browsers

The browser wars. Image courtesy of kabayantech.com

 

Many browsers have evolved far beyond their original design and function of providing a one-way window into the world wide web. This holds true as more services are migrated to the cloud and the browsers solidly reinforce  their essential role as a multi-function digital window. All essential  internet functions are available in browser form from productivity suites, communication tools and today’s disposable entertainment.  Today’s browsers have become a swiss knife of versatility and its almost like the browsers of today have become an OS in function. There is a great debate about which browser is the best. For many people and for me, my bet will be on the sleek and minimalist browser, Google Chrome. According to the study made by W3Schools, 58.4% of computer users, the general population is using Chrome, 25% for Firefox, Internet explorer with 9,4% and Safari with 4% only. The percentages are based on the W3’s website visitors  thus it is not a definitive and solid representation of the general population. Although Net Applications gave Chrome 18%  global browser market share last April. Numbers aside, Chrome is the most popular browser to date and if you’re not a Chrome user, you need to check it out. One of the best  reasons why Chrome is popular is its polished, clean user interface and its versatility. Chrome’s abilities will multiply further whenever you consider the many libraries of extensions and the hidden function that you may not know about.

Why Use Google Chrome?

There are many reason’s why you should use Google Chrome over the other browsers. Chrome is  fast to launch and the web pagespages take less time to load. Chrome is based on Webkit, but will eventually transfer to Blink-enabled builds of the browser specifically of Chrome 28. The browser is also considered more secure as compared to Internet Explorer and Firefox.  It is the only browser that survived the Pwn2Own competition where security experts tried to exploit and exploit all the browsers to search for bugs and lax in security features to support the claim.

The roll call.

The roll call. Image Courtesy of 9gag.com

 

It also provides simple searching and browsing. The address bar also acts as the Google search bar, thus you can directly type your search query in it and just hit enter. It will quickly show the relevant search results and you don’t need to go to Google in order to search and get your queries thus saving you time and effort. Another advantage of Chrome is its minimalistic design. The browser options are tucked away on the right and it enables the user to have more browsing space. This is quite useful when scrolling down on log pages and helps bloggers take better screenshots. You also don’t need to restart when installing add-ons as compared to Firefox where it requires the user to rest at the browser after installing  or uninstalling extensions. The  “Synchronize my bookmarks” can be used in synchronizing all your Google accounts.

What are The Hidden Features Of Google Chrome?

Since Chrome’s release in 2008, it has grown to be a very dominant browser just like Google as a search engine. With its popularity, how much do you know about its features and functions? We know that its minimalist user interface makes it a popular choice, but the chrome has many hidden “weapons” at its disposal to make everyone’s browsing experience easier. Let’s begin.

1. The Omnibox can search directly into individual websites

Anyone can automatically search through different websites without actually going through the sites, as long as the link is in the list of the search engines. For example, if you’re trying to search articles on Vespas, you start by typing “Wikipedia” and at the far right of the Omnibox, it will prompt the you to press tab to search within “Wikipedia”. Once you press the “tab button”  a solid block will show on the left side of the Omnibox and will say “search Wikipedia” where you  can type your query within the suite. You can use this feature on any  direct search on any site, as long as it is included in the managed list of search engines.

1. The Omnibox search

2. Dragging multiple tabs at once

Most people are quite familiar with Chrome’s ability to drag and drop tabs into heir own browser windows. Users can also mix and match between browser windows. But did you know that it can be done with more tabs at a time? You just have to hold down the Shift key and click all tabs that you like to move.. And Bam! It’s done. If you’re using a Mac, you just have to hold the Command key and do the same procedures.

2. Dragging multiple tabs function

3.The Omnibox can function as a calculator

This I didn’t know until a few days ago. A friend told me this and tried it at home. Just like Google, Chrome can do basic math computations. Just type the basic math problem in Omnibox and the answer to the problem will show in the suggestions below the Omnibox without  the need to press enter. This feature will only function if your default Omnibox search engine is Google. It will also not function if you are typing using an incognito window no matter what your default search engine is.

3. The calculator function

4. The Omnibox can also function as a unit converter

Just like the calculator function, the correct answer will show in the suggestions below without hitting Enter. As you enter the number, Chrome will automatically convert the entered number into a unit that you require or not. For example, if you type 27 inches, Chrome will suggest a conversion rate into centimeters. If you need a different conversion, you just have to type the “equals sign” with either exact conversion that you need. For example 27 inches = meters or 9inches = mm. Just like calculator, this feature will only function if Google is the default browser and will not work incognito.

4. The unit converter function

5. Zoom in and zoom out

If you’re using a PC, you can zoom in and zoom out by pressing the Ctrl key  while turning the mouse scroll wheel up and down. After zooming in and out from the default, a magnifying glass icon will show up in the right side of the Omnibox beside the bookmark icon.  You can click on the magnifying glass to manually adjust the screen size or hit “reset to default” to go back to the normal 100% window view. You can also do Ctrl-0 to go back to its default size.

5. Zoom in, zoom out

6. Chrome as an image browser

If you’re trying to check on JPEG images and you have no idea how it got on your computer, you can just drag it directly to Chrome and take a quick look if it is worth saving or not.

6. Chrome as an image browser

7. Drag a URL to the Bookmarks Bar

For any preferred websites you want to continue browsing and get easy access to, you can add to the bookmarks bar by highlighting the URL and dragging it directly to the bookmarks bar.

7. Drag a URL to bookmark

8. Drag to search function

Highlighting a phrase or word and then doing a drag and drop is the same as cut and paste. Thus, it is also the same when you do it in the Omnibox in doing a web search. You can also just right click on the highlighted word and a pop up option will show suggesting a Google search. If you’re a Mac user, just click on Control-click on the highlighted phrase.

Drag to search function

9. Opening accidentally-closed tabs

 This happens to all of us, accidentally closing of a tab that we still need to browse or use. We can have it re-opened by pressing Ctrl-Shift-T and Chrome will reopen and tabs that were recently closed. You can do this for more closed tabs that you can work through your browsing history. If you’re a Mac user, just hit Command-Shift-T.

9. Opening accidentally-closed tabs

10. Deleting browsing history through easy key commands

If you want to delete your browsing history, cached images, passwords, cookies and past URLs yo can do it faster by pressing on Ctrl-Shift-Delete and the “clear browsing data” window will show up and you can do the cleaning from there. If you’re using a Mac, press shift-Command-Delete.

10. Cleaning up the browser, the easy way.

Knowing these Chrome tricks will surely make your browsing easier. Believe me, it made my browsing experience more pleasurable, faster and more functional than before. Tell your friends about it and share the knowledge.

*All images are courtesy of http://www.pcmag.com/ unless stated.

 

About Author

Jon specialises in research and content creation for content marketing campaigns. He’s worked on campaigns for some of Australia's largest brands including across Technology, Cloud Computing, Renewable energy and Corporate event management. He’s an avid scooterist and musician.