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Google Working On Radically Different Chrome

David Gilbert


Google Working On Radically Different Chrome

The next major iteration of Google’s popular web browser Chrome, could look significantly different and could share a new feature with IE9.

A report in today’s Telegraph quotes sources close to the search giant saying that the new Chrome browser will be significantly stripped down with the address bar disappearing completely only to reappear when a user hovers the pointer over a particular spot. This feature is currently available in the latest beta version of Internet Explorer 9 but Chrome is expected to strip back the interface even more to allow for users to get the most space possible to view web pages. Comments about the compact design on the Chromium website said: “If we take the address bar out of the tab, it can be used as both a launcher and switcher; the user doesn't have to worry about replacing their active tab. The current URL shows while a site is loading, and can be edited or changed by clicking on the tab.”

Looking at the pros and cons, saving vertical real estate and a focus on apps “providing a better experience with full control of their content area” were among the strengths while a crowded tab strip and not having the URL visible at all times were named among the weaknesses.

While these design changes would hardly strike us as radical, it could be how they are implemented that will see the next major update of Chrome make a real change in the way we browse the web. There has been no word from Google as to when, or even if, these changes will be rolled out. At the top of the page, Google even goes so far as to say “UI under development. Designs are subject to change.”

Source: Chromium via Telegraph


February 21, 2011, 8:12 pm

While they are at it they can change it so Chrome installs into the Program Files folder (or give the user the choice of installation path) rather than installing it into the AppData folder in the user folders.


February 21, 2011, 8:18 pm

Sounds like a good idea. They removed the "go" button from recent iterations of Chrome, and the address bar logically doesn't need to be seen all the time. There is no loading progress shown there (thankfully as it's quite annoying in Opera).

I use the shortcut CTRL+L to enter text into the address bar, so as long as that still functioned and the address bar appeared at that point. I'm happy.


February 21, 2011, 8:33 pm

And in other news, the share prices of makers of 'F11' keys plummeted all over the world...

Tim Sutton

February 21, 2011, 8:45 pm

Meh. Seems to be aimed more at the portable sector than anything else.

I certainly haven't felt short of screen real estate while browsing at home or work for years, and I usually only use half a screen for the browser.

I also find having the url constantly visible to be extremely useful. I remain unconvinced.


February 21, 2011, 10:01 pm

Yeah, agree with Tim. Sounds nice, but I'm not sure I need the real estate so badly that I'd sacrifice the ability to view the whole URL at a glance. On a 10" screen, perhaps.

@MSIC: Very droll, sir...


February 21, 2011, 10:15 pm

I'm surprised they haven't gotten rid of the URL altogether, this must be a transition plan. Start off with this, then set font size to 4 and finally extinguish. Clearly the future of the web is search keywords, just like the old AOL.

No need for DNS either. Summer project will be to change the resolver library in ChromeOS and Android to just return the highest bidding^Wranked IP.

So yeah, really bad idea and I won't be using Chrome if they push for this.


February 21, 2011, 11:44 pm

Doesn't that site quite clearly explain that this is for Chrome OS and not the Chrome browser?

&#8220While working on the UI for ***Chromium OS***&#8221

Chromium OS is the open-source/development part of Chrome OS.


February 22, 2011, 12:18 am

@darkspark88: Do you mean the loading progress shown within the address bar with regards to Opera?


February 22, 2011, 4:21 pm

Firefox + Full Screen + Autohide Plugin = Maximum Browsing Pleasure.


February 22, 2011, 5:33 pm

Can someone please explain how this works in IE9? I'm on the Release Candidate version of it and the address bar is very much there!


February 22, 2011, 5:35 pm

@Armin - Yes. It's the reason why computer games rarely include loading bars in games now. It makes loading actually feel longer.

E.g. Take Bioshock and Crysis. They take about the same amount of time to load, but I am frustrated waiting for Crysis because of the loading bar. Whereas Bioshock simply has a nice loading message and graphics.

Loading bars should only be used for LONG jobs. Like virus scanning. Not when web pages load in seconds.


February 22, 2011, 8:18 pm

@darkspark88: If you go to Menu -> Appearance -> Toolbars, you can choose from four options. Show inside address bar, Pop-up at bottom, Simple, and Off. I think the last option would suit you best. :P

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