Ghacks readers know that the chrome://flags page leads to a list of experimental features in the Chrome browser. These features are not yet ready for prime time. Adventurous Chrome users can enable select features to change the behavior of the web browser in core areas. A big warning paragraph warns users that these “experimental features may change, break, or disappear at any time”.
Depending on your personal preferences, you may want to enable none or some of the experiments in Google Chrome. The list of available settings is large, which is why I will look at only a handful of experiments that have been added to the flags listing in recent time.
- Smooth Scrolling – Chrome users up until now had to install extensions like Smooth Scroller if they experienced scrolling issues in the Chrome web browser. With the Smooth Scrolling flag, they now can enable the feature natively.
- Lazy Background Pages – All extension background pages are loaded when the browser starts. This setting changes the default behavior so that they are loaded when needed.
- New Apps Install Bubble – When you install a new application in Chrome a new tab page is opened automatically. This can be irritating if you install many apps in the browser. This new flag changes the behavior by showing a bubble pointing at the new tab page instead.
- Enable NTP bookmark features – The new tab page in Chrome currently only lists the most visited sites and apps in its interface. This setting enables a Bookmark page on the new tab page.
- Enable syncing open tabs, syncing search engines – The two options can be used to sync both all open tabs and all custom search engines with all connected Chrome browsers.
- Enable shortcuts in the omnibox – Remembers autocomplete results and offers those the next time the same search term is typed in the Chrome address box
Chrome users find several useful experiments on the flags page that can change the behavior of the Chrome browser noticeable. Are you a Chrome user? If so, are you making use of experimental features in the web browser? (thanks Vineeth)
We've spent a lot of time jabbering on and on and on about hardware acceleration in the next generation of Web browsers.
The problem, however, is that no stable browsers have it turned on by default. Unless you're running Firefox 4 beta or Internet Explorer 9 RC, you're probably not enjoying hardware acceleration. Heck, our latest poll shows that almost 50% of Download Squad readers run Chrome, anyway!
Turning hardware acceleration on in Chrome 9, 10 and 11 (stable, beta and canary) is easy, and it can significantly speed up surfing on low-powered devices, like laptops -- or if you're the kind of person who has 30+ tabs open on your desktop PC. We'll show you how to turn on pre-rendering, too, which provides another nice speed boost.