Google Chrome goes 4.0, adds extensions, bookmark sync and squashes bugs

Google Chrome goes 4.0, adds extensions, bookmark sync and squashes bugs

Summary: Google has finally rolled out Chrome version 4.0 ( to be exact) and it brings with it a whole raft of new features.

TOPICS: Browser, Google

Google has finally rolled out Chrome version 4.0 ( to be exact) and it brings with it a whole raft of new features.

The first of these new features is extensions which are used to augment the functionality offered by the browser. There are currently some 1,500 on offer, ranging from extensions that allow you to make more use of Google's own services (such as Google Mail Checker and Google Translate) to things you wouldn't expect Google to be pushing to users, such as AdBlock.

These extensions are similar to those for the Firefox browser, so it's clear who this feature is aimed at. Crome is on the offensive and looking to pick up floating Firefox users.

Also new is bookmark sync. Basically the idea is simple. You enable Bookmark sync and you log in to your Google Account. Your bookmarks are then stored online and sent to any Chrome browser on which you enable sync and log into the Google account. Simple enough.

Note: Extensions and bookmark sync are only available for Windows user at present. Linux users will need to download the beta channel build, while Mac users have to resort to a developer build.

I should also mention the performance boost to JavaScript processing of around 40%. Not much, but enough to keep Chrome at the top of the leaderboard in my tests.

Then there are the security fixes, 13 in all, including six rated as a high threat.

All in all, a strong update.

Topics: Browser, Google

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  • No no-script? no deal.

    Besides it's google chrome... it's just a massive keylogger.
    • I agree

      Without noscript... I'm scared of it. Also, unless xmarks supports it, I'm probably not interested.
      • Xmarks

        Chrome does support Xmarks. You can find it here:

        I don't think they've added password sync yet,
        though. It's the only feature I really miss.
        • Xmarks

          Yes, the latest Chrome does support an Xmarks extension, but it only allows sync with Xmarks' server. I don't want to share my bookmarks with either Xmarks or Google. Why can't it support a user-defined location like Firefox' Xmarks?
    • No no-script? no deal.

      Agreed. Lack of NoScript keeps Chrome in "toy" status here. Even the extensions are lackluster compared to Firefox. The built-in "bookmark sync" only syncs to Google. I'm sorry, but I don't really want to share all my bookmarks with Google. Why can't it sync to a user-defined location?
  • Semantical frivolity...

    It was hard to not laugh when reading the first sentence of this article staring off with "Google has finally rolled out Chrome version 4.0". Those lacking historical context may not get the joke, but suffice it to say that the time period between the 3.0 release and the 4.0 release was a whopping three months, two days. It takes real chutzpah to look at a three month time window between major releases of a piece of software and say "Finally...".
  • Chrome has to much LOCK IN to Google.

    Sorry but no thanks.
    • Not only that

      but even if I wanted those Google capabilities, I could get them with another browser (like Firefox) AND get those type of capabilities with other software company products.

      I think it's a good thing to have a healthy distrust of the direction Chrome is going in. Hopefully it will keep them honest.
      Michael Kelly
  • RE: Google Chrome goes 4.0, adds extensions, bookmark sync and squashes bugs

    Installed 4.0 to give it a try. Added adblock and adblock element helper (my biggest knock on Chrome has been the lack of adblock). It is a very nice looking browser and the adblocking part is now smooth. But I failed to notice its speed advantage, it didn't seem any faster than firefox 3.6. Also the two versions of IE tab available for Chrome are nowhere near as good as Coral IE Tab for firefox.

    All things considered, Chrome is a capable browser with available addons to do lots of things, but I don't see a killer reason to switch.
  • RE: Google Chrome goes 4.0, adds extensions, bookmark sync and squashes bugs

    Now with more spyware! In fact you don't even need to install this, just send them your computer so they can get your personal info off of it directly. Anything you do and browse through Google becomes their property. Don't give up your rights!
    Loverock Davidson
    • As opposed to...

      Bing which "only" keep your information for 6 months. Clearly you've already given up your rights.
  • Firefox 3.6 bought me back

    Well, Firefox 3.6 bought me back, as it has the performance I was looking for.

    That, plus Firefox has had extensions for a long time, and I missed them. Chrome's extensions are new, so I expect it'll be some time before they're anywhere near as complete as Firefox's extension set.

    Bookmark sync is okay, but I'm using Xmarks, which works with all major browsers.
  • 40% boost is "not much"?

    Boy, you are a hard guy to please ;-)
  • RE: Google Chrome goes 4.0, adds extensions, bookmark sync and squashes bugs

    Yeah, I'm glad I'm not the only one who found that statement absurd.
  • RE: Google Chrome goes 4.0, adds extensions, bookmark sync and squashes bugs

    I use Firefox with only a few extensions. Chrome had most of the identical extensions but they don't work as well.

    It also doesn't seem to have has much ability to customize options and the menu bar is just a little too minimalist for me. The supposed speed difference is hardly noticeable to me.

    It's decent and I could live with it if need be but I still prefer Firefox.
  • The speed differential between Google Chrome/Chromium

    (dev channel builds) and, say, [b]Minefield[/b] ([b]Firefox 3.7a1pre[/b]) is readily apparent to me and the 26-odd [b]Chrome[/b] extensions I have downloaded generally seem to work as well as their [b]FF[/b] counterparts. That being said, I do miss [b]NoScript[/b] which is not (yet ?) available (over to you, Giorgio Maione !) and the ability to open my [b]Delicious Bookmarks[/b], which in my experience is the bookmarks manager best suited to my needs, in a permanent side panel on the browser screen. So for the moment, [b]Firefox[/b] remains my default browser, but switching to [b]Chrome[/b] is becoming an ever greater temptation. Kudos to the [b]Chrome[/b] developers !...

  • Finally... extensions

    I so want fire bug on Chrome. FF is getting sluggish
    again. At least FF fixed it's memory leaks.