Beta watching is so much fun. For those in on the hunt, you can check off a sighting of a new beta version of Google Chrome. This new variant on the species is particularly interesting, as it allows easier navigation of a multi-lingual web.
Google explains: “When the language of the webpage you're viewing is different from your preferred language setting, Chrome will display a prompt asking if you'd like the page to be translated for you using Google Translate.” Google readily admits that the translations may not be perfect, but they should be good enough for a user to get the gist of what a web page is about.
This is nothing new--there have long been translations options available on the Internet, for particular passages or entire web pages. What Google has done is make the process more convenient. Rather than hunt down a translation option, Google presents you with one--and starts you off by guessing the original language, which it offers to translate into your preferred language.
While there are arguments to be made that these translations don’t do justice to the original text, it’s better than nothing. And it might prove useful for pushing users into new areas of the Internet, where they can experience the cultures that accompany these other languages.
Also new in this beta are updated privacy features. Besides Chrome’s incognito mode, a new “Privacy” section appears in Chome’s Options dialog allowing quicker, easier access to privacy settings.
Google launched their Chrome browser just over a year ago, and new figures from analytics firm Net Applications seem to indicate things are going quite well indeed. The plucky young browser was the only one of the top five to see any gains in the month of February. While certainly far from being the market leader, Chrome is now solidly in third place with 5.61% of the market. Internet Explorer and Firefox took first and second with 61.58% and 24.23% respectively. IE lost 0.54% and Firefox lost 0.20% last month.
Chrome has gained a reputation for being speedy and usable out of the virtual box. It is also reputed to be more standards compliant than other leading browsers. Whatever the reason, users are responding. The recent 4.0 release brought better HTML5 support, bookmark syncing, and the all important extension support.
Firefox came about at a time when Internet Explorer dominated the market almost completely. There was only one fight to be had for the Mozilla team at that point. Chrome is now up against a still widespread Internet Explorer and a very number two in Firefox. Google may not be overtaking a competitor any time soon, but Chrome is definitely moving in the right direction. So, do you use Chrome? Is it better for you than Firefox?
Show of hands - how many of you are still clinging to Firefox not because it's the perfect browser, but because it's the best alternative out there to Internet Explorer? Probably a good many of you, and the reason why Firefox has been so hard to supplant as the No. 2 gateway to the Web is because Mozilla had the foresight to make it extensible. Thousands of add-ons exist allowing users to custom tailor the open-source browser however they see fit, and it only takes a few mouse clicks to do so.
Well move over Mozilla, and make room for Google Chrome. Why is that? To start with, Google recently added extension support to Chrome, which was previously only available in beta builds. Now that Google has given users the green light to install third-party add-ons, it's a brand new ballgame in the browser world. And in case you haven't heard, Chrome also supports Greasemonkey scripts, of which there are over 40,000 to choose from.
But those aren't the only reasons to give Chrome a second look. Google continues to tweak the underlying code and add features to what's already a fast, lean, and intelligent browser. Chrome is also highly tweakable, though you wouldn't know it by glancing at the sparse interface.
On the following pages, we'll show you how to soup up Chrome so you can leave Firefox in the rear view mirror and never look back!
One of Mozilla Firefox's bigger advantages over Google Chrome has just been wiped away and, dare we say, Google Chrome has actually one-upped its rival in terms of overall usability and ease-of-installation. We're referring, of course, to Greasemonkey. You might have heard this name echoed across tech and tweak sites far and wide. As well you should have--the functionality you can achieve by this upgrade to your surfing experience is simply unsurpassed in its depth or scope by any conventional add-on or extension.
Sound good? Because now, Google Chrome users have the ability to tap into Greasemonkey scripts as much as any other browser user. You don't even have to install a separate add-on, since scripts work natively in the browser!
But here's the catch: not all Greasemonkey scripts work perfectly in Google Chrome. The running estimation is that roughly 20 percent of what's out there is currently broken for Google's browser. That's not great news for a person who's easily frustrated by failure. However, here's where Maximum PC comes into the picture. We've run through a large swath of awesome Google Greasemonkey scripts to achieve two key goals: to see what works and to see which scripts, of the 40,000+ available, are awesome tweaks for your browser. Click the jump for a look at some of the top Greasemonkey scripts you could (or should) be slapping into your Google Chrome browser right now.
It's long been believed that eventually Firefox would catch up with, and maybe even overtake, Microsoft's Internet Explorer browser as the most used browser on the planet. And while that's still possible, the race to knock IE down a peg could end up being a two-participant sprint between Firefox and a suddenly spunky Chrome browser.
In an uncharacteristic slide for Mozilla's open-source browser, Firefox dropped 0.20 percentage points from 24.61 percent to 24.41 percent between December 2009 and January 2010. Meanwhile, Chrome took a relatively big step forward to the tune of 0.57 percentage points, increasing its market share from 4.63 percent to 5.20 percent. Keep in mind we're talking about a single month here, folks.
Internet Explorer, meanwhile, continues to decrease its lead, having given up 0.51 percentage points to go from 62.69 percent down to 62.18 percent. IE stills holds a sizable lead, but continues to go in the wrong market share direction.
But for the first time in a long time, the overall focus isn't so much on IE versus everyone else, but the new battle that's shaping up between Firefox and Chrome. And this will only get more interesting with time now that Chrome has finally added extensions support, and has even tossed Greasemonkey scripts into the mix.
Grown tired of Firefox or simply want to shake things with your browser? If so, you're in luck. Never has there been a better time to consider Google's Chrome browser, now in version 4. Not only does Chrome finally support extensions, but Google has now added native support for Greasmonkey user scripts as well.
"Ever since the beginning of the Chromium project, friends and coworkers have been asking me to add support for user scripts in Google Chrome," Aaron Boodman, a Software Engineer on the Chrome Project, wrote in a blog post. "I'm happy to report that as of the last Google Chrome release, you can install any user script with a single click. So, now you can use emoticons on blogger. Or, you can browse Google Image Search with a fancy lightbox."
No small deal, the addition of Greasemonky gives Chrome users access to over 40,000 scripts on userscripts.org along, Boodman points out. And because each one installs just like an extension, they're easily accessible to all users.
Boodman warns that not all Greasemonkey scripts will work in Chrome right off the bat. The reason? Greasemonkey, if you're not aware, is a Firefox add-on, which means that scripts written up to this point have been aimed at working with Mozilla's browser. Because of this, Boodman expects some 15-25 percent of Greasemonkey scripts won't work in Chrome, but recommends letting the author know if you run into one that appears busted.
"In the meantime, we'll keep working on bugs on our side to bring our implementation closer to Greasemonkey," Boodman added.
We're not sure why Google would want to keep this a secret, but if the search giant plans on incorporating touch capabilities into its upcoming Chrome OS, the company doesn't want to you to know about it, at least not yet. At least that's the impression TechRadar gives, who flat out asked Google whether or not Chrome will include touch options.
"I can't... I mean... right now we are targeting netbooks, that's what we're focused on, but I expect it to work well... we expect it to target everything up to desktop computers. Chrome OS will be built for a specific hardware setup," said Anders Sandholm, Senior Product Manager of Search at Google's London HQ.
According to TechRadar, Sandholm was none too comfortable talking about touch, which is a bit different than a couple of months ago when Sandholm, without stuttering, told the tech site "I'm sure that something is being discussed [about touch input], but I'm not exactly sure what the outcome is going to be."
It's probably a safe bet that first-run Chrome OS-based netbooks won't come with any kind of touch capabilities, but after that, it's fair game.
Google has been waging a very public war against IE6, but it would all seem a bit hypocritical if similar vulnerabilities were also found in Chrome. As a preventative measure, Google is offering up anywhere from $500-$1337 to any user who finds and reports a flaw using its Chromium Bug Tracker forums.
The initiative is vaguely similar to a program being offered by Mozilla, but it is still a great way to prove to the public that they are taking security vulnerabilities seriously. It gives the open source community both a reason to poke around in the code, and a healthy reward for being a good digital Samaritan. At the very least its reassuring to know users have a way to report vulnerabilities to the company, and feel confident they will be taken seriously. It feels like every time a new critical flaw in IE is discovered, it was disclosed to the public in an attempt to pressure Microsoft into working on a patch.
One of Google Chrome's more useful features is its ability to display recently opened Web pages and your most-visited Web pages via a little visual table whenever you open up a new, "blank" tab. For the Web surfer with a limited range of interests or for those interested in a quick way to hit their favorite sites in one go, this functionality is miles ahead of Firefox's, well, blank tab. But here's the problem: You can't actually customize anything on Chrome's launching page. Or, rather, you can only pin and subtract.
What I mean by that is Chome lacks the ability to let you pick, from the start, exactly what you want to appear on your "new tab" page. If a site happens to make its way across your "most viewed" list and you want to stick it there, you can pin said side to your page by hovering your mouse over the image until its blue configuration frame appears. You use the same process to prevent certain sites from ever appearing on this page--I'm not going to ask what those might be. Other than that, you're stuck--unless you start refreshing a particular page to the point of annoyance just to get it to appear, you have no way to actually predefine or shuffle around these sites.
The Chrome Extension Speed Dial is your solution for complete and total customization of your new tab page in Google's browser. It's not perfect, but it's a welcome addition to any Chrome-tweaker's arsenal. Find out about all its features after the jump!
"Gosh, I sure wish I could make Firefox look more like Google Chrome," you ask yourself. I'm not going to question your choice of browsers--however you decide to surf the Web is up to you. Nor am I going to point you in the direction of some kind of Google Chrome skin for Firefox. It's not like Chrome and Firefox are that radically different in regards to the look of their buttons and such. Differences exist, but nothing so groundbreaking as to warrant a customized skin for your Firefox browser. Plus, I think it would look lame. Case closed.
Or is it? Google Chrome does have a nice interface as a whole. I'm not talking about its colors or its icons, but its general layout. You do get a little bit more screen real estate to work with over Firefox's available space. Status bar? Gone. Giant bar of tabs? Relocated to the top of the browser. Favorites toolbar? Well, that's still there... but suppose you wanted to alter this, as well as Firefox's other GUI bars, at the touch of a button. You could jam on the F11 key to enable full-screen browsing, but then you lose the rest of your Windows interface in exchange for the extra browser room.
Now is the point in our one-sided conversation where a useful add-on called Hide GUI bars comes in to save the day. I'm not going to belabor the point too much, as I bet you can tell exactly what this extension does by the name itself. As always, I'll get into specifics after the jump!