Google Chrome: Only features you need to know

10 09 2008

About a week ago, Mike and I were invited to the Google Chrome press conference in Singapore where we got the opportunity to talk to their product manager, Andrew McClinchey, learn from him about all the nifty little features of Chrome and also ask some of the dire questions which have been leaving users puzzled (e.g: about why Google suddenly decided to develop a browser despite being long-time partners with Mozilla). I wrote an article about these strategy-related questions on TDM so do pop on over there if you wanna read the article.

I’ve been using Chrome for about a week now and there are some things I would like to share about it. No, I’m not going to write a review as there are already thousands on the web. This is a write-up on 3 features of Chrome which I have found really useful and which, I think new users should know about.

 

Key Feature #1: Search INSIDE a website from address bar
Note: This is not the feature where you type in your keywords in the address bar and it automatically sends the search to Google.

Chrome has this feature where once you’ve searched within a website once, you can easily search within that website directly from the Chrome address bar. This website can be any website with search capabilities like Wikipedia, Technorati or even OpenGL. Example: If I wanted to search something in the Technorati website, I don’t have to go to technorati.com and search there but instead do it directly from the address bar.

 

If you look at the image above, I typed in “tech” and the word “technorati.com” came up as I’ve been there before. On the right side, you will see instructions saying to press “Tab” to search technorati.com.

Upon pressing tab, I see the image below:

I type in whatever I want to look for and the results page from technorati itself will load immediately. This cuts down the step of having to go to a website’s main page first before searching the website. Do note that you have to have visited and searched within the website at least once before this feature works.

Side note: This feature is a HUGE time-saver for me because as I’m learning Computer Graphics this semester, I tend to search API websites like OpenGL very often. Imagine being able to search your favourite unknown websites directly without needing to download any plug-ins or add-ons! 😀

 

Key Feature #2: No more irritating download pop-up windows
The title says it all. Now when you click download, a slim, non-intrusive bar will show up at the bottom of your window showing the progress of the download. Once it is complete, you can click on the file within the bar itself to open it. This is one of those small features that improves usability a HUGE LOT. Why didn’t any of the other browsers do this in the past… tsk tsk..


The slim & non-intrusive download bar

 

Key Feature #3: New tab page
Like key feature #2, the new tab page is one of those subtle features I have come to love. When you open a new tab in Chrome, it will show you a page containing links to pages which you most often visit. This page dynamically updates itself based on your behaviour. Now when I wake up in the morning, I just open a new tab and start clicking away to go through my daily website-routine visit sequence :D.


My new tab page

 

Chromic thoughts..
There are definitely many more nifty little features under the hood of Chrome like the V8 Javascript engine which makes sites with AJAX calls run much faster. However, the above 3 features are the only ones which I have found to be really useful and deciding factors in me making Chrome my default browser. Then again, I’m not one of those power Firefox users who install tons of plug-ins and add-ons. So! If you’re a normal user like me who uses browsers as they are, then you should consider trying out the features I mentioned and seeing for yourself whether it improves your web browsing experience. 😀

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12 responses

10 09 2008
Jian

Heh, the Speed Dial feature was in Opera since 9.x versions came out, but it was not dynamically assigned.

10 09 2008
bitbot

Yea Chrome doesn’t have many revolutionary stuff other than the V8 engine but the little improvements they make on top of things that have been done before by others improve usability and the web-browsing experience quite a lot. 😀

10 09 2008
Walter

Looks like a quite a cool new web browser though I haven’t found a reason to switch from Firefox yet…. Great blog post Su Yuen!

11 09 2008
bitbot

@Walter: Hey thanks for visiting! Also thanks for the comment. 😀

16 09 2008
kingdom media

there are so many advantages and features with Chrome, such as it’s speed, for example; now if only they would take care it’s flighty cookie management…

18 09 2008
WebTrafficROI

Actually, chrome is quite standards compliant. And has many more built-in features than FF.

Very fast when it is loading few sites …

18 09 2008
twingo6 link directory

Mostly good article, but I disagree with 2 things, the speed of the browser is good but the speed of switching tabs is shocking compared to any other browser. Also the switching is more difficult than you make out without the key feature of a home button which many users base lots of browsing around.

19 09 2008
bitbot

I found another BIIIIIIIG baaaad problem with Chrome. When viewing videos from Megavideo / Veoh, switching between full screen, small screen and tabs is a HUGE PAIN. Somehow it slows down a lot when these transitions are seamless on Firefox and IE. Looks like something is drastically wrong with their JavaScript engine somewhere..

3 10 2008
Andrew Green

This is a great idea. I don’t think that Chrome is nearly ready to by my “Full Time” browser, but it is pretty fast on some sites/services. I like the idea of being able to use Firefox for most stuff, but use Chrome as a specialized application for certain web services.
I don’t see Chrome as a replacement, rather a sidekick.

11 03 2010
Biarovow

Please advise on the best-priced IT automation software available for download?
I Googled the web and got the following:
Kaseya.com
GFI.com
Logmein.com

They all look different… Does anyone has other suggestions?
In addition had anyone try that software:
N-able network management software ?

14 06 2010
Gonzalo Layton

This an Excellent blog post, I will save this post in my Mixx account. Have a great day.

25 06 2010
Erin Whit

I have tried to leave a comment here but every time I submit it times out the screen or gives an error. Do you think the author could possibly look into the reason there is a problem?

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