Google Chrome: The Power of the Omnibox

What’s an Omnibox? I have always referred to the bar at the top of a browser where you type in a URL as the “address bar” But I was informed that in Google Chrome, that bar is so much more. It’s the Omnibox. It can:

  • Search the web and visit addresses
  • Search for apps, bookmarks and browsing history
  • Create bookmarks
  • See security, pop-up and extension alerts
This week was the first two of six Chromebook events I am helping to lead with Lucy Gray, Joe Donahue and the Google Apps Team. We presented in Boulder on Monday, Chicago on Wednesday and next week, we’ll be heading to Austin and New York.
My topics were actually Gmail and Calendar, but we were also responsible for demonstrating some of the amazing things you can do with the Chromebooks or even just Chrome. Over the last month or so, I have been exploring the Apps and Extensions in the Chrome Web Store.
Here are my favorite Apps and Extensions:
  • Scratchpad – A simple note-taking app. Take notes offline and optionally syncs to the cloud when you’re online.
  • goo.gl URL Shortener – Shorten url with goo.gl, the Google URL shortener, and share with many different service!
  • Screen Capture – Capture visible content of a tab, a region of a web page, or the whole page as a PNG image. Support horizontal and vertical scroll when capturing whole page, with an all new autosave capability.
  • App Jumper App Launcher – Quickly launch Apps from browser toolbar. Organize Apps and Extensions into Groups. Manage Apps and Extensions with ease.
  • SdTimer – Great in-browser timer which can count down from any time. Shows time on tab title and buzzes once done.
  • Chrome 2 Phone – Google Chrome to Phone Extension enables you to send links and other information from Chrome to your Android device.
If you haven’t already, take 15 minutes and explore the Chrome Web Store.  I can honestly say now that Chrome is my browser of choice.
Do you have any Apps or Extensions that you like and think I should share with the educators at the Chromebook Events?

Everyday Math Apps – FREE

For those of you who are interested, during the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) Conference in Indianapolis, Indiana, Everyday Math is offering the EMGames Apps FREE in the iTunes store.   You can preview these apps at the STEM App site at https://www.mheonline.com/stem_apps/. If teachers, parents and students have an iPad, iPhone, or iPod Touch they can download the EMGames Apps for FREE during NCTM April 13-16, 2011.

Here’s a list of the available apps:

  • Addition Top-It™
  • Subtraction Top-It™
  • Beat the Computer™
  • Name that Number™
  • Equivalent Fractions™
  • Tric-Trac™
  • Monster Squeeze™
  • Baseball Multiplication 1–6™ Facts
  • Baseball Multiplication 1–12™ Facts
  • Divisibility Dash™

Remember, after April 16, these apps revert back to their original price of $1.99 each.

(Thanks goes to Molly Schroeder for bringing this to my attention.)

What My Droid Does – Part 7

There have been two things that I have wanted my Droid to be able to do in the last month or so that it hasn’t been able to. It’s not really my Droid though. See the cases in point:

  1. ISTE released an app for the iPhone. As I went to the conference this year, I would have liked an app for my Android phone as well. I made due with the mobile app, but I am hoping that next year they play “equal time” as my grandfather used to call it.
  2. I want to be able to tether my Droid to my iPad as I do to my laptop and my netbook for Internet access where there is no wifi. It’s physically impossible as there is no connection that will run from a Droid to an iPad. But I did see while I was at ISTE a link to this resource go by in the Twitter stream. I re-Tweeted How to: WiFi Tether a Motorola Droid to an iPad and was asked by Chris Craft whether I was willing to root my phone. I’ve read up on Rooting quite a bit and have not yet taken the plunge. When and if I do decide to root my Droid, I will then be able to use it as wifi for my iPad.

I looked back at the previous six posts I have written about what my Droid does for me and I have some updates to make on a few of the apps.

What My Droid Does – Part 1

What My Droid Does – Part 2

What My Droid Does – Part 3

What My Droid Does – Part 4

What My Droid Does – Part 5

What My Droid Does – Part 6

First of all, there are so many apps for Twitter. Find one you like and be happy. I have been happy since they updated the Twitter for Android app and then I found TweetCaster.

In addition to the standard Twitter functions, TweetCaster features:

  • Multiple Twitter account support
  • Integrated retweets
  • Integrated Twitter lists
  • Notifications
  • Offline tweet caching
  • URL shortening (and previews)
  • Photo attachment
  • Threaded direct messages
  • Font/Theme customization
  • Landscape support
  • Profile editing
  • Tweet filtering
WordPress for Android

WordPress for Android made some major updates to their app earlier this month.
With the recent version 1.3 you can now:

  • see your page views
  • see your post views
  • see your referrers
  • check out your search terms
  • and view your number of clicks

I have also been happy that I can now moderate multiple comments at once using their new “bulk edit” feature
and should I choose to post from my phone, I can really format my text using their visual editor.

QR Code for Open Spot

There are a few new things that I wanted to mention.

Open Spot – http://openspot.googlelabs.com/

So over time, the concept behind Open Spot is pretty cool. To save time, gas, and to reduce pollution, Google released this app to help users find open parking spaces easily.

It will only find the open spaces of Open Spot users, so until lots of people are using it, the app is not going to be effective, but to make it work, all you so it place a pin on a map within the Android app to share the space you are abandoning. The pins are left color coded as empty to fellow users for 20 minutes until they expire.

Source http://www.slashgear.com

I installed Barnes and Noble’s new Nook app for the Droid today. I received an e-mail from B&N yesterday and was easily able to browse for it in the Android Market and download and install the free app. Once launched, I logged in using the B&N credentials I signed up with for my free iPad books (but that expired a while ago) and there they were on my Droid. Awesome.

I’m waiting for Android 2.2
I’m talking about Froyo – the next update to the Android operating system. If you have one of the newer Droids, you already have it. I have one of the older ones (I bought it waaaaaay back in November 2009) so I have to wait until Verizon pushes the update down to me. I’ll be writing about that and my top 10 apps as well as my experience using my Droid in the UK in my next post.