Being a recent browser – despite what its version number might suggest – Google Chrome has had the luxury of not having to bother with a any past conventions. Chrome is a tight focused browser which doesn’t try to be anything else, and the result is, it is the fastest browser out there, with an efficient interface without any distractions.
While the browser has gone quickly up to v6 in its short under-two-years history, the browser has not seen any radical changes. Instead it has gradually gained features, usually only one or two per release, such as themes with v3, extensions with v4 etc. The latest release to reach the beta channel is Google Chrome 6.0.472.33, and this time we again have few but important changes. Of course those on the dev channel will already be familiar with these changes and new features.
With this latest beta release, there is one quite visible change. With Chrome 6, Google has further optimized the UI layout to free up even more space. Now the UI has only the single “wrench” menu which has all the options which were earlier spread across two menus.
The changes aren’t just skin deep Chrome 6 comes with a powerful Autofill system which supports multiple profiles. With auto-fill, you can store your personal details in the browser so they they can be used to speed up filling forms online. Google Chrome can store credit card information as well, however it will ask you before storing it unlike your form data – which is stored automatically.
The best feature of all though, is that Google Chrome’s synchronization system can now synchronize even your auto-fill data and extensions! So you no longer need to hunt for the same extensions to install on each computer you use; you simply associate your Google Account with Google Chrome, and Google with sync all your personalization data –sans the credit card info– to your Google Docs account, and apply it to any other Chrome instance associated with the same account. Earlier version of Google Chrome included the synchronization functionality, however that was only for browser preferences, bookmarks, and themes.
Despite this Google Chrome remains fast as ever, with the latest version showing improvements of around 15% in Sunspider and V8 benchmarks, and 64% improvement on Mozilla’s Dromaeo DOM Core benchmark.
For more information on how Google Chrome compares to other browsers, check out our browser comparison.