Google Chrome's dev channel has been bumped from 7.0.503.0 to 7.0.517.0. The update wasn't silky-smooth for me this time -- more on that later in this post. So what's new in Chrome dev?
For starters, there's been a lot of code cleanup, and there have also been some minor UI tweaks as well -- a few pixels rounded here and there on Mac, but nothing too noticeable. Google Chrome's remoting code has seen numerous updates and it looks as though the feature is just about ready for us to test. Right now, however, all you can see is a login window -- but you won't be able to login. My guess is that only Google's internal accounts will work at the moment.
About:Labs has also arrived in Chrome dev, so you can now take side tabs for a test drive by visiting the Labs page instead of adding a command line switch.
Now, back to the update process itself...
This is also the first time I've had trouble retrieving a Chrome update. Google's Anthony Laforge announced the release last night, but Chrome still tells me that the update server is not available. There could be any number of reasons for the hold-up, but with the arrival of the Web Store just around the corner and the possibility of Chrome OS hardware on the way, Google may be rolling out additional hardware or battening down the hatches on current servers in preparation.
Patience, young padawan. Your dev channel update will arrive soon if you're getting the "not available" message -- try restarting Chrome and see if that fixes things.
Yesterday's dev channel update has flipped the switch, however, and the internal PDF viewer is now enabled by default. Interestingly, Google's official release post states a known issue where the PDF plug-in doesn't load on Linux -- yet it does on my Chromium OS install. If you happen to be running Chrome dev on Linux, let us know if the plug-in is working for you!
Apart from the plug-in change, it looks as though another big chunk of Chrome's UI will soon be moved to a browser tab. Just as they did with the bookmark manager did, Google is getting ready to move Chrome's options (or preferences) to a tab. Take the jump to see what it looks like so far!
Also hidden behind a command-line switch is the Chrome Web Store shortcut. If you have the --enable-apps flag appended to your shortcut, you may notice this on your new tab page:
Updates to the Google Chrome dev channel build tend to come fast and furious, and they don't always include noticeable changes. This time, however, there are a few noteworthy UI tweaks to go along with the usual assortment of bug fixes and security updates.
For starters, the unified menu we told you about early last month has now been turned on by default. The goal, of course, is to simplify Chrome's UI and increase the amount of space available for extension icons. Some Download Squad readers, however, seem to be less than thrilled with the change. Apart from requiring an extra click to access your extensions, the "create application shortcut" option has been removed.
Chrome Sync has received a lot of attention in this update, and now sports a new interface. As you can see, extension sync is also enabled by default now -- no more need for a pair of lengthy command line switches. Several improvements under the hood have drastically improved extension sync, and I haven't experienced any issues since updating.
The sync engine has also been tweaked to support encryption, and work continues on adding password sync to the mix. It's actually enabled by default in Chromium right now, though it doesn't appear to be active -- my Linux Chromium still prompts me for passwords I've saved on Windows. The feature seems to be nearly ready, though, so likely won't be much longer before you're able to flip the password switch in Chrome.
If you're using the dev channel, you've probably received the update already - click the wrench menu > about Chrome to check. Want to make the jump the Chrome's cutting-edge build? Download it here.
Worth noting: the unified menu does add an extra click to open your extensions tab, but you can also get there by right-clicking any extension icon and choosing manage extensions.
Neither internal Flash or internal PDF rely upon the venerable old NPAPI system. The hope is that this new architecture will provide a more modern, secure way for browsers and plug-ins to interact. PDFs you view with the internal plug-in will also be safely tucked away in Chrome's sandbox, preventing any malicious activity from damaging your operating system.
If you're running the dev channel, here's what you have to do to turn on the internal PDF viewer:
- enter chrome:plugins in your Omnibar
- scroll down to the entry for Chrome PDF Viewer
- click the enable link, and you're good to go.
As the official blog post mentions, it's a bit limited in terms of functionality at this point. No zoom options or navigation controls are presented yet, so you'll have to page down or scroll down to read. You can, however, search the text using control + F as you would on a web page.
My advice: give it a try, but stick to using the Google Docs Viewer for now.
We told you it was coming, and now it's here: Extension sync has landed in the Google Chrome dev channel build.
It's not enabled by default, so you won't see it in your sync options menu unless you activate the feature via a command line switch. --enable-sync-extensions turns it on (again, see our tutorial on using command line switches if you're not sure how to do this).
Today's dev channel release also brings the usual assortment of bug fixes and tweaks, but extension sync is by far the biggest news. Hit up about Chrome in your wrench menu to auto-update, or head over to the download page for Google Chrome's dev channel builds to take the expanded sync feature for a test drive.
Sebastian and I were chatting about Google Chrome earlier today when I mentioned something that I wanted to be able to do: pull up the new tabbed bookmarks manager when I open a new tab.
Now...I haven't coded a lick in more than a decade, but it looked like this would be easy enough to hack in via an extension. Seb agreed that it looked like a pretty trivial task, and he decided to give it a go. Thanks to an existing extension called New Tab Redirect, I had my fix about an hour later.
Redirect is already a solid extension, giving you the option to use most of Chrome's internal pages (file:// URLs and about: pages like downloads, history, and extensions). The dev channel's in-tab bookmark manager is (obviously) a fairly new addition to the browser, however, so it wasn't supported.
With a little bit of additonal code, Seb turned out the New Tab Redirect (mod) extension. It's now available for download from the Google Chrome Extensions Gallery and should work just fine with the dev channel build and Chromium snapshots. Now every time I click the plus sign to create a new tab, there are all my bookmarks... awesome!
Once the bookmark manager makes the jump to the beta and stable channels, those of you using less "experimental" versions will be able to use it as well! We'll keep you posted when that happens.
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.
If you haven't received the update yet, you can force a check by clicking the wrench menu and then "About Google Chrome." Downloads are also available from Google's early access channels page.
It's not without bugs, though. @keshav and I have both had a glitch which seems to occur when using win+d to show the desktop where tiny windows will appear along the top of your taskbar (pic after the jump).