Google launches Chrome 7 beta, dev channel updateBy Jose Vilches
Google has pushed out the fist beta version of Chrome 7. The latest test build is essentially the same as Tuesday's developer-channel release, which doesn't really bring much new to the table besides taking care of a few minor bugs and crashes. It does however include a new 'about:labs' feature for experimental options, paving the way for several improvements already available in the cutting-edge developer version which received an update to 7.0.536.2 just yesterday.
Among the things to come is built-in support for Google Instant via the 'about:labs' feature, allowing users to find information fast and easily by automatically showing results as words are typed into the browser's address bar. Hardware acceleration will also play an important role. The latest dev-channel release, for instance, now comes with WebGL 3D support activated by default and includes hardware acceleration for certain CSS properties. One new feature readily available in the current beta, and enabled through about:labs, is the ability to show open tabs through an Expose-like feature on Mac OS X and vertically on the left side of the browser on Windows.
Google is aiming to release new versions every six weeks, roughly doubling its development pace, so expect new features to arrive thick and fast. The revision log for the latest dev release also lists numerous changes to Chrome's App-related code, which suggests the opening of the Chrome Web Store could be happening real soon.