Globally, Chrome fares better still -- with a 9.4% share. That's a pretty meteoric rise for a relatively young browser -- though when you've got a Google-sized marketing networking and partners galore, it's a little bit easier to pull off.
I know it's not even two years old yet, but frankly I'm amazed that it took this long for Chrome to surpass Safari. What about you?
[via Business Wire]
Since this is an official Google extension, it's no surprise that ChromeVis supports several keyboard shortcuts. The lens area can be toggled on an off by pressing 0 (or by clicking the icon in your browser actions area), move ahead to the next sentence by pressing shift + s or back with shift +a (moving by words and paragraphs is also supported), and increase/decrease the lens text size with = and - .
Color settings are customizable, and you can also allow the lens to either float or lock it in place above the currently highlighted text.
ChromeVis is actually a nice speed reading-type extension for Chrome, especially if you're OK with keyboard controls.
Before you ask: no, the third developer preview of Internet Explorer 9 doesn't have any window chrome yet. It's still the same skeleton you've seen in the two previous releases.
That said, it's clear that Microsoft is serious about delivering a competitive browser. IE9 preview 3 has turned in better SunSpider and Acid3 results, and its hardware acceleration features really shine. The new release also features HTML5 audio and video support, as well as hardware acceleration for the canvas element. Support for Web fonts is now baked in as well.
Running the fledgling browser side-by-side with Google Chrome 6 I noticed very little difference on sites like Gmail, Facebook, and Google Reader... And good luck getting another browser to run Microsoft's standards-based demos as well as they run in IE9. They're pretty brutal without hardware acceleration (with the exception of Opera 10.60, which actually seems to perform better than Chrome and Firefox -- Sebastian has a video on the way). The SunSpider result has improved again, too, and is now roughly half what the first preview posted -- an impressive gain.
For full details about the new release, check out the official blog post from Microsoft.
Once you've got it installed and grant permission to submit events to your Google Calendar via OAuth, SpeedDate is ready to serve. Click its icon in your Google Chrome browser actions area and you'll have the option of quick-adding an event to your Calendar or creating one using the date and time you've selected on the current Web page.
During my visit to TSN, for example, I noticed their coverage for the upcoming NHL entry draft listed. I highlighted the time slot for the draft, clicked SpeedDate > Add Event, and the time was automatically filled. The quick add feature works nicely as well -- got a luncheon tomorrow from 1pm-2pm with a client? Type it in just like that, and SpeedDate and Google Calendar will pencil it in for you.
If you count Google Calendar among your must-use web apps and you're browsing with Chrome, SpeedDate will be an extremely handy addition to your browser.
Why? Because the new version is really good. I was more than a little put off by Flock 2. Apart from a Mozilla-based core which felt sluggish in comparison to other browsers, the user interface was a bit too cluttered for me. In the new v3 beta, Flock has switched powerplants -- moving to Google's Chromium -- and concentrated on a clean, minimal interface.
Using the same code base as Google Chrome obviously brings a big increase in speed, but Flock has built in a number of enhancements that offer some serious advantages over Chrome if you're a serious social networker. Like what, you ask?
For starters, there's the awesome sidebar I've outlined in the header image. Sure, there are plenty of Chrome extensions which add a little drop-down display of your Twitter or Facebook streams, but Chrome doesn't have sidebar support out-of-the-box. Flock coded it from scratch, and it's a fantastic addition.
Flock's sidebar can display activity from the people you follow on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Flickr as well as RSS feeds. It's worth pointing out that Flock also decided to include RSS feed detection out-of-the-box -- something I'm still shocked Google hasn't built in to Chrome yet. You have complete control over what's displayed in the activity bar. Don't want to see Facebook tagging or pokes? Not concerned with comments on your YouTube vids? Uncheck 'em and they're gone.
There's also a search box that displays matches from your activity as you type, and you can click the drop down menu to switch between specific sites or groups (which we'll take a look at next).
The drag-and-drop goodness doesn't stop with grouping people, however. Your friends probably have multiple accounts, and Flock lets you stack those on a single card if you want. Below, I've got Jay's twitter feed on its own. Vic's, on the other hand, I've combined with his Facebook feed -- making it easy to find all his updates
One more excellent addition to Flock is this:
And, yes, Flock does support Chrome extensions and Incognito (which they've renamed Stealth) mode is available.
With a solid, speedy browser core and some innovative (and seriously cool) features bolted on, the Flock team has really put together an excellent third version. If you enjoy Google Chrome and you're a heavy Twitter or Facebook user, you really should take the new version for a spin.
Those of you who -- like me -- run Google Chrome and Chromium on multiple computers with different operating systems probably find its built-in sync abilities incredibly useful. They've been steadily expanded from initially only handling our bookmarks to now syncing just about every personalization option available.
Preferences? Check. Form auto-fill? Check. Theme? Check. Extensions? ...
Maybe not yet, but we all knew it was just a matter of time. With Google pushing the "your apps everywhere" philosophy in Chrome OS, there was no question that our Google Chrome extensions would be added to its preference sync options soon enough.
This morning, extension sync appeared in the Chromium source code. Better still, it's enabled by default -- meaning there's no need to flip a command line switch to turn it on.
It's clear the Chrome developers are hard at work, and there's really not much difference between a .CRX containing a theme and one containing an extension -- and theme sync has been working beautifully for quite some time now.
So when will extension sync hit the Chrome dev channel? Sooner rather than later, I expect.
Just last month, Google let us know that they were working on "a global browser based plug-in to allow users to opt out of being tracked by Google Analytics." It's now here, and ready for users of Chrome, Firefox 3.5 and 3.6, and Internet Explorer 7 and 8.
It's been ported from the 32-bit Debian package and requires a little command-fu to install, but the procedure is pretty simple. The four-step process is posted at Maemo Arena so those of you with an N900 jonesing for a taste of Google Chrome on your device can get it up and running.
I'm curious to hear some thoughts on the port. Does the desktop version handle well on a small device like the N900? Chrome/Chromium's interface is fine for larger screens, but those buttons will be pretty small on the N900's 3.5" display.
If extensions and sync are working, I'd be more than willing to deal with it -- if I owned an N900, of course.
Anyone want a good deal on a used iPod touch...?
Browsing YouTube in Chromium on the Nokia N900 (image courtesy Maemo Arena)
Google has released an update to Chrome's developer channel build, and the changelog is a lengthy one. Among the plethora of bugfixes and UI tweaks are some notable changes like the arrival of theme syncing, the departure of Windows 7's taskbar thumbnails, and several minor UI tweaks.
As predicted yesterday, the expanded sync options which landed in Chromium have made their way into the dev channel build. Theme sync wasn't even present in Chromium's preference menu as of yesterday afternoon, yet it snuck in to Chrome today.
That was also the case with support for Aero Peek, which was removed on April 5th. Those who want them back can simply add a command line switch (see the previous post), and thumbnails will likely reappear in Chrome once a satisfactory implementation can be engineered.
Interested users can either update their current dev channel build via the wrench menu -> about Chrome and new users can download the build from Google's site.
Earlier this week, the Chromium browser's bookmark manager moved from a separate native app window to a new tab inside browser itself (a la Opera). The streamlined manager has quickly made its way to Chrome, landing today in the developer channel build.
The bookmark manager in-a-tab feels is a much more logic implementation on tabbed browsers, and it's been a feature of Opera for quite some time. You can still drag-and-drop to rearrange, sort, import, and export your bookmarks like you could with the native manager.
Along with the manager, the new build includes improvements to Chrome's autofill and translate features.
The new 'tabbed bookmark manager' currently looks like what you see in the screenshot. Rather than spawning a new application window as Google Chrome does, the new version opens alongside your current set of tabs (like the new tab page). Items can be dragged and dropped and you can create new folders and items via the tools menu. You can also sort and search your bookmarks.
The manager can also be accessed by typing chrome://bookmarks in your Omnibar, though I wasn't able to set it as my new tab page -- Chromium simply loaded the default one instead.
While the update is a welcome one for Windows, Mac, and Linux users of Chrome, it is an ideal feature for Google Chrome OS. Spawning additional windows isn't the best UX decision on a browser-based operating system.
Like most new additions to Google Chrome, the new bookmark manager is only currently available in the Chromium buildbot releases. Download a current snapshot build and try it for yourself, or check out a screencast after the break!
The Web Developer add-on for Chrome tries to complement Chrome's already-excellent developer tools (Ctrl-Shift-I) with some in-page hints and tools. The garbled output you see above is the result of selecting Information > Display ID & Class Details. Not very graceful, obviously.
The add-on is missing a screen ruler (I'm sure the developer will add it later). Despite lacking a graceful way to show massive amounts of data, it can still come in handy every now and then. For example, you can disable CSS entirely, or just inline style, browser default styles, etc. That's pretty neat. It's still a fledgling add-on, so don't expect too much. But if you find Chrome's default tools are not enough for you, try giving it a shot.
Since you last saw an edition of Chrome Corner, we've done some re-thinking about what it should be. Instead of trying to force together a weekly update when there's sometimes just not enough news to justify doing it, the Corner will now crop up whenever the crew at Download Squad has a nice haul of of Chrome-y goodness to post about.
Today's topic: syncing across multiple computers!
Google Chrome can sync your bookmarks, but what about all the other bits and pieces that you want available on all your machines? Passwords? Form data? Notes?
The Extension Gallery has plenty of awesome options that can help you keep all your Google Chrome installs marching in step -- read about eight useful ones after the break!
Passwords and form data: LastPass, RoboForm
Apart from not having the same set of bookmarks available on every machine I use, nothing irks me quite as much as having to recall and re-enter all my passwords manually. LastPass and RoboForm both handle the task admirably, and they have other benefits as well. LastPass, for example, includes a strong password generator which makes creating hard-to-crack passwords easy.
Both extensions can also auto-fill form data for you with your pre-entered information (name, address, phone number, etc.).
Tabs and Sessions: TabSync, FreshStart
FreshStart is a fantastic session manager and synchronizer (which I wrote about before), with the ability to restore sessions from machine to machine. It's also great at recovering from crashes. TabSync is more minimalistic in its approach. Set it up to auto-sync or press the button to do things manually, and your current window's tabs are locked in so you can restore them again later.
Historically I have always been a loyal Safari user. Sure, I’ve flirted with Firefox occasionally, but I always came back to Safari eventually. I’m afraid, however, that I’ve finally found a browser that has led me to leave Safari for good: Google Chrome.
I started using Chromium, the open-sourced branch of the browser, a few months ago and switched to the developer branch of Chrome when it got support for extensions. Even though the Beta version of Chrome for the Mac now has extensions support I’m sticking with the developer branch just because I like getting new goodies before other people.
Whatever version of Chrome you’re using on the Mac, you now have access to most of the features that people will want from a browser, so if you’re ready to take the plunge and make Chrome your default browser here, are a few hints and tips from you from someone who’s been using it for a while now.
On a recent Google Chrome post one of our commenters -- MoneyMike -- lamented the apparent passing of one of Chrome's popular UI features in recent nightly builds: pinned tabs.
I, too, noticed the change recently and wondered what was going on. There's been plenty of discussion amongst Chrome developers, and it boils down to an evolutionary step for Chrome and the introduction of app tabs. The arrival of phantom tabs recently is also part of the change.
To clear the air, I pinged Google's Eitan Bencuya to see if he could shed any light on the situation. Here's his response:
"As you know, all of these features are still pretty experimental (they're not even in the dev channel yet) and we're trying out different approaches to see what works. In this case this is part of a larger set of tweaks we are making related to extensions but we haven't yet fleshed out all the details of app tabs specifically."
You can now enable auto-translation of pages in Chromium. Just add the --auto-translate switch to your Chromium shortcut and head over to a foreign language web page to test it out. A Google Translate bar will appear, and you can then click the button to convert all text on the page.
Translated text appears without reloading the page itself, and you won't have long to wait -- pages I tested were completed within four seconds or less.
Not sure how to enable the feature? Check out our guide to adding switches to Google Chrome or Chromium!
Remember, this only works in Chromium right now -- auto-translate has not yet made to even the developer build of Google Chrome. It's probably only a matter of time until we see it there, however. I fully expect to see a number of Google services integrated more tightly into Chrome as we get closer to the arrival of Chrome OS.