18 Apr 2015
Chrome 42 for iOS brought a lot of new features. Some of them use the APIs introduced in iOS 8, while others make it easy to use Apple's bigger phones.
You can now reload a page, open a new tab or close a tab with one swipe. Go to the top of a page, pull down and you'll see three buttons: a reload button (pull straight down), a plus button for opening a new tab (pull down and left) and a button that closes the current tab (pull down and right).
Chrome for iOS 8 now has support for the Today View. You can open a new tab, use voice search or open copied links. For example, you can copy a link from Safari, open the Notification Center and tap "open copied link" to open the page in Chrome.
Chrome has its own app extension for the Today View, but it also supports third-party app extensions. For example, you can now use password managers like LastPass and 1Password right inside Chrome. Here are the instructions for LastPass. Basically, you need to tap the share button from Chrome's menu, enable LastPass in the extensions menu and then you can quickly log in using LastPass.
Another new feature allows you find answers more quickly. When you're searching from the address bar, Chrome now shows answers related to weather, stocks, unit conversions and more. Chrome also shows the latest URL copied to the clipboard.
18 Apr 2015 9:09am GMT
17 Apr 2015
Google's mobile search site replaced URLs for search results with breadcrumbs that reflect the structure of the URL. "To help mobile searchers understand your website better when we show it in the mobile search results, today we're updating the algorithms that display URLs in the search results to better reflect the names of websites, using the real-world name of the site instead of the domain name, and the URL structure of the sites in a breadcrumbs-like format," informs Google.
For example, instead of URLs like www.google.com/about/company/history, you'll see something like this: Google > about > company > history.
Google added support for schema.org structured data for websites, so webmasters can include the site's name and the URL structure as breadcrumbs. You can include multiple site names, but they have to be unique and closely related to the domain name.
Breadcrumbs are already used in desktop SERPs. When they were released, you could click each link to navigate the site's hierarchy, but this feature is no longer available. Google also shows the site's name next to the URL and you can click it to find more information about the site.
Mobile SERPs will add a similar feature and the most important change is that Google will replace the domain name with the site's name. Regular users don't understand web addresses and that's why they use search engines to navigate to sites they visit often like Facebook or Amazon.
Mobile breadcrumbs will gradually roll out worldwide, but site names will only be displayed in the US. I assume that Google will use domain names outside the US, at least for now.
In my opinion, the war against URLs is a bad idea. More and more browser partially hide URLs, Google replaces search results URLs with breadcrumbs and even tests removing them. URLs may be meaningless for many people, but they're unique and they give some information about the site's identity. It's hard to come up with unique site names, especially when you consider that there are many companies, products and sites that have the same name.
17 Apr 2015 11:12am GMT
16 Apr 2015
The old My Maps is no longer available, even if you use the classic Google Maps interface. Your custom maps were upgraded to the new My Maps, which has more advanced features.
You can still download the original KML files for your custom maps until June 1st, just in case they weren't properly converted. To export a map, go to My Maps, click "open a map", pick the map you want to export and click "Download classic My Maps data" in the settings menu. If this feature is not available, then the map was created using the new My Maps. There's also an option to "export to KML", which downloads the current map.
"If you aren't happy with the way that your maps upgraded, you can download the original, pre-upgrade version of your maps as KML files from within the new My Maps. These files will be available only until June 1st, 2015. After June 1st, the pre-upgrade version of the KML files will be removed," informs Google.
16 Apr 2015 10:37pm GMT