Chrome 56 adds native support for playing FLAC audio in the browser

Chrome 56 is currently in the beta channel and should hit stable in about a week. When released, it will bring support for the FLAC audio codec directly in the browser. This will provide a quick way to play those files, with the Mac being the biggest platform to benefit due to a lack of native support.

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Opinion: Google’s future is in AI, but Chrome OS getting the Play Store is a big deal today

This year’s I/O was a big one. Maybe not the largest in terms of new products and services, but definitely not the smallest either. Among other things, the Mountain View, California company announced its Daydream VR platform for Android, an evolution of the Google Now assistant in the form of an AI-powered “Google Assistant,” a couple of new messaging apps and some hardware to play the part of debuting the Assistant, a new version of Android Wear, and more.

The keynote had this overarching theme that Google is no longer just a company that does search and ads. Now, Google is diving head first into artificial intelligence and machine learning, and most of the things that were announced in the keynote fell into that narrative for the most part. This is the stuff that’s not coming out for at least half a year. Most things, from Allo and Duo to Google Home, felt half-baked. It felt like everything was unfinished, and to some degree, that’s true. It’s still early days.

While Google wanted to paint this big picture of what the company envisions for the next few years and beyond, it saved some of the stuff that’s actually really cool today for other events at the conference. The most obvious of these was the press-only event Google hosted on day 2, showing off a huge new feature for Chrome OS: support for the Play Store that has long been tied down to Android. We’ve known this was coming for a long time, but now it’s here — serving as the next move to make Chrome OS and Android more alike than ever…

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Chrome 62 beta redesigns ‘Chrome Home,’ marks more HTTP sites as ‘Not secure,’ adds more DRM support to Android

With Chrome 61 rolled out to Android and desktop browsers, version 62 is now in the beta channel. Chrome for Android’s new bottom bar interface is already testing a redesign, while there are a number of security-related changes that apply to browsers across all platforms.

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Google launches an official ‘Save to Google’ Chrome extension for saving articles

Google has recently launched a Chrome extension for its under-the-radar Pocket-like service for saving photos, articles, and other online content. The extension is appropriately called “Save to Google,” and lets you easily put some of your favorite web content in the same digital folder as all the other stuff you’ve saved…

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Chrome 49 for Android will notify users of nearby smart beacons, Google announces IoT research pilot

A part of Google’s Internet of Things approach involves placing low-energy Bluetooth beacons in the world that can communicate with smartphones. Starting with version 49, currently in beta, Chrome for Android will be able to read and interact with these beacons. Google has also announced a research pilot that provides gear to university researchers working on IoT.

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