Google Chrome: News, Reviews, Forum & Beyond The #1 Spot for Google Chrome, Chrome OS, Chrome Notebooks, Apps, Extensions & More! Wed, 27 Aug 2014 21:35:20 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Too many tabs in Chrome making things slow? Use OneTab and watch your productivity skyrocket Wed, 27 Aug 2014 21:35:20 +0000 At any given time, you’ve got 3 Chrome windows open, each with 15+ tabs. You’re a multi-tasking warrior, but your productivity is sluggish: all these tabs are creating a distraction, not to mention slowing your computer down considerably, and sometimes even freezing Chrome completely.

If this sounds like you, I’d strongly suggest the OneTab Extension for Chrome.

The concept is really simple:

  • You’ve got too many tabs open, it’s making your computer slow, but you want to save the tabs for later
  • You press the funnel icon at the top right, which is the OneTab icon
  • It organizes all those tabs as a list of text links with favicon and page title
  • Because it’s only an HTML text list it saves a TON of memory from being actively used
  • At any time, you can open up individual tabs from OneTab or restore all tabs at once
  • Right click the extension icon to access additional icons

It essentially takes you from this:

Screen Shot 2014-08-27 at 5.25.06 PM

Screen Shot 2014-08-27 at 5.25.28 PM

I find it’s especially helpful for my morning routine. Each morning, rather than get sidetracked by what I was doing the previous day or night, I OneTab everything and follow through with a specific to do list that helps me prepare for the day ahead.

There are plenty of other extensions for Chrome that you could use as alternatives or compliments; if you’ve got a favorite, share with us in the comments!


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Warning: Awesome Screenshot users should remove it from Chrome immediately [Malware] Mon, 25 Aug 2014 00:27:38 +0000 Spread the word: if you’ve got the Awesome Screenshot Chrome extension installed on your computer, you should remove it immediately. I absolutely loved the extension and used it dozens of times per day, but recent reports claim it could contain malicious code that accesses sensitive data from your web browsing history.


Before we throw the creators of Awesome Screenshot under the bus, let’s be clear: we’re not suggesting they are purposefully doing something malicious. More likely they’ve packaged their extension with 3rd party code that allows them to earn money by anonymously gathering/selling user’s browser history- not much different than allowing cookies on your computer. But it seems the code executed by Awesome Screenshot (or their ad partners) is taking some liberties that we wouldn’t suggest you tolerate.

Details of the naughty code aren’t blatantly obvious, but rather were uncovered after several Awesome Screenshot users noticed private URLs from their servers being accessed by a crawler called “niki-bot”. Connecting the dots led down the following (summarized) path:

  • “niki-bot” detected as a crawler with unusual activity
  • Crawler ignores robots.txt and crawls everything including password protected URLs
  • Other users found similar issues, tracing it back to Awesome Screenshot
  • Since the screenshot collected private URLs and could potentially access the user’s cookies, a malicious party could login as the user to password protected accounts
  • One company was able to connect niki-bot to similarwebie.exe, likely run by a company called “Similar Web” that is known to track and sell 3rd part data
  • This collected information is being stored and sent over plaintext HTTP, which poses a security threat of itself

Exactly what information is being shared with who is unknown, but there’s enough evidence that we suggest you be (at the very least) suspicious and uneasy. Let’s not forget that this isn’t only about unauthorized access to password protected sites: sites like YouTube, GitHub, and Google Docs allow you to create “private links” that aren’t intended for anyone’s eyes except those with whom you share the link. These are being tracked and recorded, too.

The folks at Awesome Screenshot have seen similar complaints about adware that injects ads. While they’ve addressed these concerns directly on Twitter – showing they’re not hiding from customers – it seems the issues have yet to be resolved.

Screen Shot 2014-08-24 at 8.07.49 PM

We’d like to give the folks at Awesome Screenshot the benefit of the doubt because they’ve made an awesome product that millions of people enjoy. However, our benefit of the doubt extends only to our presumption of their intent; we still cannot recommend using the extension so long as it’s still accessing this sensitive info.

We’ll let you know when we feel Awesome Screenshot is safe to use again. To make sure you don’t miss the news, you can:

Please pass this info on to any Chrome users who might also use Awesome Screenshot by sharing this article.


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Hello? Anyone There? Do you miss ChromeSpot? Sat, 23 Aug 2014 22:48:04 +0000 The last official post on ChromeSpot was March 28th, some 5 months ago. Since then, we’ve seen a steady stream of e-mails asking where we’ve gone, why we left, and if we’ll ever come back. I want to finally address those questions.


To make a long story short, we stopped blogging on ChromeSpot because we didn’t have the resources. Given our limited amount of time, manpower, and financing, we had to make some hard decisions and ultimately, ChromeSpot became one of the odd men out. This was never the intention, but in refocusing our energy, it become an unfortunate reality.

I miss ChromeSpot. With Chrome market share, Add-ons, extensions, and Chrome OS growing at breakneck speeds, there seems to be a hole in the market for places to find interesting information on the latest developments in Chrome. We weren’t alone with those sentiments: that’s exactly what you folks told us in your comments and E-Mails.

We want to bring ChromeSpot back, but before we do, we want to know what YOU want?

  • Daily posts that reveals every breaking tidbit of Chrome news?
  • Suggestions for add-ons and extensions we think you’ll love?
  • Tips and tricks on how to get the most out of your Chromebook or Chrome Browser?
  • Deals where you can find bargain discounts on devices, software, and accessories?
  • Editorials sharing our opinions about the direction of the industry?
  • All of the above?

We’d love to make it a goal to post at least one interesting article every single day of the week, but before we re-embark on that journey, we want to hear from you.

Want to blog for ChromeSpot? We’d LOVE your help in bringing Chrome news, reviews, tips, tricks, tutorials, and everything else Chrome related to the masses. There’s certainly a need for it and we believe ChromeSpot can become THE destination for Chrome related content as the platform continues to grow.


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This week in Chrome news: Play Music, Photowall, Google Now, and more Sat, 29 Mar 2014 00:36:07 +0000 chromespot-logo-new

If you thought last week’s Chrome news were awesome, you will be surprised by all the awesome things that happened this week. We are closing the week with a great selection of big news, and wanted to go over them before we dive into our weekend adventures. Just in case you missed any of these.

Let’s jump into this week’s biggest news and catch up!

Download the Chromespot News extension

Before anything, I wanted to remind you that we released our very own Chrome extension this week! The Chromespot News extension gives you a feed of our most recent articles and keeps you updated on all the hottest Chrome content. I love it, so check it out and let us know what you think.


The 53 best Chromebook keyboard shortcuts

We know learning all the ins and outs of a Chromebook can be hard. There are no manuals or official tutorials out there, so you have to rely on trial and error (or the internet) to learn how to fully use your Chromebook.

At Chromespot we want you to always have the resources you need, so we have put together a nice list of all the popular keyboard shortcuts for Chromebooks. You will find all kinds of them in the list, so check it out.


Upload to Google Play Music straight from Chrome!

This is not big news for most Windows and Mac computer users, but it is huge for those of us with Chromebooks. We haven’t been able to upload music to Google Play Music from a Chromebook until now. This is insane – Chrome OS is Google’s operating system!

Google has finally released a feature that allows you to upload and download to/from Play Music straight from the browser. This means (many) Chromebook users can now use Google Play Music without having to switch to another computer.

Screen Shot 2014-03-26 at 12.46.56 PM

Google releases Photowall – share your photos on your TV

Google has released the very first Chrome Experiment for Chromecast – Photowall. This simple service allows you to share photos from any device to a TV screen with a Chromecast attached. It’s very neat and simple, so give it a try.


Google Now becomes available for Chrome!

We have been waiting for Google Now to come to Chrome for a long time. Bits and pieces have shown up here and there in the non-stable channels, but that was nothing but a taste of what was to come. Google Now is finally ready and has started rolling out to the stable Chrome browser.

Google Now cards will now appear in your notifications. You can find all the details in the link below.


What is the difference between Chrome apps and extensions?

Do you know the difference between Chrome hosted apps, packaged apps and extensions? We know many new and casual users have no idea what these are. IF you or anyone you know needs an explanation, popular Googler François Beaufort has a very nice explanation for you in the form of a video.


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Show us your theme in our Chrome forums! Fri, 28 Mar 2014 21:34:43 +0000 Google Chrome Themes

Last week we went over some of the hottest threads in the Chromespot forums. There were some pretty fun topics in there, but we thought we would do something a little different this week. Why don’t we show off our themes?!

There are many themes out there, with all kinds of neat features and fun concepts. We are sure many of you have some awesome ones, so it’s time to show them off and brag about them. Hell, maybe it would be a great way to find cool themes you haven’t seen yet!

I am sure your browsers are much funner than mine. I happen to be a simple guy – I like keeping my browser clean. I work online, so it makes sense to keep the experience as clear as possible (less distractions). This is why I stick with the stock Google theme. How about you?

Show us an image, the name of the theme and (if available) a link to where we can download it!

I have created a forum thread for this activity, so come join us and show your awesome themes.

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Samsung Chromebook 2 official page shows up – almost ready for launch? Fri, 28 Mar 2014 20:11:18 +0000 chromebook2-11_012_back-open_jet-black-hr

The Samsung Chromebook 2 is one of the most anticipated Chrome OS laptops this year. It’s to be expected, as it succeeds one of the most popular Chromebooks in existence (the original Samsung Chromebook). We know the device will be releasing in April, and it seems Samsung is getting ready for the imminent launch.

Both versions of the Samsung Chromebook 2 have shown up at Canada’s Samsung website. The official product page comes with all the details you can expect, including a full list of specs and other details. This can only mean Samsung is right on time for the launch, and Canada will be one of the first to see it go on sale.

We are looking forward to see what the Samsung Chromebook 2 is all about, and test it to its limits. We are a bit worried, as the first benchmarks didn’t look very promising. In fact they were quite disappointing.

Samsung Chromebook 2 specs


As you can see, the specs look nothing below awesome in paper. Many times benchmarks and performance don’t go parallel, though. What matters is day to day usage, and we are hoping the Samsung Chromebook 2 can pull through.

Price and release date

The new product pages don’t say much about this, but price is expected to be $319.99 for the 11.6 inch version and $399.99 for the bigger 13.3 inch laptop.

With all of this out of the way, we just have to wait a bit more and hope there are no delays with this laptops’ launch. Who is trying to get one of these?


Thanks, Maria!

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How Google handles police investigations and warrants Fri, 28 Mar 2014 19:01:26 +0000 Your information is pretty secure in Google’s servers, and the Search Giant likes it that way. Every now and then they have to work with police investigations, though. They can’t just hand over the information. There is a process to it, and Google has put a video together to explain it in a simple, friendly manner.

Of course, Google needs a warrant and some help from authorities to make the process simple, and as private as possible. In many ways, it seems Google is worried about our privacy even when they have to break it.

It is interesting that Google will try to only hand over the information that is relevant to the case. It makes sense; not only is a lot of data stored on Google (making the process harder), but it’s not fair to the user for Google to hand over ALL the data they have.

We just wanted to share the video and get your opinion. What do you guys think about the way Google handles your information when having to work with authorities? I happen to like the way they have portrayed it in this video, but who knows. It may not always work out the ideal way.

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You can now rearrange your Google Bar shortcuts Fri, 28 Mar 2014 16:47:48 +0000 Google_bar_screenshot

The Google Bar has been around since September 2013. It took some getting used to, but it is now part of our daily lives. There was one problem that really annoyed me, though. The App drawer in the Google Bar was helpful as a shortcut source, but many of them are not as important, or you have to scroll down to find the good ones.

google-bar-app-launcherOf course, we all have a different definition of which Google services are the “good ones”. It’s a subjective matter, so shouldn’t we be able to customize the app drawer as we choose? Google is finally making it possible to rearrange the shortcuts in your app drawer to your liking!

How to organize apps in Google Bar launcher

All you have to do is drag and drop. Simple as that. And you can even add Google services that would otherwise not be listed. An obvious example is Google Keep. All you have to do to add this app is go to the Google Keep website and open the app drawer. You will be prompted to add the app.

Release date

Google has started rolling this feature out. It should take about a couple weeks for everyone to have it, so don’t panic if you are not seeing it yet. I don’t have it yet, but it looks like a very neat feature and I am really looking forward to testing it.

Do any of you have this update yet?


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The 53 best Chromebook keyboard shortcuts Thu, 27 Mar 2014 23:32:22 +0000 chromebook-pixel-6

Chromebooks can be some of the simplest, fastest and most convenient computers around. This doesn’t mean there is no learning curve to them. In fact, there is a pretty steep one. We can all access the browser and log into facebook, but what if you want to take more advantage of what a Chromebook can do?

Those who want to dig deeper will definitely be interested in learning some of the many keyboard shortcuts that exist for Chrome OS. These are often hard to find, as no manual comes with the computer. We wanted to give you a good list of our very favorite (and most popular) keyboard shortcuts.

You can study these or come back and take a look whenever you need to! Without further ado – let’s jump into it.

Chromebook keyboard shortcuts for settings and apps

  • Opening the Files app: Alt + Shift + M
  • Opening History page: Control + H
  • Opening Downloads page: Control + J
  • Access the Help Center: Control + ?
  • Toggle bookmarks bar: Control + Shift + B
  • Open the Chrome browser menu: Alt + E or Alt + F
  • Toggle accessibility features: Control + Alt + Z
  • Increase display scale: Control + Shift + “+”
  • Decrease display scale: Control + Shift + “-“
  • Reset display scale to default: Control + Shift + “)”
  • Rotate display: Control + Shift + Refresh button
  • Take a screenshot: Control + window button
  • Take a partial screenshot: Control + Shift + window button

Chromebook keyboard shortcuts for windows and tabs

  • Opening a new window: Control + N
  • Opening a new tab: Control + T
  • Opening a new incognito window: Control + Shift + N
  • Closing current tab: Control + W
  • Closing current window: Control + Shift + W
  • Re-open last 10 closed tabs: Control + Shift + T
  • Go to a specific tab: Control + number of tab (Control + 9 sends you to the last one)
  • Switch tab: Control + Tab
  • Switch Window: Shift + Tab
  • Go back: Backspace, back button, or Alt + left arrow
  • Go forward: Forward button, or Alt + right arrow
  • Open link in new tab: Control + click on link
  • Open link in new window: Shift + click on link
  • Return tab to original position: Press Esc while dragging the tab

Chromebook keyboard shortcuts for account management

  • Signing out of your Google account: Control + Shift + Q (two times)
  • Lock your Chromebook: Control + Shift + L

Using your Chromebook without touchscreen, touchpad or mouse

You can actually select sections with keyboard shortcuts. You can then navigate with the arrows, and press enter or space to select it.

  • Focus on launcher: Shift + Alt + L
  • Focus on next available pane: Control + back/forward button
  • Focus on Bookmarks bar: Alt + Shift + B
  • Right-click on focused item: Shift + Search + Volume Up

Chromebook keyboard shortcuts for page management

  • Page up: Alt + up arrow
  • Page down: Alt + down arrow
  • Move down the website: Spacebar
  • Go home: Control + Alt + up arrow
  • Reload page: Control + R
  • Reload without cache: Control + Shift + R
  • Zoom: Control + “+ or -“
  • Print page: Control + P
  • Save page: Control + S
  • Save page as bookmark: Control + D
  • Save all open tabs as bookmarks: Control + Shift + D
  • Find: Control + F
  • Add www. and .com to omnibar text: Control + Enter after entering all text
  • View page source: Control + U

Chromebook keyboard shortcuts for text editing

  • Select all: Control + A
  • Select address bar text: Control + L
  • Copy: Control + C
  • Cut: Control + X
  • Paste: Control + V
  • Undo: Control + Z
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Chromebox users can now adjust monitor brightness with keyboard shortcuts Thu, 27 Mar 2014 21:52:31 +0000 asus-chromebox-3

The latest Chrome OS Dev update brings very cool features, like the new settings window. Chromebox users probably got the neatest of all improvements, though. Chromebox users can now control screen brightness straight from the keyboard’s brightness keys.

This will be a very neat feature for those who have already purchased an ASUS Chromebox. Having to adjust the brightness from the monitor settings can be a bit of a mess. The buttons are usually hidden away and the menus can be complicated to navigate. Using any keyboard’s brightness keys is much more convenient.

This feature is not available to everyone, though. There are some requirements.

Requirements for enabling brightness control on a Chromebook

How to activate Chromebox brightness control

If you meet both requirements, you can easily enable this feature and start controlling your monitor brightness from your Chromebox keyboard. Like most Chrome OS Dev features, this has to be enabled first. Here is how it’s done:

  • Open your Chrome browser.
  • Type chrome://flags/#ash-enable-brightness-control into the omnibar and press enter.
  • Enable the brightness control feature.
  • You are all set!
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