Chrome 10 debuts with new settings interface

Wow, already? Barely over a month after unleashing Chrome 9, Google has turned around and introduced version 10 of its increasingly popular browser. Chrome 10 is available from the usual place, although if you were already using the previous version, chances are it’s quietly updated itself without you noticing.

Google has served up a few notable improvements in this release: quicker JavaScript performance (the firm quotes a 66% jump in its V8 benchmark), a new settings control panel with a search function, and the ability to synchronize passwords across multiple computers. The synchronization feature, which also does bookmarks, extensions, preferences, themes, apps, and autofill data, can be encyrpted via a master password to keep your data safe from prying eyes.

As you can see in the video above, the new settings control panel looks and behaves just like a web page—no longer does Google need to bend itself to control-panel UI conventions! I’m a little surprised by the fit and finish of the page, though; in the "Under the Hood" section, scrolling down chops the blue border on the left. That’s a typical side effect of stretching an element vertically using CSS without making provisions for page lengths longer than the browser viewport. Cosmetic issues aside, though, the new control panel seems to work fine.

Comments closed
    • bdwilcox
    • 12 years ago

    Sidebars and AdBlock are available for Firefox, too. Until Chrome catches up to 2002’s user interface standards, I’ll stick with Firefox.

    • mduncan62
    • 12 years ago

    I don’t miss the sidebar at all. Yes it’s not IE. Adblock is one of the best extensions I have used.

    • Farting Bob
    • 12 years ago

    Because Opera has a very small userbase that has been pretty much stagnant for the last few years, while Chrome is expanding rapidly and more people (meaning more clicks) are interested in it.

    • StuffMaster
    • 12 years ago

    Yeah, I think that many of Chrome’s UI decisions are horrible, and I really hate that Mozilla followed suit in the addon options.

    I just hate it when they change a perfectly good native interface to be HTML. It feels so soft and wrong.

    • poulpy
    • 12 years ago

    ^ What he said, words have meanings and “root” has a pretty strong and clear one.

    • sweatshopking
    • 12 years ago

    right. nothing about version 10 being launched, or version 11. you’re proving my point.

    • bdwilcox
    • 12 years ago

    Well, it doesn’t pin and it covers the web page. No dice.

    • boing
    • 12 years ago

    It’s right here: [url<]http://www.srware.net/en/software_srware_iron.php[/url<]

    • boing
    • 12 years ago

    [quote<]I did use chrome for some time, but with the flurry of versions, I couldn't make out whether I was using something that was cutting edge or was so incomplete in design and buggy, so much that they could never stop finding fault even for a day![/quote<]As a Chrome user, you don't actually have to worry about it. It's like Windows Update, it updates itself automatically and there is absolutely no reason to keep track of which version you're actually using.

    • vikramsbox
    • 12 years ago

    Chrome has the most updates released in the form of browser versions. Is there more to this than just what it seems?
    What is the implication on browser market share stats, if a chrome user has to download new ‘versions’ 10 times a year, while IE/FF/Opera users are just graced with 1-2?
    And are these incremental updates, most of which consist of only one or two fixes, really worthy of being called versions?
    I did use chrome for some time, but with the flurry of versions, I couldn’t make out whether I was using something that was cutting edge or was so incomplete in design and buggy, so much that they could never stop finding fault even for a day!
    Now I’m back to Opera and FF, which may seem to be slightly slower than chrome, but they reek less of neurotic supersonic updates.
    And if I may say so, Chrome will have to go to version 22 to even come close to the interface levels of Opera. Opera has the best level of GUI based customization that I have seen. Chrome seems to hint that I am supposed to be a brain dead net surfer who is supposed to treat his browser like a vestal virgin- look but you can’t touch!

    • Dirge
    • 12 years ago

    You could try either Iron Browser or Chromium Browser the open-source project behind the Google Chrome browser. I think the latter works pretty well and lacks Google’s user tracking.

    • Meadows
    • 12 years ago

    Opera already did that, they’re late as usual.

    • Ryu Connor
    • 12 years ago

    I’m reading them right and to be fair I did consider the possibility for you to tell me you meant something else. You do appear to have meant what you said, but you’re apply a more subtle context to it. Unfortunately I cannnot agree. The term root (and node) have a very specific and old meaning, code that runs, updates, and lives in userland does not have root on the node.

    Your assertions have far too much hyperbole. If you want to say you feel uncomfortable with a user mode application operating without user interaction, then we have something to talk about. Hell, I’ll even agree that you have a point about the precedent this sets, but don’t make this out to be some special case. There is no malice, malfeasance, negligence, or otherwise nefarious deeds at work here.

    Chrome does not have or use root on installed nodes. Chrome does not get around default NTFS Windows permissions. The application lives, breathes, and runs in the user profile and HKCU. These sections to Windows are freely open and writable to the logged in user. In fact in traditional DACL style they are owned by the currently logged in user.

    Chrome does not use exploits or flaws to change local ACLs, the HKLM and other system level registries, or elevate itself into Admin/root.

    • derFunkenstein
    • 12 years ago

    This works fine for me:

    [url<]https://chrome.google.com/extensions/detail/nnancliccjabjjmipbpjkfbijifaainp[/url<]

    • indeego
    • 12 years ago

    Carefully read my words:
    [quote<]Essentially Google is root on every installed node.[/quote<] I stand by that assertion. It's worse than an actual [i<]superuser[/i<] context, which would prompt a UAC prompt. This silently installs executable code without user permission. Google has specifically engineered this to get around basic default Windows permissions.

    • indeego
    • 12 years ago

    Have you tested this? It is in a VM I just loaded, eatin up my hertz, rapin’ my pixels.
    [url<]http://i.imgur.com/5Vz01.png[/url<]

    • Ryu Connor
    • 12 years ago

    The Chome installer and auto-updater does not require nor use Admin level priviledges. It’s definitely does not have root.

    • DancinJack
    • 12 years ago

    He means Opera linkz

    e: [url<]https://techreport.com/search_google.x?cx=013722762777297270298%3Alhssy6jrho4&cof=FORID%3A11&ie=UTF-8&q=Opera&sa=&siteurl=techreport.com%2Fnews.x#1239[/url<]

    • UberGerbil
    • 12 years ago

    I was disappointed to see they weren’t secretly using hexadecimal. This could’ve been “A”

    Maybe they’ll switch after it goes up to 11. Because, you know, this one goes up to 11.

    • Game_boy
    • 12 years ago

    Numbers above 11 aren’t cool enough so I predict it will wrap around upon Chrome 12’s release and be the Chrome FX i7 3800K Pro series or something.

    • Dirge
    • 12 years ago

    I think not. This is a list of what Google Chrome can do for you.

    Client-ID
    Depending on brand and version Chrome creates a unique ID through which a user can be theoretically identified.

    Timestamp
    Depending on brand and version Chrome remembers up to the second exactly when the software was installed.

    Suggest
    Depending on the configuration, each time you put something in the address line,this information is sent to Google to provide suggestions.

    Alternate Error Pages
    Depending on the configuration, if you have typed a false address in the adress bar, this is sent to Google and you get an error message from Google’s servers.

    Error Reporting
    Depending on the configuration, details about crashes or failures are sent Google’s servers.

    RLZ-Tracking
    This Chrome-function transmits information in encoded form to Google, for example, when and where Chrome has been downloaded.

    Google Updater
    Chrome installs a updater, which loads at every Windows in background.

    URL-Tracker
    Calls depending on the configuration five seconds after launch the Google homepage opens in background

    • pedro
    • 12 years ago

    They certainly do enjoy a ‘special relationship’ with one’s PC. Luckily I’m fine with that, but I do find it odd how deep in the guts of our computers they’ve gotten with their browser.

    • pedro
    • 12 years ago

    I wonder about all this rapid versioning. They’re changing every 6-8 weeks. So this time next year we’ll be using Chrome 17 or even Chrome 20. No other software goes that high (except maybe Super Mario Brothers).

    I love you Chrome but it’s starting to not actually mean anything, these changes in version number. So why are they doing it?

    • Dirge
    • 12 years ago

    Which option disables User Tracking….. maybe ill try searching for that.

    • Blazex
    • 12 years ago

    not much visually has changed that wasn’t there to enable in about:flags that wasnt there since like v7, i guess its just stuff being default now is all besides browser tweaks :/

    • sweatshopking
    • 12 years ago

    i’ll stick to opera. How come no news pages for their browser updates?

    • OneArmedScissor
    • 12 years ago

    I just looked and mine is version 11, but I haven’t noticed a change since like 7 or 8 lol. This is just silliness.

    Dear Google,

    Why is your URL bar still so farkin ginormous and unadjustable?

    • dlenmn
    • 12 years ago

    What makes you think a search function is necessary? It’s the same preferences that chrome has had for some time, and everyone did alright without the search. You don’t need a search function, but it certainly can be helpful (e.g. Windows, OS X, KDE, etc. have a search feature for their preferences).

    Even if you know what tab the preference is under, it could be faster to type; instead of clicking your mouse a couple times and looking over the page, you type a few letters and the preference you want is right near the top of the page (the cursor starts in the search box, so you don’t have to click there, and it updates the search results automatically so you don’t have to hit enter).

    If you have any doubt about where the setting is, searching is almost certainly faster. I disagree with your implied claim that having any doubt about a setting’s location indicates poor design; some doubt is almost unavoidable.

    • bdwilcox
    • 12 years ago

    Went to Options to enable the Bookmarks sidebar, but couldn’t find it. Oh, there isn’t one? No thanks.

    • BenBasson
    • 12 years ago

    I don’t see why you should need a search function to find the settings or functionality you’re looking for.

    In my opinion, all that says about the UI is that it’s not well constructed, and the UI designers are completely out of ideas.

    • indeego
    • 12 years ago

    I would think most of the userbase won’t even check the address bar on a settings change, why would they, it’s not a natural location for the eyes to go.

    • DancinJack
    • 12 years ago

    Uninstalled Chrome last night for FF4. Was acting too quirky. May have to give this a try.

    • mikehodges2
    • 12 years ago

    Surely you won’t be able to imitate the “chrome:\\..” address beginning?

    • indeego
    • 12 years ago

    Now uninstall Chrome and be overjoyed how the auto-installer continues to run in scheduled tasks.

    Essentially Google is root on every installed node. If you trust them: this is fine. If you don’t, they should not be on any machine you value private data.

    • derFunkenstein
    • 12 years ago

    Good grief. By the time I got home and fired up Chrome on my computer, it had already updated itself. Totally unsettling how efficient and transparent this is.

    • indeego
    • 12 years ago

    IMO a [b<]horrible[/b<] UI decision. Now phishers can imitate a settings dialog/tab for any number of malicious purposes. For what it's worth, I feel the same way about Firefox's add-ons tab box. At the least make the borders unique to differentiate a settings dialog with other tabs.

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