health care providers

One pediatric service has so far saved tens of thousands of dollars using Chrome Apps on Chromebooks.

Chrome Dev Editor

Use the full featured IDE in the Chrome Dev Editor.

Google Chrome App

Google Chrome App, or commonly just Chrome App, is a web application that runs on the Google Chrome web browser. Chrome apps can be obtained from the Chrome Web Store where apps, extensions, and themes can be installed or bought. There are two types of apps, hosted and packaged, which have different locations of their executable and are targeted at different use cases.

On August 19, 2016, Google announced that it would begin phasing out Chrome Apps for Windows, Mac and Linux (both packaged and hosted) by the end of 2016, finishing the process in early 2018. The company said that such apps will, however, continue to be supported and maintained on Chrome OS “for the foreseeable future”.

On January 15, 2020 Google announced that Chrome will begin phasing out support for Chrome Apps across all operating systems starting in March 2020, with support for Chrome OS available until June 2021.

Types of apps

Chrome apps can be hosted or packaged. Hosted apps have their background web pages on a remote server and the app acts like a bookmark or shortcut; packaged apps have off-line functionality making use of local storage.

Packaged apps

Packaged apps were launched on September 5, 2013.They have features very similar to a native desktop app, namely offline capable (by default), can interact with hardware devices, and can access local storage. Packaged apps are not confined to the regular Chrome interface and can display without a classic window menu and operating system user interface elements.

Hosted apps

Hosted apps are the original type of Chrome apps. They contain a single manifest file that contains the URL and additional information about the app. Hosted apps are usually offline and are subject to regular web page security restrictions.

Google Chrome’s mobile article suggestions now 4th greatest source of referral traffic

Research by Chartbeat’s data science team reveals that Google Chrome’s Articles for You (also known as “Chrome Content Suggestions” or “Chrome Suggestions”) are one of the fastest growing sources of publisher traffic on the internet. These mobile article recommendations show up when a user opens a new tab in the Chrome app.

What does this mean for publishers?

Google Chrome’s Articles for You is an under-publicized feature of Chrome on both Android and iOS. Even though Chartbeat is currently only tracking Articles for You referrals from Android and not from iOS, its Android referrals alone are now about two-thirds the size of all of Twitter (desktop, Android, iOS) in terms of the volume of traffic sent.

Articles for You traffic grew an astounding 2,100 percent in 2017 — from driving 15 million visits per month to publishers using Chartbeat to 341 million visits per month.

Under The Hood

How? There are a number of factors at play here:

  1. Mobile traffic continues to grow as users transition away from desktop to mobile devices. Since January 2017, mobile web traffic to Chartbeat clients has grown over 20 percent, reflecting just how much more time users are spending on their mobile devices.
  2. Articles for You is also a default on the most popular browser in the world. Chrome users contribute 44 percent of the overall traffic to Chartbeat clients and 42 percent of the mobile traffic.
  3. A default on Chrome is a great place to capture user attention. Articles for You is on every single “new tab” page in each mobile Chrome Browser and accounts for roughly 12 percent of site visits on Android Chrome as per Chartbeat’s March data.
  4. Further, Articles for You surfaces predominantly AMP pages (72 percent are AMP), where visitors are 35 percent more engaged than on the standard mobile web.

This speaks to the incredible power and influence that Google has over a user’s browsing behavior and, consequently, publisher traffic. Once a user has chosen Chrome as her browser, Articles for You is almost unavoidable. It is placed prominently within a user’s mobile experience, personalized with the immense knowledge that Google has about one’s browsing behavior and interests and frequently boosted by the speed of AMP.

Who’s driving?

Although Articles for You is programmatically driven, the user does have some control over its recommendations. Articles for You takes a user’s browsing behavior from here and turns it into personalized content recommendations. Users can delete specific Chrome visits from their history and they won’t factor into the recommendations. iOS users can turn it off completely; Android users cannot.

One thing that is unclear is how, if at all, publishers can take advantage of this new Google traffic source. Since Google’s mission is to “organize the world’s information and make it accessible and useful,” it has been very proactive in giving publishers clear and (relatively) well documented policies on more “traditional” Google traffic sources like Search or Google News. Those policies have spawned agencies, consultants, and other experts both inside and outside of publishers that help drive results.

Traffic signals

The signals that drive Articles for You are much less clear. Other than what appears to be a preference for articles that have adopted the AMP format, how exactly are the selections made?

How does my browsing history affect what I see? If I read about Marine Le Pen on an American news site, will I suddenly start seeing more articles about Marine Le Pen, about right-wing European parties, from right-wing American sites? From French sites?

Are all Google-crawled pages considered? Is it just a subset (perhaps the Google News corpus of whitelisted sites?). What factors (authenticity, reliability, pageload speed) drive a ranking? In short, how does Articles for You work?

I would encourage Google to reveal some of these answers to the publisher ecosystem. When Articles for You was an insignificant source and a curiosity, this was not necessary. But now that it is meaningful as a referrer source to many publishers, it is in both Google’s and publishers’ interests to understand how to make sense of this traffic. Are these users a potential new source of brand loyalists? Or are they just fly-by users who boost short-term traffic, but don’t return or subscribe? More deeply understanding Articles for You is one of the next things on Chartbeat’s research agenda.

As always, we want to hear from you. Have you seen an uptick in this traffic? How are you thinking about it? I’m always available on Twitter @saroff_nyc and our Data team can be reached at insights@chartbeat.com.

How to hide suggested articles in Chrome on your smartphone

Chrome is one of the most popular web browsers out there right now and is also available across multiple platforms — Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android. However, there are some features that are not liked by everyone such as Suggested Articles.

If you are one of those who don’t find that feature useful and clutters the whole interface, here’s something useful for you. You can hide the suggested articles section from Chrome on your smartphone, offering you a cleaner interface.

Disable Article Suggestions in Chrome on iOS

  • Open the Chrome app on your iPhone or iPad
  • Tap on the three horizontal dots at the bottom of the screen
  • From there, choose Settings in the menu
  • Now, turn off the toggle switch for Article Suggestions
  • After that, make sure to tap on Done at the top right corner

Turn off Suggested Articles in Chrome on Android

  • Open Chrome app on your smartphone
  • In the address bar, enter chrome://flags and hit Return/Go
  • Type in #enable-ntp-remote-suggestions into the search bar
  • Now, tap on the drop-down menu under the Show Server-Side Suggestions
  • After that, choose Disabled
  • Finally, click on Relaunch Now to apply the changes

Chrome will now reboot and when it opens up, changes will be in effect. Now, you won’t see those unwanted articles all over the place when you start the Chrome browser.

How to recover deleted photos and video from Google Photos

Google Photos is one of the best free photo backup service available in the market. But what if you accidentally deleted a photo or video from the library and now want to recover it? Well, there’s a way to do that as well.

When you delete a photo or video file from Google Photos, it automatically gets stored in the Trash or Bin folder. From there, you are recover the files that have been deleted. So, here’s a guide showing you a step-by-step process to recover deleted files from Google Photos using its mobile app and website.

How to recover deleted photos from Google Photos via mobile

  • First of all, open Google Photos application on your Android smartphone and tap the hamburger icon from the top-left corner and select Trash.
  • Now, select the photos you want to restore by long-pressing on them. If you are using iPhone, tap the horizontal three-dot icon from the top-right and tap Select to choose photos.
  • Once the selection process is done, tap on Restore.
  • Your photos will now automatically reappear in the photo library.

How to recover deleted Google Photos files via web

  • Open Google Photos on the web by going to https://photos.google.com/ on any of your preferred computer browser.
  • Sign in with the Google ID.
  • On the homepage, click on the hamburger icon in the top-left corner and select Trash.
  • Now, choose the photos that you want to restore.
  • Once selection is done, click on the restore button in the top-right corner.
  • All your selected photos will automatically reappear in the photo library.

It’s noteworthy that the deleted photos and videos are available for just 60 days in the Trash folder and after that, there’s no way to recover them as they get permanently deleted. So, if its been over 60 days since the file is deleted which you want to recover, there’s no way to do that.

How to group unfollow on Instagram

Instagram has a lot of active users and people usually interact on the most trending and creative posts eventually end up following the page or account the post came through. You might also have a bunch of pages following just because you saw a post saying watch the full video after following this page. Whether it’s a celebrity page, meme page, or a page on which you’re least interacting with, you might want to unfollow them to keep your Instagram feed clear.

If you are like me who follows Instagram pages especially celebrities, meme pages and unnecessary accounts that lures you to convert you into a follower and your Instagram feed is less likely to show your friends updates in the feed. In such cases, removing the unwanted following accounts is a wise option.

You have the option to group unfollow the accounts on Instagram that you have followed and not interacted with. Instagram has finally brought a feature that lets you group unfollow users with whom you have the least interaction. Before that, there was no way you could group unfollow people rather you are left with the hard work to unfollow one-by-one.

How to group unfollow on Instagram

To group unfollow people on Instagram whom you have less interacted, go to your Instagram profile and tap on Following.

From here, you can remove users whom you have not interacted with as well as those who have not followed you back.

Tap on ‘Least interacted with‘ option to remove the ones with less interaction.

Switch to the ‘Followers‘ tab and you will find ‘Accounts you don’t follow back‘ option.

Top 5 tools and services to watch media content together with your friends

Watching media content together with your family members is possible as most of the people have been staying at home with their family. However, it’s not possible to do so with friends in the current times because of social distancing.

If you are missing spending time with your friends watching movies and TV series, here’s a solution which is somewhat closer to spending time together. There are several tools out there which can help you watch content together and allow you to chat or talk during the session.

We are listing here five tools that can help you do so from a variety of platforms, including Netflix, YouTube, Facebook, Amazon Prime Video, etc.

Metastream

Metastream comes with support for a long list of online streaming services including Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, and more. It is completely free to use and the only major drawback is that there’s no support for webcam or audio chat but there’s a chatbox using which you can text your friends.

The setup for this tool is quire easy and is available for two of the major browsers — Chrome and Firefox. As said, it’s completely free to use for anyone.

Netflix Party

Ever since the COVID-19 pandemic, the tool which has been talked the most for sharing Netflix screen with others has been the Netflix Party. As the name indicates, it supports Netflix for sharing but all the participants of the session will need a separate Netflix account.

The tool is complete free to use and just like Metastream, this one too lacks support for audio chat or webcam feed. But there will be a chatbox on the right-side pane to keep you connected with the other participants of the session.

Watch2Gether

This tool supports watching content from the likes of YouTube, Vimeo, Dailymotion, and SoundCloud among others. It offers synchronised player for video and audio and also has an integrated chat room to talk with other participants.

It also come with webcam support and for content, it can be organised into playlists. The major highlight of this is that there’s no need to sign up for this or install any add-ons or extension as it works straight out of browser.

Scener

This is yet another tool that enable you to watch Netflix together with your friends. The feature that Scener offers which is missing in other such tools is the support for webcam as well as audio chat. So, you can keep commenting which watching a movie together with friends.

Once you have setup the service, you can share the link of a “private theatre” with other whom you want to invite for the session and to get started, they’ll also need to log-in to their Netflix account. It is available for free of cost in the form of Chrome extension.

Kast

This comes with support for platforms which are not supported by any of the above mentioned services — Amazon Prime Video, Hotstar, Zee5, and more. The drawback is that the free version is support by ads and for an ad-free experience, you need a Premium version that costs $5 or ₹375 per month.

Everyone needs to be on Windows or Mac, as Kast’s mobile versions don’t support video sharing for now. Also, given that it shared the screen of the user, quality may not be as good as what other similar tools offer.

Notable Mentions

There are several other similar tools and services available in the market. We are mentioned some of them here. Do have a look at them as well.

  • TowSeven
  • Vemos
  • Carcal
  • Facebook Watch Party
  • Plex VR

How to enable Windows Startup Sound in Windows 10

A lot of Windows users have started shifting to Windows 10 ever since Microsoft stopped the updates for their popular OS, Windows 7. Most of you must be aware of the fact that Windows is popular for their startup sounds but with Windows 10 the startup sound doesn’t play by default. Hence in this guide, we are going to show you how to enable startup sounds in your Windows 10 PC. Without waiting further, let’s get started.

Here’s how to enable Windows Startup Sound in Windows 10:

1) Head to the “Settings” menu from your start menu or simply press Win Key + I on your keyboard and that’ll bring it up.

2) From the Settings Menu, click on “System” and navigate to the “Sound” tab.

3) Bring up the Sound Control Panel from the Related Settings Menu. Once the sound panel is launched, click on the “Sounds” tab.

4) Under the sounds tab, check “Play Windows Startup sound” and you are ready to go. Windows will play startup sounds the next time you restart your PC.

So that’s all for this guide. For more guides like this make sure you check out our “Guides” section.

How to add custom fonts on Instagram

Instagram has made available a very few options to change fonts in the stories but no option in their posts, bio, and comments. You saw the whole Instagram follows a specific fond style even without any Bold or Italics in it. Well, there’s a trick that will help you to add a custom font in the posts, and if you always wanted to change the font, here’s what you need to do, follow this guide.

If you end up using the default Instagram fonts, here’s what you can do to change the default fonts and use the custom fonts on Instagram. Using different fonts will allow you to stand out in the crowd or at least to your followers. In this guide, you will not just be able to change the font in your stories but in the posts, comments as well as in the bio.

How to add custom fonts on Instagram

To change the font style on Instagram, follow the steps below.

Adding a custom font is easy, head over to this lingojam.com and type the text you want to share on Instagram in a different font style.

Once you type in the text, copy the new font from the right side. You will find different types of fonts whichever you want.

Now paste the font you’ve just copied to the Instagram story, bio, comments, or in post description or where you would wish it to be.

You’ve just added a new custom font on your Instagram.

That was it, let us know which font you have picked. Don’t forget to check out more guides and tutorials on How-To Guides.