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  1. Google Chrome Starts Blocking Confusing URLs Google has announced a couple of new protections for users of Chrome browser, as the company wants to lower the likelihood of users landing on phishing websites. First and foremost, the application will begin warning users when they attempt to load what is being described as a “confusing URL.” Basically, a confusing URL is considered to be a page with the address go0gle.com and which obviously tries to mimic google.com, most often as part of a phishing attack in order to steal users’ credentials. Because the number of such attempts has skyrocketed, Google Chrome now displays a new warning when users point the browser to such a confusing URL. “This new warning works by comparing the URL of the page you’re currently on to URLs of pages you’ve recently visited. If the URL looks similar, and might cause you to be confused or deceived, we’ll show a warning that helps you get back to safety,” Emily Schechter, Chrome Product Manager, explains.Hello, Suspicious Site Reporter!In addition, Google is also rolling out a new extension for Google Chrome whose role is specifically to allow power users to report domains that they think could be included in a phishing attack. Called Suspicious Site Reporter, the extension sends a specific site for review, with Google engineers to then decide whether it should be placed to the Safe Browsing list or not. “If the site is added to Safe Browsing’s lists, you’ll not only protect Chrome users, but users of other browsers and across the entire web,” Schechter notes. Both these features are available right now in the latest version of Google Chrome, so if you’ve already updated to build 75, you should be able to see the warning for confusing URLs and install the extension to report potentially dangerous websites. Source
  2. How to Enable the Dark Theme for Interstitial Warnings in Google Chrome Google has already released a dark theme in Google Chrome, allowing the browser to match the visual style of the operating system on both Windows 10 and macOS. However, while the dark theme itself is already here, there are parts of the browser that are still using the classic light theme, and this is because an application the size of Chrome can’t just be overhauled overnight with this new mode. The best example in this regard is the template used by interstitial warnings in Google Chrome, which still use the classic visual style and do not follow the dark mode in the operating system. For starters, the interstitial warnings are the messages that you get when pointing the browser to pages that are known as dangerous and could represent a threat of malware infection for users. Google Chrome thus displays a warning before these pages are loaded, making you aware of the risks but still letting you continue to the website should you want it. “When users visit a web page, browsers like Chrome check the content that’s loaded to see if any part of it is potentially dangerous. When it detects a problem, the browser shows a warning, alerting users that content from a site we’ve identified as being malicious is being loaded. In many cases, we’ll also flag the original site as malicious, which alerts the webmaster and helps to protect potential users,” Google explains. While this is a work in progress, users can already enable the dark theme in the interstitial warnings using the latest Canary build and a dedicated flag that has recently been added to the browser. The first step comes down to updating Google Chrome Canary to the latest version available right now. At the time of writing this article, the newest release is 77.0.3828.0. Then, you need to enter the advanced flags configuration screen, which is possible by clicking the omnibox (the address bar at the top) and typing the following code: chrome://flags Next, use the search box at the top to look for the following flag in Chrome Canary: Security interstitials dark mode If you just want to do the whole thing faster, copy the following code and paste it in the omnibox in Canary: chrome://flags/#security-interstitials-dark-mode The flag comes with a description that perfectly reveals its purpose: Security interstitials dark modeAllows security interstitials to take on a dark theme when the OS is switched to dark mode. – Mac, Windows, Linux, Chrome OS, Android #security-interstitials-dark-mode In the existing builds of Google Chrome Canary, the default state of this flag is disabled, so you need to click the drop-down menu next to its name and switch it to Enabled. A reboot of the browser is going to be needed in order to save the changes. When you reload the browser, interstitial warnings in Google Chrome Canary should now follow the dark theme of the operating system, obviously if enabled. If you want to activate the dark theme in Windows 10, and consequently to enable it in Google Chrome as well, you need to follow the next path: Windows 10 > Settings > Personalization > Colors > Choose your color > Dark Google doesn’t provide users with an option to use the dark theme in Chrome independently from the Windows 10 settings, so for example if you want to enable this visual style with a light theme in Windows, this isn’t possible for the time being despite user feedback calling for such a feature. Source
  3. Pin Tabs with a Drag and Drop in Google Chrome Pinning tabs is something that many users do these days when browsing the web, and a clear indicator of how popular this feature has become is nothing else than the effort developers put into improving it with every update. Google, which right now makes the number one browser on both the desktop and mobile, is looking into ways to refine the experience with pinned tabs in Chrome, and the latest Canary build provides us with a quick glimpse into how this is going to work. First of all, let me tell you that pinning tabs is something that I do every time I launch a browser, especially because I want to set aside the sites that I use most often. By pinning tabs, I can thus save my most important tabs and make sure I don’t close them by accident, while also saving space in the tab bar for other pages. Twitter, for example, is one of the sites that I always run as a pinned tab, mostly because I’m using the social network almost non-stop. To pin a tab in Google Chrome, the only thing you have to do is the following: Right-click tab > Pin tab To unpin the tab, the steps are nearly the same: Right-click pinned tab > Unpin tab But because the number of pinned tabs is increasing for Google Chrome users, which once again shows just how popular this feature really is, Google is working on introducing a new feature for the browser. Enter Drag to Modify Tab Pinnedness. Technically, this feature lets you pin and unpin a tab by simply dragging and dropping tabs from one side to the other. The first step is to pin a tab with the method mentioned above and then you can pin as many other tabs as you want by dragging them and dropping over the already-pinned tab. To unpin a tab, drag it from the left side of the screen to the region where normal tabs are normally located. It takes a while until you figure out how it works, but it’s impressive how easy it is to pin and unpin tabs this way. And for those who use to toggle a tab from one mode to another on a regular basis, such a method clearly comes in very handy. At this point, this feature is still in its early days, so it was recently introduced in the Canary version of Google Chrome. You must be running at least build 77.0.3817.0 to get this feature. First of all, you need to enter the advanced flags configuration screen in Chrome Canary by typing this in the address bar: chrome://flags In the search box at the top, type the following flag name to enable the feature: Drag to Modify Tab Pinnedness As the tab description reads: Allows users to drag tabs between pinned and unpinned tabs to modify the pinned state of the tab. – Mac, Windows, Linux, Chrome OS At this point, this flag ships as disabled, so click the drop-down menu and switch it to Enabled. Reboot the browser and then the new behavior should be activated in the browser. Needless to say, it’s important to keep in mind that this feature is still in its early days, so it could take a while until it is promoted to the stable version of Chrome browser. The next stable Chrome build is version 76 due on July 30, so Google technically has enough time to bring this feature to everyone. Source
  4. How to Disable Search Suggestions with Pictures in Google Chrome The omnibox is a top Google Chrome feature, as it allows users to perform a series of tasks by simply typing in the address bar. And these include not only searching the web or active tabs, but also shortcuts to launch settings and other features of Google Chrome. But at the same time, the omnibox has evolved over time to enhance the searching experience as well, and this isn’t at all surprising given that Google is first and foremost a search engine provider. One of the features offered as part of the search capabilities powered by the omnibox is called rich search suggestions, and it is supposed to provide certain information without you having to actually conduct the search itself. The term rich is being used for content like photos, which shows up in the suggestion for a more straight-forward approach. The best example is the name of an actor, and simply typing the first letters of their name should bring up such a rich search suggestion. The suggestion, in addition to the full name of the actor, also includes a small picture that shows the celebrity in person, pretty much to make it easier for you to get more information on the person you’re looking for without actually conducting the search. Such an approach clearly makes sense from a search perspective, but on the other hand, this isn’t necessarily the experience that everyone expects. Case in point is this redditor who just wants to search for a question on Google, but typing “will” actually suggests a search for “Will Smith” along with a photo showing the actor. And while rich search suggestions are enabled by default in Google Chrome, you can actually disable them for a standard search experience. Nevertheless, doing this isn’t necessarily straightforward because Google does not offer any dedicated options in the Settings screen to control the rich search suggestions. But you can turn them off from the flags screen. In other words, the first thing you need to do is type the following command in the omnibox in order to launch the advanced flag configuration UI: chrome://flags Next, you need to search for the flag that’s responsible for this feature. It is called: Omnibox rich entity suggestions There’s also a shortcut if you want to reach this flag faster. Copy the code below and paste it in the Chrome omnibox: chrome://flags/#omnibox-rich-entity-suggestions The description of the flag explains its purpose: “Display entity suggestions using images and an enhanced layout; showing more context and descriptive text about the entity. Has no effect unless either the #upcoming-ui-features flag is Enabled or the #top-chrome-md flag is set to Refresh or Touchable Refresh. – Mac, Windows, Linux, Chrome OS, Android” The Default state of the flag in Google Chrome means it’s enabled, so what you need to do is click the drop-down menu and switch it to Disabled. A reboot of the browser will be required after making these changes. Once you launch Chrome once again, the suggestions in the omnibox should no longer include any pictures, so what you’ll get is nothing more than a basic experience that makes everything simpler. If this is what you’re looking for, you’re in luck, albeit you should keep in mind that searching for certain keywords, like actors, won’t be as easy as before. The steps mentioned here appear to be working quite fine on the latest stable version of Chrome, but on the other hand, enabling and disabling the flag doesn’t seem to make any difference in the Canary version of the browser. Source
  5. Google Chrome Grows Bigger Despite Microsoft Building a New Browser Microsoft is currently working on its very own Chromium-based browser, but this doesn’t necessarily mean that users would stop loving Google Chrome overnight. In fact, the latest statistics provided by NetMarketShare shows that the market share of Google Chrome jumped substantially in May, and the distance between Google’s browser and Mozilla Firefox increases every month. Specifically, Google Chrome improved its market share from 65.64% in April to no less than 67.90%, and this is the highest the browser managed to go in 2019. On the other hand, all the other major browsers on the market declined during the month of May. Mozilla Firefox, for example, which is the number one rival to Google Chrome, declined from 10.23% to 9.46%, while Internet Explorer 11, which no longer receives new features but only security updates, dropped from 7.49% to 6.71%. Microsoft Edge went down as well, albeit it’s important to note that the figures here concern the stable version in Windows 10 and not the Chromium-based sibling currently in preview. The early version of the revised browser is only available on Windows 10 and macOS. The original Edge declined from 5.53% in April to 5.36% in May, despite Windows 10 actually increasing its market share. This shows that many of the users who upgrade to Windows 10 end up changing the default browser either to Google Chrome or a different app. The summary of the April 2019 vs. May 2019 browser market share stats is below: Google Chrome Firefox IE11 Microsoft Edge April 2019 65.64% 10.23% 7.49% 5.53% May 2019 67.90% ↗ 9.46% ↘ 6.71% ↘ 5.36% ↘ Microsoft hasn’t yet provided an ETA as to when the new Edge is projected to go live, but a beta build is expected later this summer on Windows 10. Source
  6. How to Remove the Latest Google Searches from the Google Chrome Address Bar Google Chrome is currently the world’s number one browser on both desktop and mobile, so every little issue can impact millions of users regardless of platform. One of the latest annoyances experienced on the desktop isn’t necessarily a bug itself, but more of a behavior that Google thought would be useful, but which ends up being rather frustrating. In the most recent Google Chrome (this tutorial is based on Chrome 74, so it exists in the latest stable version as well) the search giant changed the behavior of the address bar to also include the most recent searches for faster browser. While the Omnibox is something that’s very often super-useful, quickly loading a specific website is occasionally impossible because of this updated system that includes the latest searches. As detailed in this reddit thread, the simplest example comes down to typing the letter “R” to have Chrome auto-complete the link to reddit.com and load the website. But if you previously searched for something that starts with the same letter, such as “red,” for instance, Google overwrites your original settings, so typing “R” and pressing enter conducts a search for this keyword instead of pointing you to reddit. While at some level this makes sense because you can always head over to the last keyword you searched for, it should come with a toggle to let users disable this and stick with the URL suggestions that come in so handy. Fortunately, Google allows you to actually enable this setting, only that you must do it from the advanced flags configuration screen, as there’s no dedicated option to do the whole thing right now from Chrome’s UI. The first thing you need to do is launch the flags screen by typing the following command in the Google Chrome address bar: chrome://flags Next, you need to search for the next flag using the search box at the top: Omnibox Google Drive Document suggestions If you want to find the flag faster, you can just copy the code below and paste it in the address bar of Google Chrome: chrome://flags/#omnibox-drive-suggestions The description of the flag explains its purpose: “Display suggestions for Google Drive documents in the omnibox when Google is the default search engine. – Mac, Windows, Linux, Chrome OS” If you haven’t changed the settings of this flag, it should be set to Default, which means it’s currently enabled in Google Chrome browser. So if you want to disable the suggestions from showing up in the address bar, simply click the drop-down menu next to it and then select the Disabled option. You’re going to need to reboot Google Chrome, after which you can try out the new behavior in the address bar. If you want to return to the original configuration at a later time, it’s enough to just follow the aforementioned steps once again, only that this time you must switch the flag to either Default or Enabled. At the time of writing this article, it’s not yet known if Google wants to make the whole thing more straightforward by adding a dedicated option in a future Chrome update. However, such a setting is missing from the Canary version of the browser, which means that the company isn’t yet planning to develop it. It could end up being added to Chrome, however, depending on the feedback Google receives. The next stable version of Google Chrome is version 75, and according to the official schedule, it’s projected to go live for all users on June 4. Source
  7. Google Chrome Copies Chromium Microsoft Edge’s Settings Design The latest Google Chrome Canary update introduces a new design for the Settings screen that reminds of the one currently used in the Chromium-powered Microsoft Edge browser. By moving to the Chromium engine, Microsoft can help improve all browsers running on the same engine, not only its very own, and it looks like Google Chrome is one of the apps enjoying the benefits of this transition. The most recent change that Google is experimenting with concerns the Settings page, which no longer comes with a hamburger menu and all options placed in the middle of the screen, but with a reorganized layout previously used in Microsoft Edge. All settings categories are placed to the left of the screen in a dedicated sidebar that makes them easier to browse, and new sections inspired from Microsoft Edge, like extensions and about Chrome (which includes version information and access to the built-in update engine) are also available.Currently being tested in CanaryNeedless to say, Google Chrome is a much more advanced browser than Microsoft Edge at this point, so the menu on the left includes many more options that Microsoft’s overhauled app is yet to receive. The new design is currently up for testing in the latest version of Canary, which on my device is 76.0.3793.0. Of course, it’s very likely to make its way to the stable release of Google Chrome at some point in the future, but an ETA can’t be provided at this point. The updated settings page makes much more sense from a user perspective, especially because the experience is much more straightforward now and it’s actually easier to configure the browser. Of course, users can always turn to the search box at the top to quickly find a specific setting, but with this approach, options are grouped in categories that are overall more intuitive for the average Joe. Source
  8. Google Chrome to support same-site cookies, get anti-fingerprinting protection Google announces two new privacy-focused features for Chrome at the I/O 2019 developer conference. Image: Google // Composition: ZDNet Google plans to add support for two new privacy and security features in Chrome, namely same-site cookies and anti-fingerprinting protection. Both features have been announced today at the company's I/O 2019 developer conference, and no deadlines have been provided for when the two will hit Chrome installations in the coming year. SAME-SITE COOKIES The biggest change that Google plans to roll out is in regards to how it treats cookie files. These new controls will be based on a new IETF standard that Chrome and Mozilla developers have been working on for more than three years. This new IETF specification describes a new attribute that can be set inside HTTP headers. Called "SameSite," the attribute must be set by the website owner and should describe the situations in which a site's cookies can be loaded. A SameSite attribute of "strict" will mean the cookie can only be loaded on the "same site." Setting attributes such as "lax" or "none" will allow the cookies to be loaded on other sites as well. In layman terms, this creates a dividing line between cookies, which will become ether same-site or cross-site cookies. Google hopes that website owners will update their sites and convert old cookies that they were using for sensitive operations, such as login operations and managing per-site settings, to same-site cookies. All old cookies that don't have a SameSite header will automatically use a "none" attribute, and Chrome will consider them as cross-site --or tracking-- cookies. Google said today that it plans to add options in Chrome's setting panel so users can view "how sites are using cookies, as well as simpler controls for cross-site cookies." It is unclear if these "simpler controls" will let users block cross-site (tracking) cookies altogether, but Google promised to preview these features later this year. Firefox has added support for cross-site cookies since April 2018, with the release of Firefox 60. Chrome has supported same-site cookies since 2016, but the browser will start requiring the attribute starting later this year. As an added benefit, websites that use same-site cookies are also protected against a series of attacks, such as cross-site request forgery (CSRF) attacks. Using same-site cookies means malicious code loaded on a third-party website can't pull and read a cookie on another domain --because the "SameSite: strict" attribute in the cookie's header will block this from happening. Even if Google won't deliver on its promise to add controls to block cross-site (tracking) cookies, just by supporting the SameSite attribute, Google will greatly improve the security posture of many websites and web applications, as CRSF attacks are some of the most common today. More details about the SameSite IETF specification --currently a draft-- are available in RFC 6265, on the MDN portal, and in this introductory blog post on Google's web.dev tutorial site. ANTI-FINGERPRINTING PROTECTION But Google engineers also announced a second major new privacy feature for Chrome today at the I/O 2019 developer conference. According to Google, the company plans to add support for blocking certain types of "user fingerprinting" techniques that are being abused by online advertisers. Google didn't go into details of what types of user fingerprinting techniques it was planning to block. It is worth mentioning that there are many, which range from scanning locally installed system fonts to abusing the HTML5 canvas element, and from measuring a user's device screen size to reading locally installed extensions. The first major browser to block fingerprinting scripts/techniques was the Tor Browsers, which had to do so to prevent the deanonymization of its users. This feature was later backported back into the Firefox browser, just as Mozilla was, too, shifting to a privacy-first approach that the company set on in late 2017. Now, in a I/O conference that has centered around announcements of new privacy-focused services and features for its users, Google said that Chrome would be receiving an anti-fingerprinting feature as well. "Because fingerprinting is neither transparent nor under the user's control, it results in tracking that doesn't respect user choice," the company said today. "This is why Chrome plans to more aggressively restrict fingerprinting across the web. One way in which we'll be doing this is reducing the ways in which browsers can be passively fingerprinted, so that we can detect and intervene against active fingerprinting efforts as they happen." BUT, WHY!?! Some users might be asking themselves as to why is Google --a company that makes the bulk of its profit from online advertising and tracking users-- is now shipping these privacy features, which are expected to have a big impact on its business. The answer is simple. With ad blockers extensions that have a "scorched earth" approach to blocking intrusive tracking scripts, Google is attempting to control the eventual decline of online advertising profits. In recent months, the company has gone as far as to include a basic ad blocker inside Chrome and has even attempted to neuter ad blockers through a very controversial update to its extensions ecosystem. Ad blockers are here to stay, and Google's best chance right now is to reduce their damage by setting itself in firm control of what privacy and ad-blocking features users have access to by default --in an attempt to control the entire ecosystem before users get too used to the current state of affairs. Source
  9. Google Chrome Is Finally Getting a Feature That All Big Browsers Already Have Google Chrome is currently the number one browser on both desktop and mobile, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s also the app with all the features one could get. In fact, Chrome has been missing several key features for a long time, and one of them is a reader mode that would make it easier to read articles and long texts on websites. If you’ve used Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, or Safari on a Mac before, you probably noticed they all come with a built-in reader mode. And while it’s hard to tell why Google Chrome lacked such functionality, the good news is that the search giant is now working on a reader mode and it could be part of the next stable update for the browser. Specifics aren’t available right now, but as noted by TechDows, you can actually enable this reader mode in the latest Canary version.New stable Chrome in 4 daysTo do this, all you have to do is toggle the “Enable Reader Mode” flag to Enabled in the chrome://flags screen, after which the browser’s menu should get a new option called “Distill Page.” The next version of the browser is Chrome 74, and it is projected to land in just 4 days. However, this is unlikely to come with a built-in reader mode given that the feature is only part of the Canary builds and it hasn’t yet been promoted to more stable releases. On the other hand, there are higher chances to get the reader mode in Google Chrome 75, which according to the official schedule, should go live on June 4. Meanwhile, however, we can track its progress with the help of the Canary version of Chrome, but just don’t hold your breath for the reader mode to go live for everyone. Source
  10. The AchieVer

    Google Chrome to get a Reader Mode

    Google Chrome to get a Reader Mode Feature already active in Chrome Canary distributions. Here's how to enable it. Google's Chrome browser will get a Reader Mode, similar to the one found in competing browsers like Firefox and the old Microsoft Edge. The feature is currently under development, but Chrome Canary users can test it starting today. Chrome's Reader Mode will work by stripping pages of most of their useless content, such as ads, comments sections, or animations, and leave a bare-bones version behind, showing only titles, article text, and article images. HOW TO ENABLE READER MODE IN CHROME CANARY Work on the feature started in February this year when Google engineers began porting the "simplified view" offered by Chrome on Android to desktop editions. Today is the first day that a fully-functional Reader Mode is active in Chrome's desktop versions --via Google Chrome Canary distributions. To test Chrome's upcoming Reader Mode, users must first visit the chrome://flags/#enable-reader-mode section in their Chrome Canary version, and enable the Reader Mode option. Once the Reader Mode flag is set to "Enabled," a restart will be required before users can enter a page's Reader Mode. While Reader Mode can be used on any page, it works better with news stories and large text-based content. To use it, users must click the top-right Chrome dropdown menu and select the "Distill page" option. Once enabled, this is how Chrome's current Reader Mode looks like: ZDNet understands that there are no current plans to enhance Chrome's Reader Mode beyond this simplified view. The idea, as stated in the Chrome bug report for tracking the implementation of this feature, was to port Chrome for Android's "Simplified View," rather than create a self-standing Reader Mode, akin to Firefox's more advanced alternative, which supports loads of options, ranging from text customization features to text-to-speech support. Source
  11. What Is Google Chrome Focus Mode and How to Enable It We’ve known for a while that Google was working on a new Chrome feature called “Focus Mode,” but until now, very little was known about its purpose. In fact, when I first wrote about the Focus Mode in Google Chrome back in February, I speculated that the search giant might be working on something similar to Focus Assist in Windows 10 and which blocks notifications when running apps and games in full screen. In Chrome, such an implementation would basically put the web content at the center of everything, and this makes sense in a wide variety of scenarios, like when reading news online. And while the purpose of Focus Mode in Chrome is indeed to put the focus on a specific page, the way it works is a little bit different than what we expected. As discovered on reddit, the Google Chrome Focus Mode is now available in the Canary version of the browser, which is Google’s testing browser for experimental features before they are included in the stable release. Canary isn’t supposed to become your daily browser, but only to let you try out new ideas ahead of the public launch. What Focus Mode actually isFirst and foremost, Focus Mode in Google Chrome is specifically aimed at tabs, so you can access the feature by simply right-clicking a select tab. What it does, however, is to open the tab that you select in a separate window without the typical browsing controls, so you get to read the content on the web in a simplified interface. As you can see in the screenshots here, you can still interact with the content of the page, so it’s a little bit awkward that back and forward buttons do not exist. However, you can find them in the context menu when right-clicking the page. By the looks of things, Google just wants to provide users with an easy option to open websites in separate windows with their own process. There are no extra features that you get in this Focus Mode, so it’s basically just a new and simplified Google Chrome window. How to enable Focus Mode in Google ChromeIf you want to try out the Focus Mode in Google Chrome, the first thing you need to do is to install the Canary version. Any version newer than 75.0.3740.0 should do. Next, you need to type the following code in the Google Chrome address bar to access the browser flags: chrome://flags And then in the search box at the top type the name of the flag that we’re going to use: #focus-mode As an alternative, you can just copy and paste the following code in the address bar of Google Chrome after launching the browser: chrome://flags/#focus-mode Google Chrome Canary ships with this feature set to the Default mode, which means that for now, it’s disabled. So what you need to do is to click the drop-down menu and then select Enabled. You’ll have to restart the browser for the changes to come into effect. Once you relaunch Google Chrome, the Focus Mode feature should be active, and to use it, simply right-click any tab > Focus this tab. At this point, it’s not yet known when Google wants to include the Focus Mode in the stable version of Chrome, but given it’s already in the Canary build and apparently working alright, there’s a chance it could happen in the next release. The next version to ship is Google Chrome 74 scheduled to go live on April 23. Source
  12. Make Mozilla Firefox Look Just Like Google Chrome The browser world is more or less divided into two different parts: the group of Chromium-powered applications and Mozilla Firefox, with the latter often been considered a more private alternative to Google Chrome. Choosing between the two for beginners, however, isn’t an easy thing to do, and what’s even more difficult is to switch from one to another. However, thanks to a new pack of customizations called ChromeFox and available on GitHub, you can technically ease the transition from Google Chrome to Mozilla Firefoxby retaining the familiar look of Google’s browser. In case you don’t think this is important, the lack of a familiar interface is the main reason many people actually refuse to migrate from one product to another, and this happens in many other domains beyond software. The best example, however, is Windows 7, which for many is the last desktop operating system with a familiar interface, as both Windows 8.1 and Windows 10 introduced changes that more or less change this aspect. Getting back to browsers, ChromeFox does just that: it updates the interface of Mozilla Firefox in order to make it look like Google Chrome, so anyone coming from Google’s browser should basically feel more like home when trying out Firefox. ChromeFox comes with rounded tabs, overlay scrollbars, a bookmark bar that is only displayed on new tabs, and bigger bookmark bar item padding. All of these are supposed to create a Google Chrome-like UI that you can see in the screenshot below. Installing ChromeFox isn’t necessarily a difficult thing to do, but it’s a little bit more complicated than it is to install an extension or any other add-on for Mozilla Firefox. What you need to do is head over to the official GitHub page of the project and download the pack of customizations. Next, you need to extract all the contents of the archive to the profile directory of Mozilla Firefox. If you don’t know where this is, no problem. You can easily find it by clicking the Firefox menu button in the browser and then following this path: Help > Troubleshooting Info > Profile Directory > Open Folder Next, you need to create a folder called chrome if it’s not there already, and in this newly-created directory place the contents of the archive that you downloaded from GitHub. The next time you launch Firefox, the Google Chrome looks should be enabled by default. What’s worth knowing is that this customization pack comes without any options or configuration settings, so what you see is what you get. If you’re a developer, you can actually change some values here and there using the files in the archive, but other than that, this is pretty much it. If at some point in the future you want to remove the Google Chrome look and return to the classic Mozilla Firefox interface, the only thing you need to do is to delete either the chrome folder that you created entirely, or just remove the files placed in it. I tried out ChromeFox on Mozilla Firefox and, honestly, I couldn’t find anything wrong about it, as the customization pack really seem to be working pretty flawlessly. Of course, for Firefox diehards, making their favorite browser look like the number one rival isn’t the best idea, but as always, it’s better that the option to do this at least exists. If ChromeFox isn’t necessarily your cup of tea, there are several alternatives that do pretty much the same thing, and one of the most used is MaterialFox. You can try it out by downloading the pack from GitHub here. Source
  13. Google Chrome to block automatic downloads initiated from ad slot iframes Google continues its crusade against "drive-by download" attack vectors. Google Google developers plan to add a feature to Chrome that will prevent advertising slots on a website from triggering automatic file downloads in users browsers. "We plan to prevent downloads initiated from ad frames that lack a user gesture to prevent unwanted drive-by-downloads," Google developers said in a Chrome browser status pagepublished today. "Download doesn't make much sense with ads. It happens very rarely in practice and is also difficult to reproduce, which implies that a very small amount of ads are doing automatic downloads," Google said. "Blocking download in ad frames without user gesture will make the web less abusive and more secure." According to a design document that Google also published today, an "ad frame" is "an iframe marked as ad by the Chromium ad detection infrastructure AdTagging." This basically means any iframe that Google believes to be an ad. Today's news marks the second security feature that Google has announced this year as part of its efforts to block "drive-by downloads," a term used in the information security (infosec) industry to describe a download that happens without the user's knowledge. Back in January, Google announced that Chrome would also block automatic file downloads (drive-by downloads) initiated from sandboxed iframes --a type of HTML iframes also used for showing ads, but also by exploit kits to plant malware on users' computers. That first feature is scheduled to be included in Google Chrome 74, set for release in late spring. Google didn't say when it plans to start blocking automatic file downloads initiated from ad slots, but the feature is expected this year. This security feature and the protection it provides is only valid if users don't interact with the ad frames. File downloads will be allowed if users click or swipe on an ad. This will be allowed so ads can show "download" or "get it here" type of buttons. If Chrome blocks an automatic file download, the browser won't show any visible warnings. The browser maker estimates the performance impact of this feature to be negligible once implemented. Google intends to add this feature to all Chrome versions, except the one that ships for iOS, which isn't based on the Chromium engine, but on WebKit (Safari's engine). Source
  14. Google Testing New Chrome Feature for Faster Tab Switching on Android Google is currently testing a new feature for the Android version of Chrome browser that would make it easier and faster for users to switch from one tab to another. Basically, what Google wants to do is add a new toolbar at the bottom of the Chrome for Android screen that would just display the icons of the websites loaded in the browser. These aren’t thumbnails, but the favicons of each website, and tapping any of them instantly switches the browser to that page. This means you no longer have to open the tab view where you can jump from one website to another, but do it quickly by simply tapping the icons.Still a work in progressXDA explains that the new toolbar would also come with dedicated options to launch a mini tab switcher with a grid layout, but also with a plus symbol to add a new tab on the fly. A commit for this feature shows Google lists it as a work in progress and the development team is working on the underlying code powering it. For the time being, however, this feature is still in the works and isn’t even available for testing in the Canary version of Chrome. Most likely, Google will include it in the experimental browser at some point in the future and users will be able to try it out by enabling a dedicated flag. But as with every other experiment that Google is spotted testing, don’t hold your breath for it because the company could very well kill it off completely before launch if the development team isn’t pleased with the way it works. This the reason the Canary version of Chrome is so important for the future of the browser, as it allows Google to try out new features before they are available for everyone. Source
  15. Google Finally Fixes One of the Biggest Annoyances in Chrome Browser If you’re one of the many Google Chrome users out there, and there’s a big chance that you are given this browser has more than 65% share on the desktop, you probably noticed the changed F6 key behavior available since version 72. Because as many of us learned the hard way, someone at Google had the brilliant idea to change one of the most popular shortcuts in the browser and make it less convenient to quickly access the address bar. Before Chrome 72, simply pressing the F6 key switched the focus to the address bar, so you could begin typing the URL of the website you wanted to visit instantly. But after this version shipped, pressing the very same key actually moved the focus to the tab bar, and you just had to press F6 once again to reach the address bar. It might sound like a small change that shouldn’t be such a terrible problem, but for someone who’s been using this shortcut for a long time, such a tweak makes no sense.Hello, Canary!Needless to say, many people called for Google to bring back the original behavior of the F6 key, and it looks like the search giant got the message. The latest version of Canary restores this feature, making it possible to quickly focus on the address bar by simply pressing the F6 button on your keyboard. While we still don’t know if Google wants this change to be included in the next stable version of Chrome, you can try it out right now by simply installing the Canary build. I got this feature on Canary version 74.0.3720.5, so pretty much any release newer than this should restore the original behavior of the F6 key. The next stable build of Google Chrome is version 73, and it is projected to launch on March 12. Source
  16. Google Chrome Remains Top Desktop Browser, Microsoft Edge Surprisingly Grows Google Chrome continues to be the number one browser on the desktop, according to a fresh set of market share data, but somewhat surprising is the performance of Microsoft’s very own Edge. First and foremost, Google Chrome experienced a small decline in February, NetMarketShare reveals, dropping to 66.89% share. Mozilla Firefox fell as well but only to 9.39%. Microsoft Edge, on the other hand, went up in January, in spite of Microsoft’s announcement that it would be giving up on EdgeHTML and move to Chromium. The native Windows 10 browser increased from 4.61% in January to 4.79% in February, most likely as a result of the drop registered by the other browsers.Microsoft Edge moving to ChromiumThe Redmond-based software giant revealed in late 2018 that it plans to embrace the Chromium engine for its browser, technically building another Google Chrome version that would be embedded in Windows 10. The new Microsoft Edge will look and feel just like the current version, but by switching to Chromium, Microsoft can benefit from the large collection of extensions already available for Chrome. Furthermore, the company says it can contribute to Chromium and improve browsing for everyone, not just for its users. Microsoft promised a preview version of the new Microsoft Edge browser in the first months of 2019, but there’s a big chance the company holds it back for the Build developer conference in May. There’s no ETA for the stable build of the Chromium-based Edge, but it should go live in a future OS update, possibly in the fall of this year. The next major release of Windows 10, which is currently codenamed 19H1 and likely to launch as April 2019 Update, features the same version of Microsoft Edge as before that is based on the EdgeHTML engine. Source
  17. Updated: Google is preparing a patch for late April 2019. Some of the suspicious PDF files exploiting this bug don't appear to be malicious in nature. A security firm said this week that it discovered PDF documents exploiting a Google Chrome browser zero-day. The vulnerability allowed attackers to collect data from users who opened PDF files inside Chrome's built-in PDF viewer. Exploit detection service EdgeSpot, the company that found the files, says the PDF documents would contact a remote domain with information on the users' device --such as IP address, OS version, Chrome version, and the path of the PDF file on the user's computer. This phone-home behavior did not take place when researchers opened the same PDF files in desktop PDF viewer apps, such as Adobe Reader and others, but was limited to Chrome only. The company said it spotted two distinct sets of malicious PDF files exploiting this Chrome bug, with one series of files being circulated circa October 2017, and the second set in September 2018. The first batch of malicious PDF files sent user data back to the "readnotify.com" domain, while the second sent it to "zuxjk0dftoamimorjl9dfhr44vap3fr7ovgi76w.burpcollaborator.net," researchers said. There was no additional malicious code in the PDF files that EdgeSpot discovered. However, collecting data on users who open a PDF file can aid attackers in fine-tuning future attacks and exploits. But in a conversation with ZDNet after the publication of this story, Mac malware security expert Patrick Wardle explained that the first batch of files that EdgeSpot detected weren't meant to be malicious in nature, despite exploiting the Chrome bug. He said they were assembled using ReadNotify's PDF tracking service that lets users track when someone views their PDF files, a service that has been around since 2010. "What the researchers 'uncovered' is just a document tagged by ReadNotify," Wardle told us, "but yes, Chrome should alert the user." There is no information available on the second set of PDF files (the ones circulated in September 2018) and their nature --if they were assembled by a threat actor, if they're just tests, or were generated for benign user tracking purposes. For its part, EdgeSpot said it notified Google over the Christmas holiday, last year, when they first discovered the documents. The Chrome team acknowledged the zero-day and promised a fix for late April. "We decided to release our finding prior to the patch because we think it's better to give the affected users a chance to be informed/alerted of the potential risk, since the active exploits/samples are in the wild while the patch is not near away," researchers said in a blog post yesterday. The blog post also contains samples and indicators of compromise (IOCs) for the PDF files the company discovered. Until a patch is out, EdgeSpot is recommending that users either use a desktop app to view PDF files or disable their internet connection while they open PDF documents in Chrome. In unrelated research, but also connected to the world of PDF documents, earlier this week, security researchers revealed vulnerabilities that allowed them to fake signatures on 21 of 22 desktop PDF viewer apps and 5 out of 7 online PDF digital signing services. Article updated with Wardle's analysis. Source
  18. How to Create Your Own Search Engine in Google Chrome Google Chrome is a super-advanced browser that many don’t use to its full potential, but despite this, it’s still running on 7 in 10 desktop computers out there, according to third-party data. Chrome, however, was designed from the very beginning to simplify the majority of the tasks we perform online, and every single update comes with further improvements in this regard. For example, Google is currently working on a focus mode, a dark theme for Windows and Mac, tab grouping, and several other features, all supposed to enhance the browsing experience. One of the features that have been available in Google Chrome but which only a few people actually use allows us to configure custom search engines that make it much faster to look for certain information on a specific website. And let me detail why this is so helpful. As a heavy Android user, I try out lots of beta applications on my devices, and because it would be impossible to be part of each testing program, I sometimes download standalone APKs that let me run experimental builds without registering. To do this, I regularly check the Softpedia APK download section, which by the way is updated daily with tons of new Android app versions. To search for APKs on Softpedia, you can technically head over to apk.softpedia.com and then use the search box in the top right corner to search for the app’s name. But what if you can do the whole thing straight from the Chrome omnibox (the address bar) no matter what you’re doing in the browser? This is why custom search engines come in handy, and today we discuss how to create your own. Some search engines are automatically added to Google Chrome when you use them the first time, but you can also add your own manually and customize them with further settings. First of all, in Google Chrome you need to go to the following location: Settings > Search engine > Manage search engines At this point, you should see two different sections, namely Default search engines and Other search engines. The latter is the one we’re going to use. Click the Add button and then you’ll have to provide these details to set up a search engine: Search engine Keyword URL with %s in place of query The search engine field is actually the URL to the site that you want to search. In our case, this is apk.softpedia.com, which points directly to the APK section that we’re looking for when searching for files. The keyword is the term that you’re going to use in the Omnibox to indicate that you want to search using the search engine mentioned above. For example, I use apk as the keyword, so all my search queries using the apk.softpedia.com search engine look like this: apk appname And last but not least, the URL with %s in place of query is the link to the search results page with the %s tag replacing the keyword. While this sounds a little bit more complicated, the easiest way to determine this link is to actually conduct a search on the page that you want to use and then in the URL, just replace the keyword you used with the %s tag. For our search engine on apk.softpedia.com, the link looks like this: https://mobile.softpedia.com/dyn-search.php?apk=1&search_term=%s When you’re done with setting up the search engine, you can even set it as default, although I don’t recommend this unless you exclusively want to always search on the website that you defined. This method works on all desktop platforms, not just on Windows, and is supported in the latest versions of Google Chrome browser. Source
  19. Google Chrome Will Block Websites from Detecting Incognito Mode A future version of Google Chrome will block websites from side-stepping the existing implementation of the Incognito mode to determine whether users are browsing the web in private mode or not. The Incognito mode in Google Chrome improves user privacy when loading websites, making it harder for advertisers to track them and deliver relevant ads. And because Incognito has become such a popular way to prevent tracking, many advertisers turned to a simple trick that allowed them to determine whether this private browsing mode was being used when their websites were loaded. It all came down to detecting whether the FileSystem API is enabled or not, and this is a gimmick that Google has long been aware of. Technically, when browsing the web with Google Chrome, the application creates a FileSystem API to store data. When the Incognito mode is enabled, this feature is automatically disabled to make sure no traces are left behind, as this is the purpose of the private browsing option in the first place. So what websites did was to look whether the FileSystem API was there or not, basically determining if the Incognito mode was active.Coming to everyone enabled by default in Chrome 76As per 9to5Google, the search giant now wants to finally resolve this bug by simply creating a virtual file system when browsing in Incognito using the system’s RAM. In other words, the file system will always be there, so the checks currently made by advertisers would no longer be able to help determine whether Incognito is active or not. Google is even considering giving up on the FileSystem API completely, it seems, though the company wants to wait and see how this new approach will improve the current behavior. Chrome 74 will be the first to receive the new update, most likely as an optional feature that will be offered to users as a flag. The feature will be enabled by default for everyone when Chrome 76 launches. Source
  20. How to Use Google Chrome to Link to Text on Page As I reported only a few days ago, one of the new features coming to Google Chrome users is support for links that point not to websites, but to the actual content on a specific page. At this point, this is technically possible if the link is created based on an anchor or an iframe, but with this new Google Chrome implementation, you’re allowed to create a link that would point users straight to a specific word on the page. While it might sound a little bit confusing at first, the whole idea behind this new feature is to make it easier for you to share certain content. Imagine that instead of sharing an entire news article, for example, you can now point someone to a specific paragraph or statement of someone who’s quoted in the story. This new option in Google Chrome allows you to do just that. At this point, the feature is still its very early days, but as it was discovered recently, there’s a flag that enables it and then gives you the possibility of generating the links manually. Of course, this isn’t the most convenient method to create and share a link, but Google will significantly refine the whole experience with this feature by the time it reaches the stable production build of the browser. For now, this is what you need to do to try it out. First, you need to be running the most recent version of Chrome Canary. This tutorial is created on version 74.0.3710.0, so if you’re running a newer update, you should be good to go. Then, you need to access the dedicated flag that will enable the feature in the Canary version of Chrome. To do this, copy and paste the following command in the address bar of the browser: chrome://flags/#enable-text-fragment-anchor The name of the flag provides a few more details about what it does and the supported platforms: Enables scrolling to text specified in URL's fragment. – Mac, Windows, Linux, Chrome OS, Android By default, this flag is set to Default, so click the drop-down menu and select the Enabled state. Reboot Google Chrome Canary to enable the feature. Next, you’ll have to manually generate the link that you want to use. The link must use the following syntax: https://www.domain.com/page/#targetText=wordtolinkto What you need to do is change the italic part, namely the wordtolinktotag, with the word on your page that you want the link to point to. Obviously, you also have to edit the domain and page address to match your example. As an example, let’s use this Softpedia News article. Its current URL is the following: https://news.softpedia.com/news/apple-ahead-of-microsoft-and-samsung-in-brand-intimacy-study-524993.shtml So if you want your link to point to the PlayStation word in the lower part of the screen, here’s what the link must look like: https://news.softpedia.com/news/apple-ahead-of-microsoft-and-samsung-in-brand-intimacy-study-524993.shtml/#targetText=PlayStation If you use this link and paste it in your browser’s address bar, you should see that it points directly to the PlayStation word, which is also highlighted on the page clearly showing where it leads to. Needless to say, you can use any word on a specific page. Using the same link in the current stable version of Google Chrome only loads the page but without pointing to the selected word. At this point, it’s not known when Google wants to release this new feature to all users, but I expect it to get further improvements, including an easier way to create the links and a user interface, in the upcoming versions of the Canary build. Source
  21. Google Chrome to Copy Another Firefox and Microsoft Edge Feature While Microsoft has already surrendered in the browser world and decided to move Edge to the Chromium engine, it doesn’t mean that this application doesn’t come with advanced features that are worth copying. And by the looks of things, Google totally agrees with this, as the company is getting ready to borrow another idea from rival browsers. This time, it’s a reading mode that’s already available in Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, and even Vivaldi, and Google apparently wants this feature to be part of an upcoming stable release of Chrome too. Details at this point are scarce, but a recent bug report indicates that the reading mode is supposed to work on all platforms where Google Chrome is available, including Windows, Linux, and macOS.Currently in the worksThe reading view in Microsoft Edge provides users with an easy and simple way to read documents and articles online, with the browser extracting metadata like title, author, date, main text content, images, and copyright. “Microsoft Edge provides a reading view for a more streamlined, book-like reading experience of webpages without the distraction of unrelated or other secondary content on the page. Reading view can be toggled on or off from the Reading view (book icon) button on the address bar (or with Ctrl + Shift + R),” Microsoft explains. The feature works similarly in Mozilla Firefox and the other browsers where it’s available, and it’s likely to do the same when it becomes available in Google Chrome. At this point, there are no details as to when Google could bring this feature in a stable Chrome update, but given it is already in the works, it shouldn't take too long before it becomes available in the Canary testing builds. If you're on Windows 10 and want to see the reading mode in action, just open this story in Microsoft Edge and click the dedicated option in the address bar. Source
  22. Google Chrome Could Soon Stop Eating So Much Memory It’s not a secret that despite being the world’s number one desktop browser, Google Chrome is a major resource hog, eating up way too much memory regardless of the platform you run it on. But as it turns out, Google has heard all the criticism, so the company is now developing new ways to optimize resource usage in Chrome. As discovered by ChromeStory, the search giant is currently exploring an improvement called “Best Effort Tasks,” which essentially comes down to a new feature that would keep certain tasks on hold until the browser is closed. A code commit discovered by the cited source notes that “writing user data to disk, cleaning caches, reporting metrics or updating components” could only be allowed when the browser is closed, which in turns means that the application would require fewer resources during a typical browsing session.Resource usage optimizationsBy the looks of things, what Google wants to do is to delay all low-priority tasks in Chrome browser, and a flag description offers a few more details. “With this flag on, tasks of the lowest priority will not be executed until shutdown. The queue of low priority tasks can increase memory usage. Also, while it should be possible to use Chrome almost normally with this flag, it is expected that some non-visible operations such as writing user data to disk, cleaning caches, reporting metrics or updating components won’t be performed until shutdown.” At this point, these optimizations are still in their early days and there’s no confirmation Google would go forward with such tweaks. But it goes without saying that reducing the memory usage of Google Chrome would be a Godsend, especially because so many people use it every day. According to third-party data, Google Chrome is getting closer to 70 percent market share on the desktop, so nearly 7 in 10 PCs out there are currently running Google’s app regardless of the native browser they shipped with. Source
  23. Google Chrome to Get Tab Grouping Feature One of the new features that Google is working on for Chrome browser is called tab grouping, and according to a new report, it’s already being tested in the Canary version of the app. Originally discovered last year, tab grouping would technically make it substantially easier to work with multiple links from the same page, all in the same screen. As the typical Google Chrome user keeps increasing the number of tabs they work with at the same, such improvements would certainly come in handy for tab management. As reported by ChromeStory, this feature would automatically group tabs from the same website, and whenever new links are accessed, they are automatically added to the group they belong to. Users are also allowed to manually manage groups and tabs, and there are signs that Google could at some point include synchronization support for this feature.Sync support comingIn other words, Google could make it possible to migrate full groups of tabs from one device to another, which technically makes it possible to send tab groups from the PC to Chromebooks or Android devices and the other way around. Tab grouping isn’t something entirely new, and while Google was spotted testing it last year, the feature has been around for a long time on other browsers. For example, Vivaldi already lets users group tabs manually for better management, while Chrome and Firefox can do the same thing using third-party extensions. At this point, however, it’s not known when Google could bring the feature to the stable version of Chrome, but it’s pretty clear that further testing is necessary before this happens. However, as it turns out, the project has advanced substantially since it was first rumored last year, and if everything goes according to the plan with no major issues discovered, it shouldn’t take long before it receives the green light for everyone. Source
  24. Chrome to show warnings when accessing mistyped domains. The Google Chrome browser is set to add a feature that will warn users when accessing sites with domain names that look like authentic websites. The feature has been in the works for quite some time at Google and is a response to the practice of using typosquatted domains or IDN homograph attacks to lure users on websites they didn't intend to access. For example, crooks often register misspelled versions of popular domains, such as paypall.com, or they'd use domains with Unicode characters like coịnbạse.com to host phishing pages and steal users' credentials. But since the release of Chrome Canary 70, Google engineers have been testing a new feature called "Navigation suggestions for lookalike URLs." In Chrome Canary distributions --Google Chrome's testing ground for new features-- users can access the following URL to enable the feature: chrome://flags/#enable-lookalike-url-navigation-suggestions Once enabled, this new mechanism will show a dropdown panel under the Chrome address bar, asking the user if he really meant to type and access that URL, which Chrome deemed dangerous due to its close resemblance with a more legitimate site. This Chrome flag is also present in the stable version of Chrome, but in our tests, it failed to detect the same URLs that Canary picked up, meaning Google engineers are still fine-tuning their lookalike URL detection system before its official release. It is unclear when this feature will officially ship, but it must be really close to being finalized, seeing that a Google Chrome engineer gave a presentation about it yesterday, January 29, at the USENIX Enigma conference held in the US. Source
  25. Google Chrome Will Support Another Key Windows 10 Feature Microsoft is pushing hard for its Windows Mixed Reality platform, and the company could soon get some help to make this effort successful from none other than its long-time rival Google. Because as it turns out, the search giant is currently looking into adding support for the mixed reality platform to Google Chrome using the WebVR standard. This technically means that users will be able to browse the web with Google Chrome with a Windows Mixed Reality headset, though for the time being, such capabilities are still in the early stage and an ETA isn’t available. Google looking at this feature, however, isn’t necessarily surprising, As 9to5google noted, Microsoft has turned this project into one of its key projects based on Windows 10, and the platform has constantly expanded with the addition of new software, including games.Project still in early days, no ETA available right nowUntil now, however, browsing options have been rather limited, with Microsoft pushing hard for Microsoft Edge to be used by with a Windows Mixed Reality headset. Obviously, the arrival of Google Chrome on the platform would bring major benefits to users, especially because this browser is currently the leader in terms of market share on the desktop, with more than 65 percent of PCs running it. At the same time, Microsoft is also planning major changes on the browser front. The company will soon migrate to the Chromium engine for its very own Microsoft Edge browser, with a preview of the updated application expected as soon as this quarter. Microsoft Edge will stick with the current look and features, but Microsoft says that working together with the other companies using the same engine could help significantly improve the Chromium project, which eventually brings major benefits to the entire web. Source
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