Chrome’s Latest Updates Include New “OK Google” Voice Search Capabilities

OK Google Chrome Extension Earlier this week, Google released new updates for Chrome OS devices, including new "hotwording" capabilities. According to the announcement, the "Okay Google" voice search is now available on Chrome's New Tab Page and (the US version only). Darrell Etherington reported on TechCrunch that the new "Okay Google" voice search for Chrome works automatically, without requiring the user to click or do any other input prompts: Users will need to enable it once and provide Chrome permission to user their computer’s mic if they haven’t already, but after that, it’s as simple as [...]

Chrome Getting Closer To Releasing New Tab Page

google-chrome-logo It looks like Chrome's New Tab Page (NTP) may be available to everyone soon. While an experimental version was launched last December to a small selection of users, Chrome announced yesterday that they are continuing to test the new feature, and extending the number of beta users. In their continued quest to speed up search and reduce the average time from query to answer, Chrome also reminded developers that the experimental feature includes open APIs, making it possible for a user to add a search box to their default search provider or customize the new tab page. [...]

Google Voice Search Coming To iOS, Chrome For Android Gets An Update

Google released a couple of new UI features with the latest Chrome update for Android yesterday and announced that voice search will be coming to Chrome for iOS "soon". Android Updates With the Android update, the long search URL box is gone and search queries in Chrome display in the omnibox. And now, while browsing, webpages show in full screen; the top toolbar disappears when you scroll down to give more real estate to the webpage itself. Scroll back up to the top of the page, and the toolbar will reappear. Voice Search Coming To Chrome iOS Voice search made a big splash at Googl [...]

A Look Inside Google’s London Store

google-store-featured Dan Barker posted 14 images of the first Google Store that launched in London last week. Here are some pictures shared by Dan of Google's first retail store, named Chromezone, which he's given us permission to reprint: [...]

Chromezone: Google Opens A Retail Store In London

google-g-logo Years from now, when we're comparing the number of Google, Apple and Microsoft branded stores around the world, let's remember that, for Google, it all began in late September 2011 with a small retail mini-store in London. According to the Evening Standard, Google's mini-store is called "Chromezone" and is located inside a PC World store. It's only 285 square feet and sells Google Chromebook computers along with related accessories. In the article, Google UK head of consumer marketing Arvind Desikan says that the mini-store is just the start of Google's retail plans. It is our first f [...]

Google Makes Chromebooks More Useful With Offline Access

Google Chromebooks are great -- unless you don't have an internet connection; then they're essentially useless. (Other colorful descriptors I've heard include "suck," "blow," "fail" and so on). Now Google is taking steps to address the problem with offline access to Gmail and, very soon, Calendar and, most importantly, Docs. According to the Gmail blog: Gmail Offline is a Chrome Web Store app that’s intended for situations when you need to read, respond to, organize and archive email without an internet connection. This HTML5-powered app is based on the Gmail web app for tablets, which w [...]

Google And Virgin Air Offer Clever Chromebook Promo

Google and Virgin America have teamed up in a clever Chromebook promotion that will benefit both brands. The airline sent out an email this morning that offers a free Chromebook test drive, "From July 1 to September 30 . . . on select flights from San Francisco, Dallas-Fort Worth, Boston, and Chicago, exclusively on Virgin America." This helps give users hands-on access to Google's PC alternative (an iPad with a keyboard) and it helps Virgin further brand itself as the coolest of domestic carriers (with WiFi on every flight). I suspect this will prompt a few flyers to switch from a dreary [...]

Is Chromebook Google’s True iPad Competitor?

Having used the Samsung 10.1 Android tablet (running Honeycomb) for a number of weeks I can tell you conclusively that it doesn't compete with the iPad. While the hardware is light and generally well designed, the overall software experience falls well short of the standard the iPad has established. An Unintentional iPad Competitor? Enter Google's Chromebook: is this Google's true competitor to the iPad? Chromebook is certainly not positioned as a tablet competitor or alternative. But it may turn out that way for some people in the market for a second (or third) computer. There are a fair [...]

Chromebook Day: You Can Finally Buy A Google Chrome OS Computer (Sort Of)

chromebooks Two and a half years after Chrome OS was first announced, Google's Chromebook computers are finally hitting the stores, where consumers will decide if they're going to be a hit or a miss. Here's a look at "Chromebook Day." Finally, Chromebooks Arrive Back on November 19, 2009, Google unveiled its plans for a new computer operating system, Chrome OS. Just over a year later, on December 7, 2010, actual Chrome OS laptops were made available in limited numbers through a special program for early adopters. Polished, consumer-ready versions dubbed "Chromebooks" weren't available for purchase [...]

Does Gilt Sellout Bode Well For Google Chromebooks?

Yesterday members-only site Gilt offered an invitation only one-day sale on a "limited edition" version of the forthcoming Samsung "Series 5" Chromebook -- and reportedly sold out of it. The notebook will officially go on sale on June 15th. The model being sold by Gilt was the $499 3G version. The WiFi-only version is $429. It's not clear how many Chromebooks were sold yesterday. However the novel introduction of the device on Gilt served to both create an aura of exclusivity around Chromebooks -- Gilt discounts and sells designer products -- and generate considerable buzz and coverage. [...]

Google Chromebooks Out June 15, $349 For Consumers, $20-$28 Monthly For Educators/Business

google-chromebooks-featured At long last, the Google Chrome OS operating system is going prime time against Windows and Mac computers. On June 15, consumers can by them for a flat rate. Those in education and business have intriguing monthly payment options. Google shared details at its Googe I/O conference today, as well as in a blog post and in related information now online, including a new Chromebook site complete with an overview video of the product: [youtube width="560" height="349"][/youtube] Consumer Machines Amazon and Best Buy will begin selling Chromebooks to [...]

Handicapping the Chrome OS-Android “Rivalry”

Android is a monster success -- much more successful than most would have predicted at the outset -- while its sibling Chrome OS is just now getting its opportunity to prove itself. The use of Android as the OS for Google TV suggested to many that Chrome's days were numbered. TechCrunch pointed out that GMail creator and former Facebook employee Paul Buchheit predicts the merger of the two operating systems or the outright demise of Chrome OS next year. Because their dual existence is a bit confusing to the market, Google co-founder Sergey Brin previously said that Chrome and Android wi [...]

Q&A: Google’s Sengupta On The Chrome OS Cr-48 Laptop

Yesterday, after writing my review of the Google Chrome OS Cr-48 notebook, I had a chance to catch up with Google product management director Caesar Sengupta about the machine. Below, answers to question like dealing with external monitors to whether Google really believes this can replace current computers. Yes, it does. If you use the VGA output, that seems to turn off the internal display correct? Yes. Will things change in the future, where you can have a virtual or extended desktop that stretches to an external monitor? I don't know about virtual desktops, but definitely the s [...]

First Day Review: The Google Chrome OS Cr-48 Notebook

My Google Chrome Cr-48 notebook has just arrived. For my first day with it, I decided a good torture test would be to unplug my Windows 7 machine and see how the Google laptop worked in its place. Let's go! Chrome, Chromium & What Is The Cr-48? Before I dive in, some background about the computer. Let's start with Chrome. That's Google's web browser, which was launched back in September 2008. If you're unfamiliar with it, it's a browser just like Internet Explorer or Firefox. Google released its own browser saying it hoped that it would help keep the web browser space competitive and bet [...]

Could Google’s ChromeBooks Succeed In The Enterprise?

A couple of weeks ago I wrote that Google may have missed its "window" for Chrome OS netbooks (pun intended). That was based on my prior understanding of ChomeBooks as an affordable "second computer" aimed chiefly at consumers. This is generally how Google had positioned the devices a year ago. My thesis going in was that tablets have now taken that "second computer" market away -- so unless they were really affordable consumers might not be interested in Chrome computers anymore. But yesterday's quasi-launch event for the Chrome "notebook" -- the term "netbook" didn't make an appearance -- [...]

It’s Alive: The Google Chrome OS Notebook Launch Event

Google has announced that Chrome OS laptops are now available to consumers through a pilot program for early adopters who prove themselves to be "right" in various ways. A Chrome Web Store has also launched to allow an easier way to run web apps within the Chrome browser itself. NOTE: See First Day Review: The Google Chrome OS Cr-48 Notebook The news all came out during a special press conference and launch event that Google held today in San Francisco. Below you can watch how the information was unveiled, through my live blogging. It's 10:15 Pacific Time, event starts in about 15 min [...]

The First Google ChromeBooks May Appear This Week

Google is having a press event tomorrow and it's focused on Chrome. There will likely be discussion of the Chrome browser app store. However much more interesting is the possibility that we'll see the first Chrome OS netbooks "in the flesh," so to speak. There has been conflicting information about whether these netbooks would appear this year or next, despite the original goal of having them out "for the holidays" in 2010. However, since November 2009 when we were at the last Chrome event, the market has changed pretty radically because of the iPad and now the host of iPad challengers [...]

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