Surprise! Here Comes Google Browser – Chrome
In an unexpected announcement, Google has launched Chrome – it’s very own browser. A direct take on the likes of the Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox and Opera, this new announcement is bound to intensify the already red-hot browser war. While it was rumored that Google was working on a project like this, no one expected a release anytime in the near future. However, it is now clear that Google did spend a substantial amount of time and resources to develop this. And what’s more? Google roped in two engineers working on Firefox as well to help them make the Chrome!
An open source browser, the Chrome is all set to be released later today in over 100 countries! It is interesting to note how the chain of events started off. A cartoon strip was sent by Google to the owners of Google Blogoscoped – which described the features of “an upcoming” browser from Google. Barely hours after the details were posted, Google made the announcement official with a blog post on the Google blog.
Apart from being Open source, the Chrome as expected, would be based on the existing Webkit rendering engine and will support tabbed browsing. For starters, Webkit is used by Safari and will power the upcoming Android platform as well.
Here is a run down of the features that the Chrome is likely to sport. In any case, by the end of the day we should have all the details we need. Here they go.
Just when you thought tabbed browsing could not become any better – or could add more features, Google comes up with this. The Chrome, unlike other browsers comes with a task manager of its own to check which sites eat up more memory. All of the sites open at a time can be monitored individually. What this means is that in case one of sites in the tabs decides not to respond, you will find the option to close that tab using the task manager and eventually prevent the whole browser from crashing. This is good news especially for those who hate to see the “Restore Session” button 10 times a day. That said, the placement of the tabs too has changed – with Chrome, the tabs would be seen at the top of the Window and not at the usual place. Though they did not choose to go radical on the lines of the Avant browser which gives you the option to place tabs at the bottom of the page.
Nothing special in here- apart from Google’s auto-complete feature called the Omnibox. Omnibox reportedly will offer a multitude of unobtrusive suggestions, which may include sites you had visited in the past, popular sites and displays the search engine of your choice as well. Another feature is its ability to detect what site-specific search engines you had used. For example, if you used the Techtree search for finding a specific topic, you can simply type in “T” followed by your keywords.
Speed Dial: The Google way!
A speed dial like start-up is also available where you can see your most visited websites. The 9-screen layout is similar to Opera’s speed dial. On the sides, you will also see options and quick links to recently added bookmarks and recently closed tabs.
Incognito is the Google term for the now famous “porn mode” which enables discreet browsing with no traces of your online activity – on that computer that is. Internet explorer calls it the Inprivate. Not much of a difference here – except that this is one feature that the other two biggies, Opera and Firefox chose to ignore.
On the security front, the Chrome is supposedly said to update its database of rouge websites so that it can prevent you from exposing your computer to risks involved by visiting these sites. Additionally, since all tabs are sandboxed (a security mechanism for running programs safely) the risks involved are greatly minimized.
Well, that sums it up. This was just a brief preview into what could turn out to be one of the best alternative browsers out there. If you are the impatient type and want a quick peek, have a look at some screenshots from a video grab here. It remains to be seen if the web community accepts Chrome wholeheartedly -and just because it’s from Google, it need not necessarily be the best!
More Screen shots are available at TechCrunch.
Currently only available for Windows XP & Vista.
Download Google Chrome
Portable version: http://twurl.nl/swk4cl (Updated on Sept 5th,08)
Alternate Link for Portable version: http://twurl.nl/g31qwl (Updated on Sept 10th,08)
More links to Portable version:
Version 126.96.36.199: http://tinyurl.com/bwx7ke
Version 188.8.131.52: http://tinyurl.com/lzqgqn