When we launched Chrome four years ago, most people accessed the web through a personal computer. Our goal was to help build a better web--a web that is faster, simpler and more secure.
Fast forward to today, and many people have more than one device--a smartphone, a tablet, a computer at work, a computer at home. The beauty of the web is that it’s the one platform that can deliver a consistent experience on any device with a browser. We've been working to build a more seamless Chrome experience that lets you to take your Chrome stuff with you on all your devices.
The web isn’t the same for everyone--we all have our own individual bookmarks, tabs, history, passwords and more that reflect what we do online and what we care about. Chrome now enables you to access your web, everywhere. Whether you’re on a Windows, Mac, or Linux computer, a Chromebook, or an Android or iOS smartphone or tablet, you can have the same consistent experience no matter where you go, just by signing in to Chrome.
As you use Chrome on more devices, we remain focused on providing you with the most secure web experience possible. Building on four years of security work, recent improvements such as more robust plug-in sandboxing andSafe Browsing for downloads ensure that your browsing is more secure than ever before.
To track Chrome’s journey from a better web to your web, we created a Chrome Time Machine (of sorts) that lets you travel through key moments in Chrome’s history over the past four years. You may even uncover a special birthday gift from the Chrome team, if you find the hidden clue and type in the secret code...
Thank you all for being a part of Chrome, and for bringing your own personal touch to the web. On our fourth birthday, we’re looking forward to many more amazing years of helping you do more online. Happy browsing!
Today is Labor Day in the United States. It's a federal holiday dedicated to the American workforce, celebrating, as the U.S. department of labor puts it, the "contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country."
Every year, the Labor Day holiday falls very closely to the anniversary of Google's launch of the beta version of the Google Chrome Web browser. Released on September 1, 2008, Google Chrome is now four years old, and I am taking the opportunity on this holiday to celebrate the workhorse that is Chrome.
Chrome is my pickup truck
The first graphical Web browser I ever used was Netscape Navigator. This was in 1994, and it was on X11-based SGI workstations at the UMBC computer lab where my older brother was studying Computer Science. After eighteen years and two so-called browser wars, I can say with a certain amount of confidence that I no longer derive any personal identity from the browser I use.
For many, browsers are like cars. They serve not only as a tool for transportation, but they also serve as an identity for the driver. The appearance of the vehicle, the style in which he uses the vehicle, and the aftermarket customizations are all points of pride for drivers and browsers alike. Yet at this point in my life, the browser I use is purely utility, and if it can't do what I need, I am not even going to try to fix it. I'm just going to use something else. It's a pickup truck.
That is why I'm still using Chrome today. Four years ago, when I started testing the beta of Chrome, my daily browser was Opera and I was more or less satisfied with it. Of course, it couldn't do everything, and I had to keep both Internet Explorer and Firefox installed for those occasions where I encountered something Opera couldn't handle.
The beta of Chrome also encountered things it couldn't handle, and it lacked a lot of the shortcuts that I'd gotten used to in Opera. Yet the simplicity of the UI, omnibox, settings management, and built-in security of Chrome were all appealing. In Chrome's public beta period between September and December 2008, I found that I still had to open other browsers to get my work done, but Opera wasn't one of them. Chrome simply slid in as the default window through which I'd view the Web. It wasn't until recently that I've found I can get by without ever opening another browser. I've stuck with Chrome, and my behaviors have been molded to it.
Four more years
In addition to being near Labor day, this particular Chrome Anniversary falls in an election year, so It's a good time to see what Google has done for Chrome in the first four years.
In the first year, Google provided a grand total of 51 developer updates, 21 beta updates and 15 stable updates to Chrome, and pushed some 3,505 bug fixes. In July 2009, Google announced the concept of Chrome OS. Then, upon Chrome's first anniversary, Google introduced an overhauled UI with skinnability, a refreshed "new tab" page, and new HTML5 capabilities.
In the second year, Google finalized and released Mac and Linux versions of Chrome, debuted side-by-side view, autofill, password manager, bookmark and preference sync, and nearly 6,000 browser extensions. Upon Chrome's second anniversary, Google released a version with an even further stripped-down UI.
More than three years ago, on September 1st of 2008, Google has released the very first version of its web browser, which had a pretty significant impact in the industry.
Then, few years later, Google has introduced the Chromebook, a new breed of computing for a quick Internet access.
What kind of beast will it bring next? Let’s wait and see.
Cheers to the progress and happy birthday to Google Chrome,
It’s that time of the year again for the Chrome team, when we pause on our anniversary to reflect on the amazing life and times of the web. It’s hard to believe that it’s already been three years since we launched our open source web browser, Chrome.
In that time, the web community has continued to inspire us, bringing the power of the web into all kinds of apps and experiences, with all modern browsers making great strides in speed, simplicity and security. To pay homage to the goodness of the web, we’ve put together an interactive infographic, built in HTML5, which details the evolution of major web technologies and browsers:
(With thanks to our friends at Hyperakt, Vizzuality, mgmt design, and GOOD)
In our third year, we’ve also brought Chrome's principles of speed, simplicity and security to a new model of computing: the Chromebook. The Chromebook is pure Chrome—a computer built for everything you ever need to do on the web while doing away with all the usual annoyances of an old, slow PC.
Here’s a quick fly-by through the some of the highlights of the past 12 months on the Chrome platform:
Faster and faster
- Chrome’s new settings interface helps you find the right settings quickly with an integrated search box. It also provides direct links to each settings page, which can be copied and pasted for easy troubleshooting.
- The omnibox is improved to better suggest partial matches for webpage titles and URLs.
- You can optionally enable Chrome Instant, which shows relevant content in the browser window as you type, before you press Enter.
- Chrome’s built-in prerendering technology enables sites to build even faster experiences for their users—such as Instant Pages in Google search, which in some cases makes search results appear to load almost instantly.
Simpler and more accessible
- Chrome supports many popular screen readers such as JAWS, NVDA and VoiceOver to help visually impaired people better experience the web.
- Print Preview, a popular feature request, uses Chrome’s built-in PDF viewer to display the preview, and enables you to save any webpage as a convenient PDF file using the “Print to PDF” option.
- Chrome’s icon takes on a simpler look to embody the Chrome spirit, since Chrome is all about making your web experience quicker, lighter and easier for all.
An even more secure platform
- Our integrated and sandboxed PDF viewer enables you to view PDF files on the web without installing additional software. Furthermore, we built an additional layer of security around the PDF viewer called a “sandbox” to help protect you from security attacks that are targeted at PDF files.
- Adobe Flash Player is sandboxed on Windows, further protecting you from security attacks and malware targeted at Flash content on the web.
- Chrome warns you before downloading some types of malicious files with enhanced Safe Browsingtechnology. In order to help protect privacy, malicious content is detected without Chrome or Google ever having to know about the URLs that you visit or the files you download.
- To provide greater transparency and control over the data that websites store on your computers, Chrome lets you delete Local Shared Objects created by Adobe Flash Player using the browser’s built-in setting dialogs.
Wowzah, the modern web!
- The Chrome Web Store is an open marketplace where you can search for and discover web applications, both free and paid, along with ratings and reviews. Developers can add in-app payments to their apps for a flat 5 percent transaction fee.
- Chrome supports WebGL, which brings hardware-accelerated 3D graphics to the browser with no additional software needed. For a taste of what WebGL can do, check out “3 Dreams of Black,” a 3D music experience for the web browser.
- Chrome’s support for the HTML speech input API enables developers to give web apps the ability to transcribe your voice into text. Try it out on www.google.com by clicking on the microphone icon in the search box.
- Hardware-accelerated 3D CSS enables snazzier experiences in webpages and apps which use 3D effects.
Delivering a new, simpler model for computing
- Chrome is enterprise ready, with an MSI installer and support for managed group policies. Many organizations such as Vanguard and Procter & Gamble have successfully deployed Chrome to thousands of users in an enterprise setting.
- As of this past July, Chromebooks are now available for purchase in eight countries—the U.S., U.K., France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands and South Korea. And just like Chrome, the Chromebook always keeps getting better. When you turn your Chromebook on, it updates itself automatically: you get the latest and greatest version of the operating system without having to think about it.
Google is celebrating the second anniversary of its Google Chrome browser with the release of new stable and beta versions that have a cleaner and simpler user interface and increased speed and performance.
As the Google Chrome Blog points out, Chrome 6 is years beyond where most imagined browser technology would be when Chrome was first introduced just two years ago.
In addition to some cosmetic changes, the new version of Chrome brings form autofill features, making it so you don't have to type in again and again that ridiculously long email address you now regret choosing. It also brings extension and autofill synchronization, meaning that your autofill data will remain the same from desktop to laptop to netbook.
Among the myriad features, the user interface seems to have an impact in the browser market. The soon-to-be-released Internet Explorer 9 looks like it stole a page from Chrome, adopting the clean and simple design that lets the browser step out of the way. Chrome's design manages to portray what we find most appealing about Chrome (which replaced Firefox as the default browser months ago now) - its lightweight operation. Just as it steps out of the way of the page, in terms of design, the browser manages to step out of the way of other programs, managing to run well (even on a netbook) without hogging all of the processing power.
If you haven't yet, we highly recommend giving Chrome a spin.
Watching the 1985 classic Back to the Future last night, I was struck by how much things can change with time. The main character Marty McFly travels 30 years back in time, only to find that his house hadn’t been built yet, skateboards hadn’t been invented and nobody had ever heard rock ‘n roll.