File Under: Browsers, Software

Chrome Extensions Go Legit

Google has added two much-requested features to its Chrome web browser: extensions support and bookmark syncing between multiple computers.

The features are included in the latest version of Google Chrome, which was made available Monday as a free download. The update, which curiously does not carry a version number, is for Windows users only. Mac and Linux versions of Chrome are still catching up to the Windows release.

Both extensions and bookmark syncing have been available for some time to anyone using a beta release of Chrome, but people sticking with the official releases haven’t been able to get in on the fun. If you’re running an official release version of Chrome, you should see an update alert shortly. If you’d rather not wait, head over to the download page.

Once you’ve got the latest version installed you can browse through the over 1,500 extensions in the new Chrome Extension gallery. As we’ve said in the past, Chrome extensions don’t offer the range of functionality you’ll find in Firefox, but for popular extensions like e-mail notifiers, Twitter utilities or OpenID auto-fill for faster logins, Chrome has you covered.

Also new to the stable version of Chrome is bookmark syncing, which means you can automatically synchronize your Chrome bookmarks across computers. The built-in bookmark syncing features will work for most users, but if you’d like to sync bookmarks between Chrome, Safari and Firefox across multiple PCs, be sure to check out the XMarks extension.

There’s no word on when official support for extensions and bookmark syncing will make its way to OS X or Linux. If you’d like the same features on non-Windows versions of Chrome, you’ll need to download the appropriate beta or Dev channel release.

Web developers should also take note that Monday’s stable channel release contains enhanced support for several web APIs, including JavaScript, various web storage APIs, and WebSockets. There’s also support for adding desktop notifications to your web app the less-annoying way — in the user’s status bar instead of in noisy alert boxes. More details are posted on the Chromium blog.

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