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Google sneaks a little Chrome OS into Windows 8 with latest Chrome browser update

Tom Morgan
15 Jan 2014
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Google has updated the Chrome browser with a new Chrome OS-like full screen mode for Windows 8

Google has updated its Chrome web browser to version 32, bringing a host of new features including a Chrome OS-like full screen mode for Windows 8's Modern UI.

Now anyone using Chrome in Metro mode on Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 will see new taskbar at the bottom of the screen for launching Chrome apps and shortcuts. Tabs can be moved around in their own windows, rather than always filling the entire screen. It's a little ChromeOS taster within Windows, which may go a small way to convincing some users to try a Chromebook rather than a Windows laptop in the future.

Chrome new UI

Desktop Chrome users will also see some new visual changes. Form controls and scrollbars are now rendered differently, with rounded edges and lighter colours.

Chrome new tabs

Noise indicators are a very welcome new addition, showing which open tabs are currently playing music. If, like us, you keep multiple tabs open at all times, you can now use the speaker icon to quickly turn off any unwanted sounds. Icons also indicate when a tab is using your webcam, or broadcasting to a TV using Chromecast.

Chrome now automatically blocks file downloads recognised as malware, in a similar manner to how it blocks access to compromised websites or pages known to host malicious code.

A host of bug fixes, stability improvements and security updates are also included with the update, so it's recommended every Chrome user install it as soon as possible.

Chrome users can get the update now by clicking on the options icon in the top right corner of the browser and going to "About Google Chrome" - it will automatically check for and install updates. If you're one of the few people that haven't tried Chrome yet, you can download it directly from Google.

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