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Chromecast is adding seven more great apps to your casting queue. Get bigger laughs with The Daily Show on Comedy Central, learn with Elmo on Sesame Street Go, or cast Nickelodeon and let Spongebob keep your family entertained. And, no matter how far you travel this winter, stay connected with TuneIn for international radio stations and millions of podcasts. With EPIX, YuppTV and ENCORE Play also casting, you have a full lineup of shows, sports, games and movies to last throughout the holiday season.

Posted by Faisal Feroz, Partner Engineering Manager, Elmo’s best friend

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We all know how hard it can be to find something once you've saved it. Starting today, it's a lot easier thanks to an update to bookmarks in the latest Chrome Beta. We’ll be rolling this feature gradually out over the next few weeks. Try out the new Bookmarks Manager by going to your Chrome Menu  > Bookmarks > Bookmarks Manager.

Now when you create a bookmark, you can select an image and add a note or snippet to help you find that bookmark more quickly later. Google will also suggest a folder if it seems like it could be a fit.

The new bookmarks get even better if you’re signed in to Chrome with sync enabled:
  • Improved search: Quickly find that elusive page with search powered by Google, which looks not only at the bookmark title and snippet, but also the bookmarked page’s content. 
  • Collect bookmarks by topic: Your bookmarks will automatically be organized by topic, like “Tokyo” and “Photography.” If you’d rather, you can still organize them into folders yourself.
  • Familiar bookmarks, new look: Your existing bookmarks will automatically get updated with images and descriptions, wherever possible.
  • Share: Have a folder of favorite bookmarks? You can make it public and share the link with whomever you’d like to access it. 
  • Access your bookmarks anywhere: Bookmarked an article on your phone to finish reading on your laptop? Chrome will continue to sync your bookmarks across all of your devices, just like it does today. 

Adding, organizing, and browsing your bookmarks is now easier (and prettier) than ever before. Have any questions about your new bookmarks? Join the discussion here.

Posted by Cynthia Johanson, Product Manager and Super Star-rer

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In time for the epic conclusion to the Hobbit trilogy we’ve updated the Chrome Experiment, “A Journey Through Middle-earth.” Whether you’re a hobbit, wizard or dwarf (oh yeah, humans too) you can now relive all of the epic Middle-earth adventures, from Frodo’s journey to Mount Doom in The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring to Bilbo’s final battle in The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, in theaters December 17th. This year's Chrome Experiment was developed by North Kingdom in collaboration with Warner Bros. Pictures, New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures (MGM).

Your adventure starts on a beautiful, interactive map of Middle-earth where you can explore all 27 locations from the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit film trilogies. This year’s map is rich with 3D animations highlighting the paths of eight key characters, including Bilbo, Gandalf and Bard.

Completely new for this year’s version is a peer-to-peer battle game where you can challenge your friends to a test of skill. The peer-to-peer gameplay experience was built primarily using the latest web technologies, including WebRTC and WebGL. It’s touch optimized for laptops, phones and tablets, bringing you a stunning interactive experience across all your devices.


Just go to goo.gl/TheHobbit on your laptop, phone or tablet to check out the latest Chrome Experiment, “A Journey through Middle-earth.”

And for those of you who are more interested in geeking out about web development than exploring Middle-earth, check out our technical case study on HTML5Rocks.com.

Posted by Ian Ellison-Taylor, Chrome Product Manager and human defender of Minas Tirith

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Over the past year Chromecast has added hundreds of your favorite apps, and brought anything on the web to the TV via Android mirroring and Chrome tab casting. Just in time for the holidays, we’re adding even more apps to the list. So whether you’re looking forward to a quiet evening watching your favorite holiday heartwarmer or a rousing game night with the gang, there’s something for everyone.

Family-friendly games for Chromecast

Chromecast uses your phone or tablet as the controller and your TV screen like a game or score board to let you play games like Wheel of Fortune or classics like Hasbro’s Monopoly Dash, Scrabble Blitz, Connect Four Quads and Simon Swipe on your big screen.

If you prefer to dance around, check out Just Dance Now. Your smartphone can tell if you’re fist pumping high or shaking your hands down low, which earns you points. To show off your mental moves instead, Big Web Quiz and Emoji Party for Chromecast bring trivia to the TV. Astound your friends with your answers to questions like: How many goats tall is Taylor Swift? What does the "Queen of Hearts" look like in emoji? Big Web Quiz uses Google Knowledge Graph to create hundreds of questions, while Emoji Party uses your knowledge of emojis to guess movie titles based on the pictures.

There's no hassle or expense with extra controllers. Anyone with a phone or tablet can join in on any of these games, so download these apps from the Play Store or App Store so all your family and friends can shake it, show off their smarts or just play.

More movies and shows with Showtime Anytime and Starz

Nothing says winter like a TV binge on a cold, gray day. With Showtime Anytime you can catch up on past and current seasons of the network’s original series including Homeland and The Affair. With Starz Play, get your tartan on with the first season of Outlander, or have a marathon of Friday night flicks.

Easily explore and discover new things to cast 

To make it easier for you to navigate through the many great apps available with Chromecast and find exactly what you’d like to cast, we’ve added category tabs to the chromecast.com/apps page. Choose from TV & Movies, Music & Audio, Games, Sports, Photos & Video, or More.
Posted by Wendi Zhang, three-peat Scrabble champ

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[Cross-posted on the Google Translate blog]

When you're browsing the web, you might come across a page where some of the text is in a different language. With the new update to the Google Translate Chrome extension, you can translate just that piece of text, without worrying about the rest of the page.

Simply highlight the text that you want to translate, and then click the Translate icon that appears. You can also right click and choose "Google Translate". If you click the icon in the upper right of your browser window, with no text highlighted, you can translate the entire web page.
You can download and try the Translate extension from the Chrome Web Store; if you already have the extension installed, it will be updated automatically.

The Translate team is working hard to connect people by breaking language barriers across computers, mobile devices and Internet browsers. Our users make more than 1 billion translations a day, and we hope that our recent update will make their translation tasks a little easier!

Posted by Chao Tian, Software Engineer

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When you’re chatting with your friends and family, you want your conversations easily accessible, not buried in browser windows. Today, we’re introducing the Hangouts Chrome App for Chrome OS and Windows -- a simpler, faster way to use Hangouts on your computer alongside whatever else you’re doing.

The new app brings the best of Hangouts to your desktop, plus some improvements we think you’ll love:
Keep the conversation going, without taking over your desktop. The app has a streamlined design that keeps your chats accessible without getting in the way of everything else. Your contact list and all your chats are condensed into one easy to toggle window. Also, you’ll get integrated notifications that alert you to new messages, so you can quickly find the conversation you’re looking for.

More app, less Chrome. It works outside of your browser so your chats are always available, not tucked away inside a window. You’ll get all your messages as long as you have the app running, and your chats will sync across Hangouts on all your devices.

Voice calling from your desktop. The app now has all the video and voice features you’re used to in Hangouts. We recently announced you can make phone calls to any number in the world (via Hangouts dialer) and now you can do this right from your desktop.  If you use Google Voice, the app includes complete Google Voice support, so you can make and receive calls, and get your voicemails and SMS messages directly in Hangouts.

Download the Hangouts Chrome App today and get started with a new experience tailor-made for your desktop.  If you’re already using the Hangouts Chrome extension on your ChromeOS or Windows computer, you’ll also see a promo to try the new app over the next few weeks. To learn more, visit the Hangouts Help Center.

Posted by David Levin, Software Engineer, and the very model of a modern Hangout Handler

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You’ve told us you love the photography that shows up on your TV when you’re taking a break from casting videos with Chromecast. But many of you have also told us you want to add your own photos on the screen. Now, you can.

With a new backdrop option, you can customize your TV screen with:
  • Your favorite photo albums from Google+
  • Amazing artwork from galleries and museums around the world via the Google Cultural Institute
  • News and lifestyle images from The New York Times, The Guardian, Saveur and more (U.S. only)
  • Satellite imagery of some of the hardest-to-reach places on Earth from Google Maps
  • and even more beautiful photos from the Google+ community
To customize your Chromecast, open the Chromecast app on your phone or tablet and select “Backdrop” from the left menu. Then, choose the topics for types of imagery you want to show up on the TV.


If a picture sparks your curiosity, you can learn more about it by opening the Chromecast app, selecting “Backdrop” from the left menu and tapping on the card to find out more. Or, simply open the Google app on your Android or iOS device, tap on the microphone icon and ask “What’s on my Chromecast?”

This update is rolling out starting today. Just make sure your Chromecast app is up to date on your Android phone or tablet, iPhone, or iPad. To learn more on how to set it up, visit chromecast.com/backdrop.
Posted by Raunaq Shah, Chromecast Product Manager and Master Caster