Earlier this year Google’s Chrome browser overtook Internet Explorer as the most popular browser in the world. I’ve been using Chrome since the early beta days and have seen many changes, both good and bad, but have always been impressed by its ease of use and the seamless way it now integrates into your Google account, allowing you to easily carry on your browsing experience, some you move from desktop to mobile browsing during your day.
The latest version of the browser, 30, is being rolled out across users and has seen some big changes to the way it’s displaying areas and how you interact with the browser.
The big change is regarding the Apps you have added to your browser. In earlier versions you were able to scroll to the left or right from the new tab window, between your apps and your frequently visited sites, opening apps from the browser instantly. The Apps window has now been moved, they have been given their own button on the bookmarks bar where they are all stored as before on a new browser page.
It’s not a revolutionary change, I admit, but it’s certainly a point in the direction that Google are trying to clean things up a little and give Chrome a smarter appearance.
The opinion is that they’re driving users to have to use Google from the first instance; when you open a New Tab you now are given the Google search tool (complete with any Google Doodle that day) with the addition of your recently & most visited sites via the quick launch windows that were there previously. Here you can also now find easy access from the top right of the page to your Google+ page, your Gmail inbox and via another new Apps icon, a popup window listing all of Google’s services including calendar, drive and maps.
With the closure of iGoogle, this is sadly the only alternative you’re going to get to a personalised homepage and search facility. This hasn’t gone down well with lovers of iGoogle, but there are many ways you can personalise Chrome and give an easy to use interface by making the most of your bookmarks bar, the Apps & the new tab options.
The final little change we’ve found is with the change to the new tab page, the removal of the ‘Recently Closed’ option in the bottom right hand corner of your screen. This hasn’t gone altogether, Google have again tidied things up and moved it under the Settings button.
What do you think of Google’s small but definitive changes? Has it made things easier, are you finding your way around difficult or have they not really made that much difference to your browsing experience?