Once installed, you simply type the letter s and press space to invoke a Google-powered site search for the domain you're currently visiting. The top five matches load in a flash, and you can also click through to Google via the top link for complete results. It's a fast, simple way to get results which are limited to a specific domain -- and as we know from experience, Google search is nearly always a lot better than most on-site search boxes.
Esteemed bleeding-edge browser downloaders, we are saddened to announce that Chrome's bulbous, off-center and slightly 90s-looking logo is back.
The change occurred yesterday, when the Chrome Dev channel was moved from version 11 to version 12. We're not yet sure whether this is simply a mistake, or an actual reversion to the previous logo. We're seeing the change on both Windows and Mac builds of Chrome, incidentally.
The odd thing is, it was only four days ago that the Google Chrome team published its rationale for the previous logo change. It sounds like they put a lot of effort into the new logo, too! If the logo has actually been reverted, it's possible that the new logo was merely a beta test -- Google may have guaged populist opinion and found that people preferred the orb.
Which logo do you prefer? You can see some before-and-after(-and-before) shots of the Chrome logo after the break.
Now that Google Chrome 11 has hit the beta channel, you can expect to see extension and Web app developers making use of the new HTML5 speech-to-text API. In fact, there's as least one slick extension you can already install: Speechify.
Install Speechify, and you'll see a microphone icon added into the search box on many popular sites -- like Google and Bing. Click it, and Speechify will convert the words you speak into text. You've still got to press enter or click to search, and an automatic submit option is definitely something we'd like to see added.
It's been quite a month for browsers, with Internet Explorer and Firefox both dropping big new versions, and Chr
Just a week after its open-source brother Chromium had its logo summarily flattened, Chrome has followed suit. For now it's only available in the Developer channel, but presumably it will quickly percolate down to the Beta and Stable channels. There are some more images of the new logo after the break.
It was originally speculated that the Chromium logo change was to differentiate it from Chrome, but now it looks like Google might just have grown tired of the unbalanced, 3D-effect Chrome orb. The new geometric design is definitely easier on the eye, and it will be a lot more flexible too. It looks great on the Windows 7 taskbar, too.
We expect there'll be a statement from Google about the new logo later today, and we'll update this post when we find out more.
Google Gears was launched back in 2007 -- before Google Chrome, and back when web apps were still in their early stages -- as a way for web app developers to allow offline access to documents. Gears never really caught on, and was eventually replaced by standards-based solutions. Now, Google has announced that it's finally removing support for the Gears plugin from Chrome.
With Google now in charge of its own browser, there's no longer a reason to hack together a plugin for offline access to documents. The removal of Gears is a strong hint that Google's promised offline access for its own Google Docs -- scheduled for "early 2011" -- is almost here.
Not too long ago, Microsoft released an extension for Google Chrome which enabled H.264 HTML5 video playback. Now Google has returned the favor by offering a WebM plug-in for Internet Explorer 9 users. In a move which we can only describe as oozing with self-confidence, Google points out that there are some known issues -- visit this page, and revel in its blankness.
If you plan on using IE9 but don't want to miss out on all the WebM videos which are popping up, download and install the plug-in now. The plug-in only works on Vista and Windows 7, but conveniently the same is true for IE9.
Hundreds of millions of people are now using Google Chrome as their primary Web browser, and a good chunk of those users have probably checked out extensions or Chrome Web apps by now. If you've ever wanted to share your favorites someplace -- like Twitter, Buzz, a favorite forum site, or even via your Gmail account -- there's a new extension out that makes the process dead simple.
Winning points for clarity with the name Share Extensions, the add-in will automatically create BBCode, HTML, Text, and Wiki markup detailing your chosen extensions. Each extension's Chrome Web Store URL is included, as is its name, and you can optionally include the developer's description as well.
I did have an issue sharing via Gmail when selecting several extensions at once, but the pop-up text generator worked just fine every time. Share Extensions also adds a browser action icon, but you can always right click to hide it or resize the action area and slide its icon behind the double-right arrows.
If you're a social networking butterfly, or if you have the malevolent aspirations of one day becoming a 'social media expert,' you almost certainly spend a vast amount of time surfing the Web. You probably use a modern browser like Firefox or Chrome, and you almost certainly have a ton of tabs open at the same time.
It can be hard work, keeping track of multiple websites. Hitting F5 is a pain in the ass -- and waiting those few seconds for a page to reload can be mighty frustrating. Then there's the matter of remembering all of your login names and passwords (because you don't use the same password on more than one site, right?)
Wouldn't it be great if there were some add-ons and extensions that could make light work of your surprisingly busy social networking lifestyle? Even if you only use Facebook or Twitter, there are still plenty of annoyances that could be offloaded to add-ons.
Pwn2Own, the annual three-day browser hackathon, has already claimed its first two victims: IE8 on Windows 7 64-bit, and Safari 5 on Mac OS X. Google Chrome looks set to survive for its third year in a row.
Internet Explorer 8 was thoroughly destroyed by independent researcher Stephen Fewer. "He used three vulnerabilities to bypass ASLR and DEP, but also escape Protected Mode. That's something we've not seen at Pwn2Own before," said Aaron Portnoy, the organizer of Pwn2Own.
Safari 5, running on a MacBook Air, was compromised in just five seconds by French security company Vupen. Both attackers netted $15,000 for successfully compromising a browser.
The contest continues today and tomorrow. Firefox 3.6 is yet to be attacked, and tomorrow will see the very first mobile browser deathmatch. Windows Phone 7, iOS, Android and RIM OS, all with their stock browsers, will be attacked by security researchers to find out just how secure mobile browsing is. Again, $15,000 is available for the first person or team to compromise each of the browsers.
Google, Apple and Mozilla, incidentally, all rolled out updates to their browsers just before Pwn2Own. It was not a coincidence.
To update to the latest stable version of Chrome, simply close your browser and re-open it -- the update should be applied automatically. Alternatively, click the wrench icon and then About Google Chrome, which will check for the the latest update.
Install Cloud Save, and you'll add the ability to right-click files on Web pages you visit and zap (or sideload) them to various online services like Google Docs, Dropbox, Picasa, Flickr, Posterous, CloudApp, and Box.Net. The extension appears to be based on drag2up, another handy little Chrome extension, as you'll see some of the auth dialogs refer to it instead of Cloud Save.
By default, Cloud Save shows you desktop notifications when a transfer completes -- though you can shut them off if you like. It's a handy extension for zapping found files to your cloud storage without having to download them to your desktop first.
The Khronos Group has finally put its stamp on the WebGL 1.0 spec, and that's good news for those of you running Firefox, Opera, Chrome, Safari, and any other up-to-date WebKit browsers. If you're an Internet Explorer user, however, you're still not invited to the party.
Microsoft, with IE9 only being available for Windows Vista and 7, is perfectly content with IE9's DirectX-based hardware acceleration. It will be interesting to see what happens with the mobile version of IE9, too -- if HTML5 and WebGL apps take off, Microsoft (and Nokia) will want to support them.
Mozilla's Jay Sullivan doesn't appear worried though, saying "Between Firefox and Chrome, people will build stuff." You can, of course, add WebGL support to Internet Explorer yourself -- by installing Google Chrome Frame, though admittedly that brings a whole lot more functionality than browser-based 3D.
One feature I still miss when switching between Chrome and Firefox is support for bookmark keywords, which make launching sites from the address bar a breeze. Chrome's Omnibar does a fairly good job of finding what we want to launch from standard input (e.g. gmail), but it would be nice to have straight-up keywords (like gm). Sebastian showed you one method using custom search engines -- but those don't sync, so it's not an ideal situation.
Quickmarks is up to the task. Simply install the extension, and then do some manual editing. Any bookmark that you'd like to launch via a keyword needs to have [keyword] appended to its name. For example, you can right click your Gmail bookmark and choose edit, change its name to Gmail [gm], and Quickmarks is now able to launch it.
To open a bookmark using its keyword, simply click into the Omnibar or tap Ctrl+L B [space] and then enter your keyword. The B trigger tells the Quickmarks entension to fire up and watch for keyword input.
Since Chrome can sync both your extensions and your bookmarks, once your [keywords] are sent to the cloud you'll have access to them on all your Chrome installs.
Gamers and other enthusiasts know the importance of keeping their video card's drivers current, but it's not something the vast majority of the computing public pays any attention to. If the computer is running OK, there's no need to update drivers, right?
As it turns out, there's a very good reason to update: your old driver might be causing your Web browser to crash excessively. That's what Google is reporting over at the Chromium blog. If you're surfing with Chrome and using an outdated driver, it could be wreaking havoc with Chrome's GPU acceleration and WebGL features.
Along with HTML5 support and tracking protection, hardware acceleration has become part of the 'geeky trinity' of features to trumpet in next-gen Web browsers. As developers tap deep into your computer's hardware to squeeze out additional performance gains, keeping your drivers fully updated -- especially for the graphics card which is handling all that accelerated rendering -- is going to be very, very important.
If you really want to make the most of Chrome's speed, what you need is is a bevy of keyboard shortcuts. Check them out!
- Alt+F or Alt+E -- Open the Wrench (Tools) menu (you can then use the arrow keys to navigate it...)
- Ctrl+Shift+B -- Toggles the Bookmarks Bar on and off
- Ctrl+D -- Bookmark your current Web page
- Ctrl+Shift+D -- Bookmarks all of your open Web pages in one folder
- Ctrl+J -- Opens the Downloads tab
- Shift+Esc -- Opens the 'Task Manager', which you can use to close errant tabs/processes
- Ctrl+Shift+J -- Opens the Chrome Developer Tools (which are surprisingly good!)
- Ctrl+L -- Selects your current page's URL (and puts the cursor in the address bar)
- Ctrl+Backspace -- Deletes one word/phrase to the left of your cursor in the address bar
- Ctrl+G -- Finds the next instance of your search term (Ctrl+F!) Ctrl+Shift+G finds the previous instance
- Ctrl+U -- View the source of your current page
- Ctrl+R -- The same as F5 (might be faster for some people to type)
- Ctrl+1(2, 3, 4, etc) -- Switch to the tab designated by the number (from the left)
- Ctrl+Shift+T -- Re-open the most recently closed tab
What about all us Windows, Mac, and Linux users? Well, now we can get in on the action, too, even though the Chrome Web Store loudly proclaims ** THIS APP REQUIRES A CHROME NOTEBOOK **!
Your operating system can run processes in the background -- things like realtime antivirus protection and streaming movies and music around your home -- and so can Google Chrome. Background apps have existed in Chrome and Chromium for some time, but now that the Chrome Web Store is open and its apps are available for installation, Google has posted a blog about why backgrounding is cool.
It's really all about Chrome being your "OS" even if you're using a Windows or Mac computer. With the ability to run Web apps in the background and Native Client support headed to the beta and stable channels in relatively short order, Chrome Web Apps will soon be capable of doing many of the same things your traditional desktop apps can do.
Google's post talks about using backgrounding to issue notifications (as apps like TweetDeck and exfm do) or to prefetch data. There's really no end to the possibilities, and we're exited to see what the next generation of Chrome Web Apps can really do.
If there's one single thing that truly sets Chrome apart from its herd of rivals, it's the Omnibar. Chrome users already know and love this feature, but Google's just made it possible for developers to create extensions that will push it even farther ahead of the competition by providing an API for it. Now, there are already huge numbers of extensions available for Chrome -- many of which we here at Download Squad couldn't live without -- but none of them have thus far been able to make full use of the Omnibar.
As an example of how the API can be used, take a look at Switch to Tab, shown above. It allows users who leave ridiculous amounts of tabs open to use the Omnibar to search them all for the specific tab they need to find. It only shows up to 5 results right now, but the concept is pretty decent just the same -- and there's no telling what kind of goodies that devs will come up with now that they can treat a browser's address bar like a command line.