Chrome 9 Released
Friday, 04 February 2011

Chrome 9 has three major new features the most important being its attempt to retrain users to think that widgets are apps.

Version 9 of Google's browser Chrome is now available as a stable release. It adds WebGL support, Chrome Instant for auto-completing URLs and the Chrome Web Store is open to all US users - but its most important aspect is the attempt to retrain users to think that widgets are apps..

Google's Chrome browser has gone through a rapid development cycle since its introduction in 2008. Now Version 9 has come out of Beta.

For web designers and developers the fact that Chrome now supports WebGL opens new possibilities. WebGL is the technology which brings hardware-accelerated 3D graphics to the browser. If you aren't sure why you need such powerful graphics in a browser then you only need to look at the demos on the Chrome Experiments site.

One of the characteristics of desktop apps is that they have graphics without limitation and now the same can be true of web based apps.

Chrome Instant adds a facility users of other browsers already take for granted - that when you start to type the address of a web page that you frequently visit Chrome will guess what you want and begin to load it. The feature (which can potentially be a nuisance as it makes it harder to get to previously unvisited sites) is turned off by default.

 

chrome

The third major enhancement is that the  Chrome Web Store is now more widely available being open to all Chrome users in the U.S.  A new tab will take users to the store and two trial apps will be installed to get them used to the idea of running Chrome apps. As a Chrome app is basically an HTML/JavaScript widget it is difficult to see any of this as a huge technical breakthrough it is an attempt to shift the mindset of the user into the "mobile app mode".

Here's the Google take on the app store, why it is needed, and how it will change things.

 

 

Further Information

Chrome Web store - another way to sell widgets

 

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