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The Future of Gaming is Here: Google Stadia

This week, Google revealed its upcoming game streaming plans during its GDC Keynote. Stadia will be the continuation of efforts that began with Project Stream, giving future consumers access to the latest games at the highest settings, streamed over the internet into their internet browser. Many important details when it comes to Stadia, such as the final pricing model, are still unknown.

Google has made it clear it wants to change how the traditional video gaming market works forever with Stadia. You won’t need an expensive gaming PC or a dedicated game console. Instead, you’ll just need access to Google’s Chrome browser to instantly play games on a phone, tablet, PC, or TV. It’s a bold vision for where gaming is heading, and Google hopes its Stadia cloud streaming service will make it a reality

The Stadia premise is that you’ll be able to watch a clip of a game and then instantly play it or even launch to the very same point in the game of the clip you were watching. Streamers will be able to create lobbies for fans to join and play with them on YouTube, and Stadia will support instant clipping to the video service. This is a game console running in the cloud and built for the YouTube generation, and it’s Google’s big push here.

Google disable inline extension in Chrome browser

Chrome also plays a big role as Google’s dominant web browser. Stadia will only be available through Chrome, Chromecast, and on Android devices initially. Google has promised more browsers in the future, but it’s not clear when this will arrive. Google only demonstrated the service on its own devices, and there was no mention of iOS support through a dedicated app or Apple’s Safari mobile browser.

Google’s Stadia platform, gamers have begun asking deeper, more troubling questions. What do mods look like in a world of game streaming? What happens to game preservation? What happens if Google dwarfs gaming the same way it has with search, browsers, and advertising? And most worryingly of all, what happens if Google decides to walk away from the industry later on?

Google is using Linux as the operating system powering its hardware on the server side. That means game developers will need to port their games to Stadia, and you won’t be able to bring games you already own like some other cloud gaming services (Nvidia’s GeForce Now or Shadow).

Google is partnering with Unreal and Unity and even middleware companies like Havok, but there’s going to be some lifting involved for developers to get games onto Stadia. Google needs to convince big publishers to sign up, but it failed to detail how much it costs to develop, publish, and run games on Stadia.

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Google Disables Inline Installation For Chrome Extensions

Google today announced that Chrome will no longer support the inline installation of extensions. New extensions lose inline installation starting today, existing extensions will lose the ability in three months, and in early December the inline install API will be removed from the browser with the release of Chrome 71.

Disabling inline installation, which lets users install extensions directly from websites, will affect Windows, Mac, Linux, and Chrome OS users. Unlike Firefox, Chrome still does support extensions on mobile platforms.

Google regularly cracks down on apps and extensions that cause a poor experience for Chrome users. In April, for example, the company outlined its ban for cryptocurrency mining extensions.

But this change, which ensures the Chrome Web Store is the only way users of the browser can install extensions, is really an evolution of a shift that started three years ago. In May 2015, Google began blocking extensions not listed in the Chrome Web Store, and in September 2015, the company disabled inline installation of some Chrome extensions.

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Both moves were made in the interest of control and security: Google wanted to block extensions that didn’t adhere to its rules or that were tricking users into installing unwanted tools. Critics have pointed out such moves make the Chrome Web Store a walled garden, while Google insists pushing users to the store ultimately protects them.

That thinking has only cemented itself further over the years. Here is Google’s stance now, as articulated by Extensions Platform product manager James Wagner:

We continue to receive large volumes of complaints from users about unwanted extensions causing their Chrome experience to change unexpectedly — and the majority of these complaints are attributed to confusing or deceptive uses of inline installation on websites. As we’ve attempted to address this problem over the past few years, we’ve learned that the information displayed alongside extensions in the Chrome Web Store plays a critical role in ensuring that users can make informed decisions about whether to install an extension. When installed through the Chrome Web Store, extensions are significantly less likely to be uninstalled or cause user complaints, compared to extensions installed through inline installation.

Forcing users to the Chrome Web Store results in less uninstallation and fewer complaints because Chrome users are more informed about an extension’s functionality prior to installing. In other words, installing from the Chrome Web Store reduces the chance of disappointment or unexpected changes to Chrome.

Chrome gained inline extension installation support in 2011. The goal was to let users seamlessly install extensions from developers’ websites. But after seven years, Google has decided that the cons outweighed the pros.

Here is the timeline for the feature’s removal:

  • June 12: Inline installation will be unavailable to all newly published extensions. Extensions first published today or later that attempt to call the chrome.webstore.install() function will automatically redirect the user to the Chrome Web Store in a new tab to complete the installation.
  • September 12: Inline installation will be disabled for existing extensions, and users will be automatically redirected to the Chrome Web Store to complete the installation.
  • December 4: The inline install API method will be removed with the release of Chrome 71.

Chrome 71 is currently slated for release on December 4, but that date could shift. Either way, developers that distribute extensions using inline installation should update the install buttons on their website before December (best practices and install badges).

Sources:- VentureBeat