Google Toolbar 4 Beta
- Intuitive search options, Type ahead helper, Bookmark portability
- Have to enter bookmarks one at a time, can be a little intrusive at times.
The type-ahead search helper, easy-to-add shortcuts to popular sites, and other useful innovations keep Google the toolbar of choice for Internet Explorer users.
Lately it seems as if everybody and their second cousin have attempted to follow Google's example by cobbling together a browser toolbar. Most of these shortcut collections do little more than push the page content farther below the virtual fold and replace it with a string of ads to the company's sites and services (the Yahoo Toolbar is a prime example of this approach). But it's clear to us, based on using the beta of Google Toolbar 4, that the first is still the best.
Topping the list of this version's new features is type-ahead help in the search text box. In typical Google fashion, the search-term helper is simple, elegant, and useful: As you enter text, a small window pops open below the box, listing popular search terms beginning with those letters. The toolbar remembers past searches, too, and lists them here when appropriate.
Significant search suggestions
Previously, we never felt the need for help when conjuring our search phrases; but several times while testing the new toolbar we chose one of Google's suggestions over what we had intended to type, and were happy with the result.
For example, while looking for recent articles on anti-spam software, we intended to search for 'spam filters' but saw the more-appropriate term 'spam blockers' among the search helper's suggestions. We chose it from the list and found the article we needed among the first three results. Evidently even old searchers can learn a few new tricks.
Then again, you might find the suggestions intrusive, or you might not like having your search history recorded. You can disable both of these options via the toolbar's Search Box Settings: Click Settings>Options>Features>Search Box Settings, and uncheck the bottom two options.
Google hosts bookmarks
The buttons that appear by default are those for Google services; Google bookmarks (more on these below); the pop-up blocker; the spell checker; the language translator (which is grayed out until you choose a language via the Settings dialog box); AutoLink (which converts URLs and physical addresses on the page into clickable links, the former leading to Google Maps); AutoFill, for entering forms data automatically; Send To, for transmitting pages via e-mail, blog, or SMS (more on this below as well); and Highlight, to call out each instance of your search term on the page.
If you're dissatisfied with the array of shortcut buttons on the toolbar, you can add or remove them individually via the Toolbar Options dialog box (click Settings>Options>Buttons). You can even use the Google API to create your own shortcut buttons for favorite sites; the company offers instructions.
You can also keep things simple by adding buttons for Slashdot.org, The New York Times, CBS Sportsline.com, and other popular sites with one click via the Google Toolbar Button Gallery. You'll find that it's easier than ever to add and remove shortcuts to Google Video, Gmail, and other Google sites and services: Just choose them from the new menu that pops out of the toolbar's Google section.
Several services let you store your browser bookmarks on their servers so you can access them from any computer. Google Toolbar 4 offers this same bookmark portability (a Gmail or other Google account is required). Unfortunately, you have to enter your bookmarks one at a time, but adding them to the toolbar's list lets you assign keywords to them to make them easier to sort and organize. Your bookmarks will also be available via the Search History link on your Google account page.
Anyone who frequently sends Web pages to others via e-mail or SMS will appreciate the toolbar's new Send To feature. Gmail is currently the only e-mail option, and Google's Blogger is the only choice included for posting a link to the current page in a blog, but you can send the page via SMS to any messaging-enabled cell phone. Be aware, however, that -- though you can send SMS messages for free via the toolbar -- your carrier may charge you to receive them.
Translation capability still there
One toolbar feature that isn't new with this release but that we have come to appreciate only recently is the WordTranslator. When this button is active, you'll see a translation of the words you hover the mouse pointer over in the language of your choice. The languages currently supported are Chinese, Japanese, Korean, French, Itallian, German, and Spanish.
As a language aficionado, our reviewer got a big kick out of seeing the word translations pop up in a little yellow box whenever the pointer stops over text. It's not Berlitz, but ce n'est pas mal.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Acer Swift 7
Lexar® Portable SSD
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Huawei Mate 9
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Google Daydream VR headset
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Dell XPS 13 laptop
HP Pavilion x360 13”
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Surface Pro 4
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei Mate 9 full in-depth smartphone review
- 2 ZTE Axon 7 review: Is ZTE dumping old stock on Australia?
- 3 Oppo R9s smartphone full review
- 4 Finally! LG OLED TV 2016 range review
- 5 Huawei Nova Plus smartphone review
Latest News Articles
- Village Roadshow aims to block 40 pirate sites
- Analysts peer into Microsoft's rumored Windows 10 Cloud
- Google lets users get social with Maps
- Microsoft unveils a bonanza of security capabilities
- Google might be gearing up to remove millions of Play Store apps next month
GGG Evaluation Team
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
- How to quit Pokemon Go (or to start enjoying it again)
- Huawei Mate 9 full in-depth smartphone review
- Time to ditch Foxtel and the iQ3: How to replace Foxtel packages with cheaper alternatives
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- FTSenior C++ EngineerACT
- CCCA ITCM / ITCA Engineer with some hands-on knowledge of scripting.NSW
- CCSenior Project Manager x 2QLD
- CCTechnical Support AnalystACT
- TPFunctional AnalystVIC
- TPNodeJS DeveloperNSW
- FTSenior Learning Specialist - Global OrganisationQLD
- FTLevel 3 EngineerNSW
- FTSenior Dot Net Backend Orientated DeveloperNSW
- FTDynamics AX Functional Consultant (Supply Chain Modules)WA
- CCWicked Front-End DeveloperQLD
- TPFront End DeveloperNSW
- CCNetwork EngineerNSW
- FTTechnical SpecialistNSW
- CCSenior Networks Specialist - DNS PlatformVIC
- FTSenior Network AdministratorNSW
- TPProject Coordinator/Junior Project ManagerVIC
- TPSAP Helpdesk SupportACT
- TPProject Support OfficerQLD
- CCERP Business Analyst (Time Capture/ Management) - Contract - Sydney CBDNSW
- CCDesktop Engineer l WollongongNSW
- TPTechnical WriterQLD
- FTFront-End DevOps Developer/Consultant - IT Services - SydneyNSW
- TPDeployment Specialist (DevOps)QLD
- TPOracle Consultant - CC&BQLD