In slightly more than a year, Google Chrome has surprised users and critics alike by leapfrogging to more than 4 percent of the browser market share. That attention and heavy usage is not undeserved. Chrome 4 is blazingly fast, more stable than previous versions, and introduces support for extensions, bookmark syncing, and some HTML5 innovations.
The search box and the address bar have been fused into a hybrid "Omnibox," which includes suggestions for URLs culled from your browser's history and search suggestions from your search engine. It remembers site-specific search engine results. There's also Application Shortcuts, a feature that lets you create desktop icons for Web-only applications, such as Gmail. The stealth mode, Incognito, lets you surf without the history-recording cookies.
Despite all that's good and new in the browser from Google, it is still a work in development and users are not universally enthralled with Chrome's sheen. Complaints ranging from secure log-in issues to occasional site rendering hang-ups to support for PDFs and some media players. Problems aside, Chrome is more than a surface polish and is well worth using.