29 June 2014

Plugin-Free Google+ Hangouts in Chrome

Last year, Chrome's team announced that NPAPI support will be removed by the end of 2014. At that time, the Google+ Hangouts (Talk) plugin was one of the most popular NPAPI plugins used in Chrome (8.7% usage), so it was obvious that Google had to provide an alternative solution.

Now Google+ Hangouts no longer requires plugins in Chrome. Google uses WebRTC and Native Client to provide a native video chat experience.

"We're rolling out an update that makes it easier than ever to start Hangouts video calls with your family and friends! You'll now be able to launch Hangouts in Chrome without having to download and install a plugin. Just click to start the Hangout, allow Hangouts to use your camera and microphone, and you'll be good to go! This update is now available for all Chrome Dev and Canary users, and will be rolling out to all Chrome users over the next few weeks."

New Interface for Gmail and Google Drive File Previews

When you use Google Drive and click on a file that can't be edited, you get a preview interface that lets you quickly check your files, navigate between your files and more. The same file preview UI is also used for Gmail attachments.

Google updated the file previewer to give more focus to the content. The toolbar is now at the top of the page, it has more buttons and it disappears when you're not using it. Documents and images are displayed in a wider frame and take the center stage.

{ via Google Apps blog }

Password Lock in Google Drive for iOS

Google Drive for iOS has a feature that lets you set a 4-digit passcode code for the app so that others can't access your files while using your iPhone or iPad. Just go to the settings, tap "passcode lock", enable the feature, enter a passcode for Drive and decide if you want to enter the passcode even when you return to the app.

The passcode is only for the phone or tablet you are using and for the account that's currently logged in.

"To always require a passcode when returning to Drive, choose the Always Lock option from the passcode settings screen. Without Always Lock enabled, you will be prompted for the passcode only after 15 minutes or more of inactivity. If you have multiple accounts linked to your Drive app and want to switch between them, you'll only be required to enter passcodes for accounts with codes that have already been created," informs Google.

"If you have forgotten the passcode for your Drive app and have entered the wrong code 5 times, a menu will appear allowing you to remove your account from the app without a passcode. You can then re-add the account to the app without a passcode. After entering the wrong passcode 20 times, you will be prompted to remove your account from the app and will no longer have the option of trying again to enter the passcode."