Google launches Chrome 3, with Mac and Linux versions soon

Posted by Emma Woollacott

Google has launched a new version of its Chrome browser and is promising Linux and Mac versions for mainstream users by the end of the year.


Version 3 jacks up the speed, with the company claiming its improved Javascript performance by more than 25 percent since the last stable release, Chrome 2, and by more than 150 percent over the first version, launched almost exactly a year ago.


There's a new tab page that allows users to rearrange thumbnails of their favourite websites or pin them to a spot - not dissimilar to the Safari tab page. Parts of the page can be hidden if required.


The new tab page


Omnibox - the combined search bar and web address bar - has also been changed. The company has altered the presentation of the drop-down menu and added little icons to help distinguish between suggested sites, searches, bookmarks, and sites from the user's browsing history.


New Omnibox


Google has also added more HTML5 capabilities. "We're particularly excited about the <video> tag in HTML5, which makes embedding videos in a page as simple as embedding regular images," says Google in its blog. "The <video> tag also allows video playback without a plug-in."


And just to make it all that bit prettier, Themes are now available, allowing users to add colors, patterns and images.


Lots of pretty Themes


It's available here.


Meanwhile, the long-awaited versions of Chrome for Linux and the Mac are nearing completion, and should be out by the end of the year. They're still missing a few key features, though, most notably printing and certain privacy features.


"We're keeping them in the developer channel a little while longer to make sure that they provide a satisfying native experience on these platforms and meet our standards for stability and performance," writes product manager Brian Rakowski in his blog.


All the same, users can download Google Chrome for Mac and Linux today through the developer channel, here.


See also
Google tarts up Google Chrome