Hands-On With Google’s MacBook Air-Style Pixelbook Go

Google earlier this month unveiled the Pixelbook Go, a new premium Chromebook that's similar to a MacBook Air or a MacBook Pro, but Chrome OS.

In our latest video, we went hands-on with the Pixelbook Go to see how it measures up to Apple's ‌MacBook Air‌ (the two have similar price points) and whether or not it can serve as a ‌MacBook Air‌ replacement.

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Design wise, the Pixelbook Go looks rather similar to a MacBook featuring a lightweight chassis, a large trackpad, a 13-inch display with slim side bezels and a thicker top/bottom bezel, a keyboard with speaker grilles at each side, and a similar hinge mechanism.

A G logo at the top and a wavy, bumpy textured feel at the bottom sets it apart from the ‌MacBook Air‌. Like Apple's MacBooks, the Pixelbook Go offers a simple, clean design.


Pricing on the Pixelbook Go starts at $649 for an Core M3 processor and 64GB of storage, but we tested the upgraded Core i5 model with 8GB RAM and 128GB of storage, which is priced at $849. That's the model most similar to the entry-level ‌MacBook Air‌, which comes with a 1.6GHz Core i5 processor, 128GB of storage, and 8GB RAM for $1,100.

The Pixelbook Go is cheaper than the ‌MacBook Air‌, but there are some areas where it is definitely lacking in comparison. When it comes to the display, for example, it's adequate, but the HD quality just doesn't measure up to the ‌MacBook Air‌'s Retina display. There is an upgraded version of the Pixelbook Go with a 4K display, but that machine is priced at $1,400.

One area where the Pixelbook Go shines is its keyboard. The keyboard doesn't look too different from a MacBook keyboard, but it's super quiet thanks to Google's Hush Keys feature, satisfying to type on, and has the perfect amount of key travel. There are also custom keys, including a key for activating Google Assistant. There are speakers located to each side of the keyboard, and the sound quality is solid. The speakers are a touch louder than the ‌MacBook Air‌'s speakers at maximum volume, but the ‌MacBook Air‌ wins out when it comes to sound quality.


There's a MacBook Air-style trackpad on the Pixelbook Go, but MacBook competitors often have a hard time replicating the feel of Apple's trackpad, and the Pixelbook Go is no exception. There's a physical trackpad button that feels clunky and outdated compared to Apple's Haptic Trackpad.

The Pixelbook Go offers up to 12 hours of battery life, which is the same claim that Apple makes about the ‌MacBook Air‌. In practice, we see around five to eight hours of battery life from the ‌MacBook Air‌ depending on usage, and the Pixelbook Go has been hitting around eight hours.

There are two USB-C ports on Pixelbook Go (one on each side) along with a 3.5mm headphone jack, which is the same general port setup the ‌MacBook Air‌ offers, though the ‌MacBook Air‌ supports Thunderbolt 3.

What really sets the Pixelbook Go apart from the ‌MacBook Air‌ is the operating system. While the ‌MacBook Air‌ runs the full version of macOS, the Pixelbook Go uses Chrome OS. Chrome OS is a Linux-based OS that supports Chrome apps and some Android titles, but it is in general more limited in scope than macOS.


Chrome OS is designed for everyday tasks like browsing the web, creating documents, taking notes, and sending emails rather than more specialized tasks like photo and video editing. Technically, most people who buy something like an entry-level ‌MacBook Air‌ are probably primarily using it for the same purposes, but you do have a bit more flexibility with macOS.

The option to download Android apps has made Chrome OS more useful over the course of the last several years, and there are, for example, apps for photo and video editing, though we wouldn't recommend them for regular full-time usage.

All in all, for most people, the upgrade to the ‌MacBook Air‌ over the Pixelbook Go may be worth the price differential given the better screen quality and the option to use macOS, though it's still much cheaper than the ‌MacBook Air‌ when it comes to the entry-level $649 option. The Pixelbook Go is one of Google's nicest Chromebooks in terms of design, hardware, and the complete Google experience, so it is likely the better choice for those who prefer a Google ecosystem.

What do you think of the Pixelbook Go? Would you use it over a ‌MacBook Air‌? Let us know in the comments.

Tags: Google, Chrome

This article, "Hands-On With Google's MacBook Air-Style Pixelbook Go" first appeared on MacRumors.com

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Google Releases Chrome 73 With Support for macOS Mojave Dark Mode

Google today released Chrome 73, the newest stable version of its Chrome browser for Mac and Windows. Chrome 73 has been in beta testing since February, with several new features included.

On macOS Mojave, Chrome 73 introduces support for Dark Mode. The browser window will display the darker colored theme automatically whenever Dark Mode on Mojave is enabled. Dark Mode in Chrome looks similar to the darker toolbar available when using Chrome in Incognito Mode.


Other new features in Google Chrome include tab grouping for better organizing multiple tabs, support for keyboard media keys, and an automatic picture in picture option enabled when swapping away from an active video.

There's a new Sync and Google Services section under Settings to make it easier to control data collection settings and other options, spell checking improvements, and a new badge API that will let web app icons include a visual indicator for things like unread item counts.

There are a number of changes for developers in Chrome 73, including signed HTTP exchanges, constructable style sheets, and support for Progressive Web Apps on Mac.


Multiple security fixes have been addressed in Chrome 73, with Google outlining security updates in a blog post. Chrome 73 can be downloaded using the update button in Chrome if you already have it installed or through the Chrome website.

Tags: Google, Chrome

This article, "Google Releases Chrome 73 With Support for macOS Mojave Dark Mode" first appeared on MacRumors.com

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Google Chrome Will Support Dark Mode in macOS Mojave by Early 2019

Google released Chrome 71 earlier this week, but the latest version of the web browser still lacks support for Dark Mode on macOS Mojave. Fortunately, it appears that will change by early next year.

Dark Mode in Canary, a developer build of Chrome

As mentioned on Reddit, a Google developer recently submitted a code change that implements system-level Dark Mode in Chromium, the open source web browser that serves as the foundation of Chrome. The code change passed the review process and will make its way into a future release of Chrome.

For those unaware, there are several different builds of Chrome that Google uses to slowly test and roll out new features. All code changes begin in Chromium and then work their way from Canary to Chrome Dev to Chrome Beta to Chrome, the stable version released to all users roughly every six weeks.

Dark Mode in Canary, a developer build of Chrome

Dark Mode in Chromium remains hidden behind feature flags, which are essentially code-level toggle switches, but we were able to run a Terminal command to force the darker appearance into action and took screenshots.

The system-level Dark Mode applies a dark appearance to much of the Chrome interface, including the omnibox, tabs, menus, bookmark bar, status bar, and dialog boxes. The startup page with Google search and shortcuts will also have a black background when the Dark appearance is enabled in System Preferences.

Most of the current Dark Mode colors in Chromium are placeholders, according to one developer working on the project, so there may be slight changes to come. One challenge the developers face is ensuring that the Dark Mode is distinguishable from Chrome's private-browsing Incognito Mode, which is also dark.

Incognito Mode in Canary, a developer build of Chrome

We're not entirely sure if Dark Mode will make the cut for Chrome 72, which has already been branched and will likely be released in mid-to-late January. Chrome 73 will likely follow in March, so it looks like early 2019 either way.

In the meantime, a variety of third-party dark themes are available for Chrome, but the omnibox always remains white since it is not allowed to be themed. Third-party dark themes are also available for websites such as Facebook, Google, YouTube, Gmail, Reddit, and Twitter to complete the experience.

Related Roundup: macOS Mojave
Tags: Google, Chrome

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Chrome 70 Now Enables Picture-in-Picture by Default on macOS

Google Chrome now enables picture-in-picture as a default setting on Mac, Windows, and Linux computers as of Chrome 70. If you are up-to-date and watching a compatible video in the Chrome web browser, you can minimize it and continue browsing the web in other tabs, while the video keeps playing in a new miniature screen (via Android Police).


The feature works similarly to Safari's implementation of PIP: on compatible websites you can two-finger click twice on a playing video to find "Picture in Picture." This will pause the video on the main tab, turn it black, and display the video in a new window that can be moved around anywhere on the screen.

PIP was previously in the Chrome 69 beta but it had to be manually enabled, so it appears that Google is making it easier for users to gain access to the feature with Chrome 70. PIP still isn't available on every video-playing website since it will have to be adopted by each site, but you can enable PIP with YouTube in Chrome on macOS starting today.

Tags: Google, Chrome

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Chrome 70 Will Allow Users to Opt-out of Controversial Automatic Sign-in Feature

Google says it is willing to make changes to its new Chrome auto-login feature, following heavy criticism from privacy-conscious users.

In previous versions of the browser, it was left up to the user whether they wanted to log in to Chrome while they used the app.

However in Chrome 69, released earlier this month, if you sign in to a Google site like Google Search, Gmail, or YouTube, you also get logged into Chrome automatically, and there's currently no way around it.

Google originally claimed the feature was introduced to prevent data from leaking between accounts on shared computers, but the move has been criticized for its potential to make it theoretically easier for Google to upload users' browsing history. Google responded to the criticism in a blog post:
"We want to be clear that this change to sign-in does not mean Chrome sync gets turned on," said Chrome product manager Zach Koch. "Users who want data like their browsing history, passwords, and bookmarks available on other devices must take additional action, such as turning on sync."
Despite clearing that up, the blowback has apparently been vehement enough for Google to tweak Chrome 70, due in October, which will offer users a clear opt-out for the auto-login feature.

While we think sign-in consistency will help many of our users, we're adding a control that allows users to turn off linking web-based sign-in with browser-based sign-in – that way users have more control over their experience. For users that disable this feature, signing into a Google website will not sign them into Chrome.
In addition to the change, Google says it will update the Chrome interface to make a user's account sync state more obvious. Google says the way Chrome handles authentication cookies is also going to be tweaked to make sure they don't hang around once the user has successfully signed in.

Tags: Google, Chrome

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Google Releases Chrome 69 for iOS and Mac With Refreshed Look, Revamped Password Manager

On the 10th anniversary of Chrome's launch, Google today updated its popular browser to version 69, introducing a new look and several new features for the desktop and mobile apps.

Chrome 69 offers up a refreshed design with rounded tabs, a new color palette, and new icons, with the updated design extended to menus, prompts, the address bar, and other browser aspects. Google says the new design is meant to provide a simpler look that boosts productivity.


On iOS, changes have been made to make browsing faster, such as a relocated toolbar to the bottom of the app, with the new design also extending to Chrome for iOS.

Chrome 69 brings improvements to the way that Chrome manages passwords. Like Safari, Chrome now generates a secure password for you, saving it so that it can be used the next time that you sign in to a particular site.

The updated version of Chrome is also able to more accurately fill in passwords, addresses, and credit card numbers to make it quicker to get through checkout forms. Password and address information is stored within a Google account and can be accessed from the Chrome toolbar.

Chrome's Omnibox, which combines the search bar and the address bar, has been updated to display answers directly in the address bar without needing to open a new tab. This includes results on public figures or sporting events, word translations, weather information, and more.

Google is making Chrome more customizable with the option to create and manage shortcuts for favorite websites directly from the new tab page, and the update offers several under-the-hood improvements like better performance tracking and new CSS features.

Chrome 69 for Mac can be downloaded from the Chrome website, while Chrome 69 for iOS can be downloaded from the App Store. [Direct Link]

Tag: Chrome

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How to Export Your Passwords and Login Data From Google Chrome

In Chrome 66, rolling out now for Mac and iOS, Google has added a password export option to the web browser so that you can easily migrate your login details to another browser via a third-party password manager app. In this article, we'll show you how to export your passwords from Chrome on Mac and iOS.

At the end of the process, you'll be left with a CSV file containing all your login credentials. Popular password managers like Enpass and 1Password accept CSV files for importing login data. Just be aware that the CSV file you export from Chrome is in plain text. That means your credentials could be read by anyone with access to it, so make sure you securely delete the file once you've imported the data into your password manager of choice.
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Google Chrome 66 Browser Adds Default Mute Autoplay Feature, Password Export, and More

Google is currently rolling out its Chrome 66 update to users of the web browser on Mac and iOS. The Mac version now mutes autoplaying content by default, while both desktop and mobile versions include a passwords export option, security improvements and new developer features.

Mute autoplay was originally slated for Chrome 64, which introduced autoplay settings on a per-site basis, but the function got pushed back for unspecified reasons. However, Chrome 66 now rolls out the default behavior for all users, and feeds into Google's wider intention to make the media playback experience more consistent when users navigate the web.

Going forward, web-hosted media can only automatically play if it has no audio, if the user interacted with the page during a previous browsing session, or if the user frequently plays media on the site. Similarly on mobile, media can only autoplay if the site was added to the Home Screen by the user.

The new passwords export option was previously hidden in Chrome's backend flag menus, but Chrome 66 adds the option to the user-facing settings.

As for enhancing security, Chrome 66 follows through on Google's plan to deprecate Symantec-issued certificates, after the company failed to comply with industry security standards. The decision to end its trust for Symantec certificates was made when certificates for example.com and variations of test.com escaped into the wild.

Additionally, Chrome 66 includes a Site Isolation feature that offers additional protection from the Spectre CPU vulnerability, by forcing websites to run as different processes, with blocks to prevent them receiving certain types of sensitive data.

Google Chrome for Mac is a free download available directly from Google's servers.

Google Chrome for iOS is a free download for iPhone and iPad available on the App Store. [Direct Link]

Tags: Google, Chrome

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Google Removes Chrome Apps Section From the Chrome Browser Web Store

Google has shuttered the Chrome Apps section of its Chrome browser web store, following through on an announcement the company made more than a year ago. As of Wednesday, the Apps selection no longer appeared in the web store's search panel filters below Extensions and Themes.

Prior to yesterday's removal, Chrome apps were available in two flavors: packaged apps and hosted apps. As Ars Technica notes, hosted apps were little more than desktop bookmarks, but they gave Chrome OS users a way to pin important web pages to certain parts of the GUI.

Packaged apps, which first appeared on Mac in 2013, could be downloaded into the Applications folder where they were designed to function like native Mac apps, working offline, updating automatically, and syncing on any computer where a user was signed into Chrome.

By 2016, Google had decided they were no longer worth the resources, because only around 1 percent of users across Windows, Mac, and Linux actively used Chrome packaged apps, and by that time the functionality of most hosted apps had been implemented as regular web apps.

This week, Google began sending out emails to Chrome app developers informing them that Chrome Apps are now deprecated, and that the functionality of already installed apps will end early next year. As a replacement, Google is moving developers towards Progressive Web Apps (PWAs).

The hybrid software was launched earlier this year on Android and brings similar app features to websites, including push notifications and offline sync. Apple has already started building support for PWAs into Safari on iOS, while Google is reportedly aiming to release PWAs for desktop by the middle of next year.

Tags: Google, Chrome

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Chrome Browser Updates Coming to Prevent Unexpected Web Page Redirects

Google this week revealed some upcoming enhancements to its Chrome browser that aim to protect users from encountering unwanted content on the web, such as when a site unexpectedly redirects them to another page when they click on a video play button.

Google says that incidents of users being redirected by websites to unintended destinations are mentioned in 1 of every 5 Chrome feedback reports it receives, and it's now intent on putting a stop to the "abusive" behavior.
One piece of feedback we regularly hear from users is that a page will unexpectedly navigate to a new page, for seemingly no reason. We've found that this redirect often comes from third-party content embedded in the page, and the page author didn't intend the redirect to happen at all. To address this, in Chrome 64 all redirects originating from third-party iframes will show an infobar instead of redirecting, unless the user had been interacting with that frame. This will keep the user on the page they were reading, and prevent those surprising redirects.
Another example that Google says causes user frustration is when clicking a link opens the desired destination in a new tab, but the main window navigates to a different, unwanted page. The behavior is designed to circumvent pop-up blockers, but Google is planning a clampdown.


Staring in Chrome 65, the browser will detect this abusive behavior, trigger an infobar, and prevent the main tab from being redirected, allowing the user to continue on to their intended destination.

Lastly, starting in early January, Chrome's pop-up blocker will attempt put a stop to several other types of abusive experiences that are harder to detect, such as links to third-party websites disguised as play buttons or other site controls, or transparent overlays on websites that capture all clicks and open new tabs or windows.


To help site owners prepare for the changes, Google is launching the Abusive Experiences Report alongside other similar reports in the Google Search Console. These can be used by owners to see to see if any of the abusive experiences have been found on their site and help them improve their user experience.

Tags: Google, Chrome

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