Google Chrome Team Issues Version 2.0 for Developers
Google's Chrome team launches version 18.104.22.168 for application developers. Lay users can still use it, but they will have to reinstall Chrome to get the new Web services features, which include a fresher version of WebKit for Web page rendering and a new form autocomplete feature, as well as its own implementation of HTTP to prepare for, yes, future Mac and Linux versions of Chrome.
Google's Chrome Web browser, which the company launched from beta Dec. 11,
on Jan. 8 released a developer-driven version of build 2.0 with a new
version of WebKit and a long-sought-after form autocomplete feature.
Officially billed as build 22.214.171.124, the version has all of the code changes from the main line of the source code since 154.0 was branched in October, wrote Google Chrome programmer Mark Larson in a blog post.
Because this new version is a pre-beta targeted for developers, users who have installed Chrome will have to subscribe to the developer preview channel (where ideas get tested and sometimes failed, Larson said) before they can download the new features.
"It's less polished than what Dev channel users have been getting during Google Chrome's beta, so we've moved all of our existing Dev channel users to the Beta channel," Larson explained. "If you were on the Dev channel, you can decide whether to switch to the new Dev channel or stay on the new Beta channel."
Major changes in 126.96.36.199 include a new WebKit, the open-source code Chrome uses to render Web pages, which has bug fixes and allows full-page zoom, autoscroll, and various CSS (cascading style sheet) features.
The form autocomplete lets Chrome remember what you've already entered into fields on Web pages, saving you some of the repetitive typing. Web users who don't like leaving a trace can disable Form autocomplete on the minor tweaks tab of the Options dialog.
Some users may want to start new browser windows with different profiles, including different bookmarks, history and cookies. Using the Wrench menu, users can select new window in profile. When users create a new profile, they can name it and add a shortcut to their desktop.
Chrome also now has its own implementation of the HTTP network protocol, eschewing the WinHTTP library on Windows to use common code for Mac and Linux versions of Chrome when they're ready.
The Import bookmarks & settings option now has a Google Toolbar option to import Google Bookmarks, which get fed into your other bookmarks folder. However, the bookmarks are not kept in sync. The option only reads in the current set of online bookmarks.
Previously, page zoom increased or decreased only the text on a page, but Zoom now scales everything on the page together, so pages look correct at different zoom levels. New autoscroll let users scroll the page in any direction by middle clicking the mouse.
Also, when you drag a tab to certain positions on the monitor, a docking icon will appear. Users can release the mouse over the docking icon to have the tab snap to the docking position instead of being dropped at the same size as the original window.
Dislike spell checking? Users may disable spell checking in a text field by right-clicking in the field, or change the spell-checking language by right clicking.
Google Operating System's Alex Chitu runs through the new features here, and users can read more details on ReadWriteWeb here.