Netscape Navigator may have started many people surfing the web some 21 years ago but nowadays Google Chrome is king of the waves.
Celebrating its seventh birthday this month (September 2015), Google’s gateway to the web launched back in 2008 and was the first mainstream browser to combine the address bar and search box – and so it came to pass that the ‘omnibox’ was born. Amen.
Its speedy UI has since propelled Chrome to be the world’s most popular internet browser, responsible for over half of all desktop, console and tablet page requests according to the number-crunchers at StatCounter GlobalStats.
Simple and uncluttered it may be, but if you’re happy to invest time scratching beneath its shiny surface then Chrome will reward you with power-user features aplenty. Let’s take a look at some of Chrome’s best hidden gems.
1. Experimental stuff
Google loves a bit of beta code and Google Chrome is no exception. While the browser itself is no longer in experimental mode some features within it are. To take a peek under the covers pop the following into your address bar:
There are too many options to go into here, but some highlights include: FPS Counter, Enable fast tab/window close, Show Autofill predictions, Save page as MHTML, Enable experimental web platform features.
Just don’t come crying to us if you break your browser.
2. Customise your Tab Screen
Google tries hard to make new tabs useful from the outset but there are some Chrome extensions that can make it work even harder. One of these is Momentum.
Upon opening a new tab, instead of the spartan slate of recent sites and Chrome apps you get Momentum, your personal dashboard presenting a Things to Do list, quote of the day, favourite links and, to top it all off, a beautiful landscape.
It won’t single-handedly change your life, and basic features like cloud-syncing for links and lists can’t come soon enough, but if you spend much of your day with your nose in a browser, Momentum might just be the launch-pad you need.
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