Friday, 11 June 2010

The new apps-integrated Chrome home screen

As always, DomainRange have the latest on how the newly launched Apps for Google Chrome are going to integrate into the current New Tab page in the future might be interested by the attached screenshot. This is the latest Chromium build manages showing both sets of icons.

Nothing ground breaking, but definitely interesting! Seems very promising for the future of a web based OS... Now how long until they're bullied into supporting folders of applications or multiple home screens... hmm...

Anyone interested can try out the setup for themselves by following the instructions here.

ChromeOS Early Screenshots

This is basically for all the geeks out there who can't help but speculate over ChromeOS features. I've been doing lots of digging into the latest ChromeOS and Chrome developments lately. Here are some of the more interesting screenshots I've found.

Image 1 is the first thing a user will see when they start up a ChromeOS machine for the first time.

Image 2 is the new login screen for ChromeOS that will be used to select which user to login as. After logging in I believe you'll be restored with all of your tabs/extensions/bookmarks just where you were when you left off on any other ChromeOS device.

Image 3 is one of the ways ChromeOS will support switching tabs (possibly windows too, I'm unsure).

Credit for the 3rd image goes to the GoogleOperatingSystem blog which is definitely worth taking a look at!

Thursday, 20 May 2010

New parts of the Chrome UI now visible, hinting at ChromeOS UI features

Installable applications for Chrome landed in Chrome Dev and Chromium earlier today, and have made it now is possible to expose the new Panels UI as well as a different style of Window built into Chrome. These new UI features give large hints towards how the ChromeOS UI may appear.

Here are the 2 new modes for viewing a webpage (in the new App mode). Notice how both the Panel and the new Window don't show the URL bar. Also, in the new window option, the tab is shown, but if you attempt to open a new tab in this window, it will open in the old window, not within the new App. I'm using a Flash chess game as the example below.

New Panel UI:

New Window UI:

Boring old "I-opened-this-like-any-other-link" UI:

If you have any ideas about how these will fit into ChromeOS (particularily the new window, as we've seen panels demoed as part of ChromeOS already), lets hear about it in the comments section!

First Suite of Chrome Applications Available

As I said in my last post, I'm excited Chromium now supports applications installable straight into the start page. Here are the first things you must do to be able to run these applications, then simply chose some to try from below!
  1. To enable Chrome to run apps, simply right click on your shortcut and edit it to have the following properties: "chrome.exe --enable-apps ", then close and re-open Chrome.
Now simply click on one of the below icons to install the application for it!

Update: The Chess app is now an offline application. Try installing it and then turning off internet! Great example of how apps will work in Chrome OS without internet connections.

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

First Chrome Application Ready for Trying

Update (06/06/2011): This guide is now out of date, refer to the Chrome Web Store for chrome apps you can now use!

Following the recent announcement of Chromium supporting 'Installable Web-Apps," here is a guide to try them out before the launch of the official app store.

I have attached to this post a demo of Spark Chess wrapped as a web app, simply following the following instructions to try it out:
  1. Start Chrome with the ---enable-apps flag (right click on your shortcut and edit the link it to have read as follows: "chrome.exe --enable-apps")
  2. Click here in Chrome to install the app!
  3. BONUS: If you want to try out some other applications, I've written another blog post with more links to try out here.
Good luck! Post if you had any problems or thoughts in the comments.

Edit (20/05/2010): Thanks DownloadSquad for writing about and linking back to this page. You can read the article they wrote here.
Edit (21/05/2010): Updated to the correct flag.
Edit (25/05/2010): Updated to the correct flag (it seems to change every build atm).
Edit (13/12/2010): Removed the app since manifest details have changed it no longer installs and this guide is all out of date now, refer to the Chrome Web Store for apps now.