Chrome 9 brings Google Instant, WebGL support


— 9:28 AM on February 4, 2011

Yes, another major new version of Chrome is already out. If you're a Chrome user, chances are the browser has already updated itself and you just haven't noticed. Nevertheless, as Google explains on the official Chrome Blog, the new release brings a couple of cool new features, not to mention a "dash of speed."

The coolest addition is undoubtedly Google Instant, which essentially mirrors the Google website's instant search functionality right in Chrome's address bar omnibox. Starting to type search keywords will bring a Google results page instantly, and starting to type a website's URL will bring up that site before you're done typing, too. There's just one little caveat: Google says it collects data entered in the omnibox when the feature is turned on. Luckily, the Chrome 9 update didn't enable Google Instant by default for me—I had to go into the options and tick the check box under the "Basics" tab to enable it.

Chrome 9 also brings WebGL support, or hardware-accelerated 3D graphics inside your web browser. Google has put up a demo page with some sample implementations of the technology, like the Google Body browser.

Last, but not least, Google says the Chrome web store is "now open to all Chrome users in the United States." The store showed up in Chrome 8, though, so it's not entirely new, strictly speaking.

   
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