Chrome Unique Features - © TechNorms

Google Chrome has taken the Internet by storm. We have recently seen the rise in Google Chrome Market Share, which shows us that Chrome is going to dominate the Browser market in the coming months.

Google Chrome boasts of minimalist design, security and high-speed browsing, but that’s not all. Google Chrome has a number of unique features which we are going to outline in this post.

1) Create Application Shortcuts For Your Favorite Websites:

Previously we have seen how Firefox allows us to create shortcuts for websites using Mozilla Prism. This lets us open a specific website, without opening the main browser along with all the previous tabs and extensions. It’s also known as a Site Specific Browser – a single dedicated browser window for a website.

I find this feature very useful, especially for quickly checking my Gmail or schedule in Google Calendar. I also find it useful to quickly open my favorite Music site (Grooveshark). I guess guys from Google liked this feature as much as I did, so they built this in Google Chrome.

You can access it by clicking the Page icon on the top right corner of Google Chrome. Open the Website in Chrome, for which you need to create the shortcut, and then click on “Create Application Shortcuts”

Create Application Shortcuts in Chrome - © TechNorms

You can choose where you would like this shortcut to appear. If you are using Windows 7, you can Pin it to the taskbar.

Grooveshark Application Shortcut - © TechNorms

Since I listen to songs on Grooveshark quite often, I keep it pinned to the taskbar.

Grooveshark in Task Bar - © TechNorms

For Vista/XP you can create shortcut on Desktop or Start Menu. You can use it for your To-Do lists and various other applications/websites you access often.

2) Synchronize Bookmarks Across Browsers:

You can keep your bookmarks, browser preferences, and browser theme synchronized on multiple computers, using your Google Account. This is a handy feature if you often switch between different computers (say, your home computer as well as your work laptop) and want the same Google Chrome settings across your computers.

You can access this feature by clicking on the Tools Menu  (wrench icon) on Top right corner and clicking on “Set up Sync…”

Synchronize Bookmarks across Computers - © TechNorms

You need to sign in to your Google account to get started.

Sign in to Sync Bookmarks - © TechNorms

You can manage which information you want to sync by going to Options > Personal Stuff. You can sync bookmarks as well as other things like your Chrome theme and preferences.

Sync Options - © TechNorms

How Google Chrome Sync works:

  1. Your settings are saved in your Google Account.
  2. Changes are synced instantaneously.
  3. Your synced bookmarks also show up in Google Docs
    Your bookmarks appear in a new folder called “Google Chrome.” So if you ever need to access your bookmarks on a different browser or computer, you can just visit Google Docs.

3) Task Manager for Your Chrome Browser:

If you are a Windows user, you must quite familiar with the Windows Task Manager. This is one of the most important features of Windows as it gives you a better control on your OS. Google Chrome developers have included a Chrome Task Manager in Chrome.

Use the Task Manager to get details about a specific process running in Google Chrome, or to force a misbehaving tab or application to close.

Not only can you see which website is consuming how much memory but you can also see the memory usage by the extensions you have installed as well as browser plugins like shockwave flash.

Chrome Task Manager - © TechNorms

Follow these steps to open the Task Manager (for Windows):

  1. Click the Page page menu menu.
  2. Select Developer.
  3. Select Task manager.

You can also use the keyboard shortcut Shift+Esc (Windows) to open the Task Manager.

4) Check Memory Used By Different Browsers:

Another cool feature included in Google Chrome is the “about:memory” shortcut. If you put this in the address bar in Chrome, you’d see a page where Chrome shows how much memory each browser open is using. If you computer has slowed down, this feature can help you understand which application is consuming most memory and you can close it to free up some memory.

About - Memory Chrome Stats Feature - © TechNorms

In the image above we can see Chrome is taking up most memory, since it has maximum number of tabs open.

5) Chrome “Pin Tab” Feature:

If you are a power surfer, you would know how easy it is to open a 50 tabs within a span of few minutes and then keep looking for the right page among all these tabs. You need to access some tabs more often than others. In this case you use the “Pin Tab” feature in Google Chrome.

Right click on any tab you want to pin and click on Pin Tab.

Pin a Tab in Chrome - © TechNorms

The Pin Tab feature, reduces a tab to its favicon and pins it on the left end of the browser. You should use it for websites that you need to access quite often.

Pinned Gmail Tab - © TechNorms

Conclusion:

The more I use Google Chrome the more I like it. I am a hardcore Firefox fan, but I appreciate other good things in life and Google Chrome is certainly gaining ground.

If you like Chrome, you should check out our Google Chrome Themes Gallery.

  • Could you possibly include information about how to remove this gadget if it turns out not to be to your liking?

    • I hope by gadgets you mean the "Application Shortcuts" (the 1st feature in the list above)) and how to remove them.

      Well, removing a Google Chrome Application shortcut is very easy – you just right click on the shortcut and delete them, when its on desktop.
      If they are in the Start Menu or Task bar, just right click on the shortcut and select -"Unpin from Start Menu" or "Unpin from Taskbar" and the shortcuts would be removed.

      Hope that answers your query, if you have any other questions, feel free to ask.

  • Could you possibly include information about how to remove this gadget if it turns out not to be to your liking?

    • I hope by gadgets you mean the "Application Shortcuts" (the 1st feature in the list above)) and how to remove them.

      Well, removing a Google Chrome Application shortcut is very easy – you just right click on the shortcut and delete them, when its on desktop.
      If they are in the Start Menu or Task bar, just right click on the shortcut and select -"Unpin from Start Menu" or "Unpin from Taskbar" and the shortcuts would be removed.

      Hope that answers your query, if you have any other questions, feel free to ask.

  • I’ve been using dev versions of Chrome for both Win7 and Ubuntu 10.04 and have never been able to get the sync to work. It stalls at “setting up sync” screen. I’d really appreciate any advice people might have. Googled potential solutions, but there’s nothing current.

    • Todd, have you ever tried this feature on the regular version of Google Chrome? The dev version should work just fine, but its worth a try.
      Also, do you use any Firewall on your PC or any security related extension on Chrome? These are the only things that can interfere with the sync process.

      • Nope. No firewalls nor security extensions. Every Chrome update I try the sync but no luck. Similarly with stable Chrome versions… no luck. You’d think at least one version of Chrome (dev or stable, Ubuntu, or Win7) would work on my machine. Unfortunately not. Thanks for the quick response, though.

  • I’ve been using dev versions of Chrome for both Win7 and Ubuntu 10.04 and have never been able to get the sync to work. It stalls at “setting up sync” screen. I’d really appreciate any advice people might have. Googled potential solutions, but there’s nothing current.

    • Todd, have you ever tried this feature on the regular version of Google Chrome? The dev version should work just fine, but its worth a try.
      Also, do you use any Firewall on your PC or any security related extension on Chrome? These are the only things that can interfere with the sync process.

      • Nope. No firewalls nor security extensions. Every Chrome update I try the sync but no luck. Similarly with stable Chrome versions… no luck. You’d think at least one version of Chrome (dev or stable, Ubuntu, or Win7) would work on my machine. Unfortunately not. Thanks for the quick response, though.