Turn any website into an app with Chrome 124

Even the most obscure ones

Summary

  • Google’s shift to Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) has seen a surge in installations among Chrome users.
  • Chrome Canary now allows users to easily install websites as apps on desktops for a more seamless experience.
  • To enable the new “Install page as app” feature in Chrome Canary, users can simply install Canary and enable specific flags.



Seven years ago, Google announced that it would phase out all Chrome apps on Windows, Mac, and Linux by 2018 (it would actually take until 2023). In its place would be what the company called Progressive Web Apps (PWAs), web apps that can be installed on a user’s desktop that act as if they are practically natural apps and programs. The idea grew quickly, with Chrome users having installed PWAs in record numbers by the beginning of 2022. Soon, every website will be installable on desktops through PWAs.


In Chrome Canary (the daily build version of Google Chrome and typically a couple of versions ahead of the stable build), websites can now be installed on desktops. As part of the latest daily build, Google has added an “Install page as app…” option to the “Save and share” submenu on the desktop version (via @Leopeva64 on X). This makes clicking the app — which is just the website made to look and feel like a native app — always open in its own window. Sites that already have their own PWAs, like YouTube or Reddit, have been prompting users to install them for a while now and will have their “Install page as app…” function actually showing the name of the site. For example, YouTube’s entry will show as “Install YouTube.”


In February, it became possible to enable the flags necessary to make any website into a PWA, but

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Miller Lite’s QR code jerseys turn 1K Super Bowl viewers into beer ads

Dive Brief:

  • Molson Coors brand Miller Lite is foregoing a Super Bowl commercial this year in favor of a “Running of the Beer Ads” program that tasks 1,000 football fans to serve as the brand’s official advertisement, per details shared with Marketing Dive.
  • Consumers starting Feb. 1 can sign-up online to receive a Miller Game Time Jersey emblazoned with a QR code that they can wear while stepping out during Super Bowl commercial breaks, including to get more beer. The jersey, which will be offered to 1,000 consumers total, can be scanned for the chance to win beer money.
  • Molson Coors also teamed with actor and comedian Rob Riggle, who will serve as the “lead beer runner” and encourage consumers to participate. The move follows the brewer’s “High Stakes Beer Ad” commercial in last year’s big game. 

Dive Insight:

Miller Lite’s decision to engage in unofficial advertising during Super Bowl LVIII is a departure from last year’s strategy, which put a heavy emphasis on its on-air advertisement. This year, instead of the brand being on-screen, Miller Lite is looking to 1,000 of its fans to handle its advertising through the “Running of the Beer Ads” effort.

“We’ve always been excited by [the Super Bowl] as an opportunity to engage fans in creative and unexpected ways. That’s not going to change just because we can buy a national ad now,” said Ann Legan, global vice president of marketing for the Miller Family of Brands, in emailed comments to Marketing Dive. “We’ve always tried to show up in ways no other beer could, and we’re confident we will this year, too.”

Consumers beginning Feb. 1 can sign-up online to receive the official Miller Game Time Jersey along with $100 and a Big Game Ad kit. On Feb. 11, the day of the

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Google wants to turn your car into an Android tablet with wheels

Summary

  • Android Auto and Android Automotive are getting a handful of new applications, including Vivaldi, The Weather Channel, and Amazon Prime Video.
  • Auto users can take meetings in the car with Zoom and WebEx and, with the app now available in the Play Store, browse the web through Vivaldi when parked.
  • Vehicles running Android Automotive, meanwhile, will gain support for The Weather Channel and Amazon Prime Video, providing up-to-date weather alerts and entertainment while parked, respectively.


It’s shaping up to be a busy fall for Android. Just last week, we got our latest Quarterly Feature Drop for all phones, delivering some timely updates to apps like Wallet and a refreshed look for Assistant At a Glance. We’re also looking forward to Android 14, though considering its rumored October launch, we could be waiting a while longer. Thankfully, Android in cars is getting a fresh slate of upgrades in the coming weeks that could act as a distraction to this year’s delayed OS upgrade.

android-auto-apps-hero-anim

Source: Google

Google’s announcement concerns both Android Auto and Android Automotive, so whether it’s your phone powering your on-the-road experience, or it’s built into your car itself, you’ll see some changes coming to your vehicle very soon. First up is some additional details on Zoom and WebEx’s in-car availability. Google first teased this at I/O earlier this year, before reconfirming an upcoming launch last week, but today’s news brings some real launch windows into view. Zoom will start rolling out on Android Auto later today before reaching everyone in the coming days, while WebEx launches in beta today with broader availability over the next several weeks.

weather-channel-cars

Source: Google

Those aren’t the only apps coming to your car. Vivaldi was already available through cars from Renault and Polestar, but later today, you can find it through the Play

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How To Turn Google SafeSearch On Or Off With Your Android Device

The simplest method to activate SafeSearch is using your browser. You can do this on any device without needing to download any additional applications or software. In fact, the default browser for most Android devices is Google Chrome, which was designed to integrate seamlessly with the Google search engine and its various features.

To activate Safe mode, start by making sure that you are logged into your Google account. You can do this by going to google.com, tapping on the circle in the top right corner of the browser, selecting the option to sign in, and then typing in your username and password.

Once that’s done, go to google.com/safesearch. Here you will see the options to filter explicit content, blur it out, or turn SafeSearch off altogether. Simply tap the bubble beside whichever option you prefer and Google will automatically remember this setting for your account. That might sound like a pain to do across all of your phones and tablets, but you don’t have to! This should work for all devices that are signed into this Google account, so you don’t need to worry about activating it on each device individually.

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Google is using Gmail to nag you to turn on Enhanced Safe Browsing

Data breaches have unfortunately become commonplace these days, and consumers navigating the dodgy internet landscape are the usual targets. Affected users are often advised to change their passwords. Thanks to Google Chrome’s Enhanced Safe Browsing, online threats can now be predicted before they happen, and users are able to receive a warning when their credentials are exposed in a data breach. However, the feature is buried deep in Chrome’s Settings menu, which makes enabling this web protection tool quite a chore. Google is now promoting it in an app with billions of users: Gmail.


A number of Gmail users, including this writer and Android Police founder Artem Russakovskii, have been seeing a notification at the top of their inboxes over the past few days with a prompt to enable the security feature.

It’s essentially a reminder that Google has a proactive security tool against threats, and tapping on the popup leads you to a web page where you can toggle the feature on.

The promotional message shows up just above the Gmail inbox on Android and the web, as noted by 9to5Google. In the screenshots below, you can see the popup prompting you to “Get additional protection against phishing” and “Turn on Enhanced Safe Browsing to get additional protection against dangerous emails.”

While having to hit “No thanks” might be a little annoying if you’re not interested in the feature, it does save you a few taps if you wish to enable Chrome’s holistic security protection against dangerous websites, downloads, and extensions. Otherwise, you can take the long route by tapping the three-dot menu on Chrome for Android, selecting Settings, and opening the Privacy and security section. Then, tap Safe browsing to view all the security options available, which include standard protection and no protection in addition to

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Turn your phone into a TV remote with Google TV app

Every now and then, we all misplace our TV remotes. If you are in the same boat or don’t feel like finding the remote, you can use your smartphone to control your smartTV. With just a few taps on your phone’s screen, you can regain control of your TV viewing experience without having to search for that elusive remote. Here’s how to set up the Google TV app and use your iPhone or Android device to control your Android-powered TV.

1. To use your phone as a TV remote, open Google Play Store or Apple App Store and install the ‘Google TV’ app.

2. Make sure the TV you want to connect is turned on and the phone and TV are on the same Wi-Fi network or have Bluetooth turned on.

3. Now, you need to connect the Google TV app to your TV. To do so, press the ‘Connect TV’ button on the bottom right of the screen.

4. Select your TV and enter the code that appears on your TV screen. Click on the ‘Pair’ button to complete the process.

5. The ‘Connect TV’ will now appear as  ‘TV Remote’ button. Clicking on it will open a new screen replicating the TV remote.

Here you can easily control the device volume, trigger Google Assistant, go back or home and surf channels. The paired TV can also be controlled from the Google Home app or by adding a quick settings tile.


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