The version increase to v21 is right on schedule, even though the stable channel still remains at version 18, so it’s time to do a quick summary of the changes. Unfortunately, like many of the versions with even numbers before it, Chrome 20 brings next to nothing new for casual users – the only change you may notice is a slightly larger ‘New Tab’ button. Most of the updates concern developers and standards implementation, for example:
- A setting to enable ‘Web Intents’ has been added to the interface, located under ‘Advanced Settings’ ► ‘Privacy’ ► ‘Content settings’ ► ‘Allow Web Intents to enable me to connect my applications’.
- Mobile developers – all developers interested in responsive design actually – can use the Web Inspector to specify the screen resolution and font scale factor in order to quickly simulate different screen sizes; and also emulate touch events with the mouse. You can find the two new options in the Inspector ‘Settings’ menu (the gear icon in the lower right).
Other small updates include ‘Chrome To Mobile’, introduced in the previous version, now enabled by default and can be disabled through a flag. And on the topic of flags, you can enable ‘Asynchronous Spellchecking’ to get spellchecking suggestions from Google’s servers, a feature that has been in testing for a while; the UI seems to have stabilized now. Also a number of new internal pages have been added, for example:
- ‘Inspect with Chrome Developer Tools’ (chrome://inspect/) lists the currently opened tabs and running extensions, providing a link to inspect the code. The functionality was briefly available in the Task Manager, but that menu item is now disabled.
- ‘Policies’ (chrome://policy/) provides a user interface for applying group policies, I presume, a long-running feature request to smooth the adoption of Chrome in companies.
- The ‘Omnibox Debug Page’ (chrome://omnibox/) lists the predicted results for a specific Omnibox input, basically what Chrome would suggest if you were to type that in the Omnibox – similar to the ‘Autocomplete Action Predictor’ page (chrome://predictors/), which lists all your past search terms and the matching suggestions from the Omnibox.