Themes come to Chrome, bookmark syncing next

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Google has quietly launched a theme gallery for its open-source Chrome browser comprising a range of minimalist to headache-inducing options. With 29 templates to choose from, Chrome is nowhere near Firefox’s diversity when it comes to getting all gussied up but many will appreciate the added functionality. For now, it is available only on the latest 3.0 developer builds though.

Users can apply themes simply by choosing a design from the gallery and selecting “open” in the download manager pane at the bottom after it finishes downloading. There’s an option to switch between themes and the default view at any time under the “Personal Stuff” link in the Preferences menu. A word of caution: although it shouldn’t come as a surprise, some are reporting that using themes can slightly slow down Chrome.

Additionally, the search giant revealed plans to introduce a new developer build in the coming weeks that will support bookmark syncing across multiple instances of Chrome. The Xmarks plug-in (formerly called Foxmarks) has solved this issue for years on Firefox, and even Google used to develop a browser sync extension for Mozilla’s browser. However, Chrome’s new sync feature could have broader implications down the road, as Google tries to unite desktops and the cloud with its forthcoming operating system.

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