Google readying Mac, Linux versions of Chrome 2.0

Google only just released the final (non-beta) version of its Chrome browser on December 11 but that hasn’t stopped it from working full-bore on the next version of Chrome 2.0.

According to the Chromium site (Chromium is the core rendering engine of the Chrome browser) the following features are already available in a pre-release version of Chrome 2.0 — and note the specific references to Mac and Linux versions:

156.1 has all of the code changes from the main line of the source code
since 154.0 was branched in October (revisions 2745 – 7599). There are
too many changes to enumerate specific bug fixes. These notes cover the
major changes:

  • New
    version of WebKit. WebKit is the open source code Google Chrome uses to
    render web pages (HTML and CSS). used basically the same
    version of WebKit as Safari 3.1 but the WebKit team has made a lot of
    improvements since that was released. 156.1 uses WebKit version 528.8
    or more precisely revision 39410 from the WebKit source tree. In
    addition to fixing bugs and enabling features like full-page zoom and
    autoscroll the new version also enables some nifty CSS features:
  • Form
    Autocomplete. Google Chrome remembers what you’ve typed into fields on
    web pages. If you type in the same form again it will show any
    previous values that match what you’ve typed so far. You can disable
    Form autocomplete on the Minor Tweaks tab of the Options dialog.
     (Note: this is like the basic form autocomplete available in Firefox
    or Internet Explorer. It is not the same as the form fill feature in
    Google Toolbar.)
  • Full-page
    zoom. Previously page zoom (Ctrl++ or Ctrl+-) increased or decreased
    only the text on a page. Zoom now scales everything on the page
    together so pages look correct at different zoom levels.
  • Spell-checking
    improvements. You can now enable or disable spell checking in a text
    field by right-clicking in the field. You can also change the
    spell-checking language by right clicking. To enable spell-checking in
    a language add it to the list of ‘languages you use to read web sites’
    in the Fonts and Languages dialog ([Wrench] > Options > Minor
    Tweaks > Fonts and Languages). Note that Google Chrome doesn’t have
    spell-checking dictionaries for every language you can add to this list.
  • Autoscroll.
    Many users have asked for this and (thanks to our WebKit update) we
    now offer autoscrolling. Middle-click (click the mousewheel on most
    mice) on a page to turn on autoscroll then move the mouse to scroll
    the page in any direction.
  • Docking
    dragged tabs. When you drag a tab to certain positions on the monitor
    a docking icon will appear.  Release the mouse over the docking icon to
    have the tab snap to the docking position instead of being dropped at
    the same size as the original window. Docking positions are:
    • Monitor top: make the dropped tab maximized.
    • Monitor left/right: make the dropped tab full-height and half-width aligned with the monitor edge.
    • Monitor bottom: make the dropped tab full-width and half-height aligned with the bottom of the monitor.
    • Browser-window left/right: fit the browser window and the dropped tab side-by-side across the screen.
    • Browser-window bottom: fit the browser window and the dropped tab top-to-bottom across the screen.
  • Import
    bookmarks from Google Bookmarks. The [Wrench menu] > Import
    bookmarks & settings… option now has a Google Toolbar option to
    import Google Bookmarks. The bookmarks get imported into your Other
    bookmarks folder. The bookmarks are not kept in sync; the import
    process simply reads in the current set of online bookmarks.
  • New SafeBrowsing implementation. SafeBrowsing is now faster more reliable and uses the disk less often. 
  • Use
    different browser profiles. You can start a new browser window that
    uses a different profile (different bookmarks history cookies etc.).
    Use [Wrench menu] > New window in profile. When you create a new
    profile you can name it and add a shortcut to your Desktop. 
  • Update the V8 Javascript engine to version (from
  • New
    network code. Google Chrome now has its own implementation of the HTTP
    network protocol (we were using the WinHTTP library on Windows but
    need common code for Mac and Linux). We fixed a few bugs in HTTP
    authentication and made Google Chrome more compatible with servers that
    reply with invalid HTTP responses. We need feedback on anything that’s
    currently broken particularly with proxy servers secure (https)
    sites and sites that require log in. 
  • New window frames on Windows XP and Vista supporting windows cascading and tiling and other window-management add-in programs.
  • Experimental user script support (similar to Greasemonkey). You can add a –enable-user-scripts flag to your Google Chrome shortcut to enable user scripts. See the developer documentation for details.
  • A
    new HTTPS-only browsing mode. Add –force-https to your Google Chrome
    shortcut and it will only load HTTPS sites. Sites with SSL certificate
    errors will not load.

Information on how to download Google Chrome 2.0 via Chrome’s auto updater is here. Essentially you need to download the Google Chrome “Channel Changer” and specify that instead of just receiving stable release updates you want to receive developer versions.

You can also sign up to receive updates on the Mac version of Google Chrome which Google says it is working on “as hard as possible” to release. There’s a similar page for Linux users wanting to receive updates here.