Extensions arrive in Google Chrome
Google has made extensions available to users of the stable build of its Chrome browser for the first time.
The search monolith has been testing the extensions on the beta build for some months and has now decided they’re stable enough to bring to the wider public. Several members of the PC Pro staff have been running the Chrome beta with extensions for weeks, without any ill effect.
Google claims to have more than 1,500 extensions available in its gallery, including widgets for Gmail, eBay and a Twitter client called Chromed Bird.
Only Windows users are currently able to access extensions in the stable build. Chrome for Linux offers extensions in the beta build still, while users of the newly-minted Chrome for Macs don’t have the facility at all, although Google promises that it’s coming to the beta build “soon”.
The arrival of extensions on Chrome eliminates one of the few advantages held by rivals Firefox and Internet Explorer, although Chrome has nowhere near as many extensions as either of the other two yet.
Extensions aren’t the only new feature in this build: Google has also taken the beta label off its bookmark synchronisation service, allowing users to keep their favourite websites in sync across different computers.
The Xmarks extension that’s now available for Chrome actually goes one better, keeping bookmarks synchronised across multiple browsers as well as multiple PCs.
The latest Chrome build gives web developers a few more HTML5 tools to play with, including LocalStorage (to help store small amounts of data on the client) and the Web SQL Database API (which allows developers to store structured data on the user’s PC).