For those eager to download the beta version of Google's Chrome Web browser the best they can do for now is ponder the official screenshots of the browser. The availability of the beta Google Chrome browser is expected later today.
If the screenshots aren't enough for you there is also the Google Chrome comic book that explains what Google Chrome is and why it was developed.
As of this writing the Google comic book on Chrome appears to be overwhelmed and is not accessible. For an alternate browse of the Google Comic book check out this reprint at Google Books.
For background on Google Chrome check out earlier Today@PCWorld coverage.
Here are the screenshots as they appeared on the Google Chrome site's front page. Note the site is not accessible right now with many speculating the official download will be available to the public at 2pm ET.
Screenshot shows Google Calendar and a pop-up window asking if you if you'd like to "Create shortcuts in the following locations." This seems to reinforce Google's drive to blur the line between Web-based applications and desktop applications.
Here is a close up of browser tabs utilized in Google Chrome. It appears that Chrome will create thumbnails of "most visited" Web sites visited and display them within a tab for easy access.
Google has spent a lot of time tackling memory issues related to its Chrome browser. Here is a screenshot that shows the Google Chrome Task Manager where you can manage processes running inside the browser such Java applications. Shutdown a browser "task" and Google Chrome will perform better.
This screenshot shows a feature called "Google incognito" that offers you the ability to browse the Net with a level of privacy and anonymity.
Google will incorporate an auto-complete function when typing in URLs directly into the browser. No word on whether this auto-completion feature will be related to "suggestion" feature added to Google search or something more similar to Firefox 3's Awesome Bar.
Bookmarking a website with Google Chrome appears to be identical to bookmarking a site with Firefox 3. Just click the star next the Web address and bingo it's saved. The real test will be how Google Chrome allows you to manage bookmarks.
Bookmarks along with other Chrome browser settings can be saved and retrieved in the Google cloud. This allows for anytime and anywhere access to your personal settings be it privacy, bookmarks, and history.
Far from its most exciting Google Chrome feature is this download status indicator. Google describes it as a way to "see your download's status at the bottom of your current window."
I like the way that Google rethinks common problems and issues (selling ads vs selling software, email, web browsing, etc) using current knowledge and high level goals to create new and simply elegant tools.
I remember when I first saw Gmail. My response was "that's it?", but then the simplified interface hid the power of it's new paradigm...exactly what new users need to make it easier to adopt.
Of course it's easy to introduce a completely new browser platform when you've got cash rolling in the way they do. Microsoft did the same thing when it had it's chance.