Google Chrome came out with a ton of new features with the release of Chrome 32 this week. These new features include an icon in the tab title to indicate which tabs are playing sound, using your webcam, or casting to your TV. This is very helpful if you open a bunch of tabs and want to track down which ones are playing. We have talked about this feature before when it was introduced in the Canary branch for Chrome development.
Other features include extending Safe Browsing protection to block downloads with a stronger message. This version of Chrome also introduces a beta feature called Supervised Users which allows a sort of parental controls to review a users browsing habits and set site restrictions.
One of the biggest features with this release is a Windows 8 “metro” style of the browser. While most apps that use the modern style go full screen, Chrome took a very interesting approach. They put a Chrome OS-like interface to their app. This allows for much easier manageability of multiple browser windows and tabs. You can minimize, maximize, or pin to the left or right half of the monitor.
This UI within the operating system works surprisingly well. While I run Windows 8.1 at home, I use desktop apps almost exclusively. If I had to use only metro apps, I would take this version of Chrome over Internet Explorer in a heartbeat. IE’s touch mode has been a very frustrating experience trying to used multiple tabs.
To access the new Metro mode, go up to the Settings button and choose “Relaunch Chrome in Windows 8 mode”. From my experience, this will bring over the current windows and tabs you have open to the metro version. However, upon switching back by choosing desktop mode under the settings button again, it only brought over the one window that I had selected.
You can see these new features of Google Chrome by installing or updating to Google Chrome 32.