Chrome 4.0 brings extensions, bookmark sync

The latest "stable" version of Google's Chrome web browser has arrived, bringing two major new features that make it a more formidable competitor than ever: extensions and online bookmark synchronization.

Google introduces the new browser on its official blog, giving a brief rundown of the novelties. Just like in the beta, users can access the Extensions page through the wrench menu to get an overview of installed extensions and a link to the Chrome extensions gallery (think Google's take on Unlike Firefox, Chrome can install and uninstall extensions without a browser restart—and it's pretty quick about it, too.

The wrench menu also includes a "Synchronize my bookmarks..." item, which prompts users for their Google Account credentials. A short explanatory note above the login box reads, "When you enable sync, your bookmarks will get stored online in your Google Account. Each additional computer on which you enable sync will receive the same bookmarks." Pretty straightforward.

Finally, as is custom for major new Chrome releases, Chrome 4.0 brings some rendering speed enhancements. Google claims performance in Mozilla's Dromaeo DOM Core Tests has jumped by 42% over Chrome 3.x and by 400% over the very first stable release.

Chrome 4.0 for Windows can be downloaded here; existing users can update by heading to "About Google Chrome" in the wrench menu. Folks running Mac OS X or Linux will have to bide their time, meanwhile, because extensions and bookmark sync still haven't made it into a stable release for either operating system.

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