9 Experimental Google Chrome Features You Should Tinker With

google scientistA made scientist Googler, hard at work.

Photo: Illustration: Ellis Hamburger

Google is famous for open sourcing its projects for anyone to see.These projects often include fun “experimental” features Googlers are messing around with.

We picked the coolest experimental features we’d love to see in the next version of Google Chrome.

Multiple Profiles

Multiple Profiles allows you to switch on the fly between Profiles you have hooked up to Google Sync.

With a few clicks, multiple users of one computer could have all their bookmarks, browsing histories, and more with fast user switching.

You could even associate each browser window with a different profile.

Syncing typed URL's

Google Sync is great, but one thing that could make it better is syncing typed URLs.

If you're browsing at home, once you get to work, Chrome would be able to auto-complete URLs you want to visit again, as if you'd been using one computer the whole time.

Gesture support for Mac OS X Lion

In its current iteration, Chrome doesn't include support for Lion's two finger swiping to go backwards and forwards between two pages.

Google is hard at work on it.

Page pre-rendering would make browsing even speedier

Google Instant pre-renders search results before you finish typing, but what about pre-rendering pages themselves?

Pre-rendering in Chrome would start loading webpage as you type in a page's URL. For example, if you start typing http://www.esp, Chrome would start loading espn.com in the background, so when you finish typing, the page would load instantaneously.

Off screen tabs

Like when you open Safari and see 'Top Sites,' Chrome would be able to load pages inside of pages with an experimental 'off screen tabs' feature.

They could be in a grid formation, or in carousel (CoverFlow) formation.

Side tabs

With an experimental feature called 'side tabs,' you could maximise vertical screen space by keeping your tabs on the right or left side of the screen.

A brand new sidebar

A contextual sidebar could be an awesome feature for web sites that require extra information to be displayed at all times.

Or, the sidebar could be used to display information like Bluum does.

A hidden URL bar

Google has been fooling around with 'Compact Navigation,' an experimental feature that would make your URL bar disappear entirely.

To activate the URL bar, click a tab. It saves space for computers with small screens.

Click To Play silences annoying flash ads

Click To Play would let you designate which applications (like Flash) and plug-ins run automatically when you finish loading a page.

Say goodbye to annoyingly loud and seizure-inducing flash ads.

Click To Flash for Safari is a great illustration of how it could work.

A list of experimental features

While Google Labs for Chrome isn't as obvious as the enticing 'Labs' tab in Gmail, type about:flags into Chrome's URL bar to view a list of experimental features you can try out.

The about:flags page includes many experimental features you've seen here, plus many more.

But beware, try them at your own risk.

Now that you've seen some cool Chrome tweaks...

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