Google Chrome's new beta: A hands-on tour

The latest beta of Google Chrome browser is out and the focus is on speed. We take the beta on a test drive.

The latest beta for the Google Chrome browser is mostly about speed, thanks to a new JavaScript engine and an early taste of GPU-accelerated video.

But Google has also introduced a few new features to make the user experience more pleasurable, including password sync and a revamped options menu. Let's take a closer look:

Password Sync

Chrome could already sync your apps, bookmarks, preferences and themes across multiple computers, but until now has lacked a way to sync passwords. In the latest beta, you can access password sync under the "Personal Stuff" section of the options menu. A Google account -- along with your username and password -- is required for syncing, but you can also add an extra layer of encryption with a custom sync passphrase.

One thing that was kind of confusing: After I enabled sync on my second computer and punched in my user name and password, Chrome asked me what data I would like to sync between computers, even though I had just entered that information after setting up sync on my first computer.

New Options Menu

When clicking the tool icon and selecting "options," Chrome now displays settings in a new browser tab instead of a pop-up menu. This means you can access specific options with URLs, such as chrome://settings/personal. (Google says this is useful for providing tech support to computer-illiterate relatives.)

The options menu also has a search function now, so you can access settings by typing instead of digging through menus. It's almost like Google Instant, in that the search results update each time you enter a new letter. I'd say these are all revolutionary and wonderful new features, but I just can't get that excited about options menus. Sorry!

Organizing App Icons

Google doesn't say this is a new feature, but I never noticed it before and haven't heard anyone else mention it. If you've installed any Chrome Web apps, you can now rearrange them on the home screen by clicking and dragging.

As mundane as it seems, the ability to organize apps is the feature I'm most excited to see. Let's get support for app folders next, okay Google?

Follow Jared on Facebook and Twitter for even more tech news and commentary.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags browsersGooglesoftwareapplications

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jared Newman

PC World (US online)
Show Comments


James Cook University - Master of Data Science Online Course

Learn more >




Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?