Google has updated its dev-channel branch of the Chrome browser to version 22.214.171.124, fixing bugs, laying the groundwork for extension, oh and trying to grow its share.
The most noticeable user-visible feature in this new release is the ‘make Chrome the default browser’ option. That’s right you can now from inside of Chrome choose to have Chrome as your default.
Firefox and IE have had that option for many years and now Google is jumping on the default bandwagon too. I don’t have a problem with this choice, it’s a one time run thing when you start up the new install. It’s a good idea for Google and likely will help them to gain a little bit of market share as users choose to make Chrome the default. Considering that Chrome has been publicly available for six months at this point, I’m surprised that it has taken Google this long to include the default browser option.
There is also a new behavior that will enable Chrome users to allow pop-ups from a site (similar to Firefox and IE also).
Perhaps the most interesting element in this new release is the foundation it is laying for Google Chrome’s extension framework. No Chrome doesn’t have real extensions yet, but it will very soon. It looks to me like there are some API changes including one that will specify where the extension will actually be on the user interface.
Digging into the Google Chrome dev tree, I found the following entry:
Create a separate UI surface for extensions (bottom shelf) and remove them from the bookmarks bar (for now)
It’ll be interesting to see how the Chrome extension system gets finalized and how it is different and/or the same as Firefox’s add-on setup. As a desktop Linux user though I’m still waiting for a native Linux implementation (Mac users are still waiting too).