updated 12:10 am EDT, Fri June 17, 2011
Adds print preview, 'Instant Pages'
Chrome, Google's free multi-platform web browser, has added the ability to preview pages in the print dialog to see how they will look -- more than three and a half years after the feature was first requested. Version 13 has just entered the beta-testing phase for Mac, Windows and Linux and also adds Instant Pages, which pre-fetches Google search results before users click on them to speed page loading.
The Print Preview feature utilizes Chrome's built-in PDF viewer and adjusts the preview automatically if the print settings change. The Mac version will have the print preview feature added in a later beta release, as much of the technology already exists within OS X itself. The update also brings other print features to the Windows and Linux versions that Mac users are long used to, such as the ability to "Print to PDF" and save web pages as PDF files, according to Google's Chrome blog.
Chrome v13 also brings pre-fetching to the first Google search results, "when we're confident it's what you are looking for," according to the Instant Pages introductory video (seen below). This allows web pages clicked on from the search results to be loaded instantly rather than loaded on demand. Other browsers and search engines also use pre-fetching technology in some circumstances.
The new version also adds more features (including URL completion and suggestions) to the Omnibox, which is what Google calls its URL address bar since it can also double as a search bar by simply typing in non-URL type queries. The move of Chrome 13 from alpha to beta means that Chrome 14 will have just entered the developer channel. Betas are typically incubated for a few weeks and then released as stable.
Users can download the latest beta here. It requires an Intel Mac running OS X 10.5 or higher.