Google set to promote Chrome extensions

One of the standout features of Chrome 4.0 is customization through extensions. Google appears on the brink of launching a gallery to showcase them.

The developer preview version of Chrome now promotes an as-yet unworking link to an extensions gallery.
The developer preview version of Chrome now promotes an as-yet unworking link to an extensions gallery. Screenshot by Stephen Shankland/CNET

Google is on the verge of launching a Web site to showcase its extensions to customize what its browser can do.

The company's latest developer preview edition, Chrome, promotes the feature on its opening screen and its new-tab page. "New! Google Chrome now has extensions and bookmark sync," the page reads, offering a link to a site that's not public yet, (Bookmark sync is already available.)

Extensions and support for Mac OS X and Linux are the headline features of Chrome 4.0. It's available as a beta for Windows, with Mac OS X and Linux beta availability expected in early December . According to the Chromium development calendar, the beta is planned for December 8 release and the stable release of Chrome 4.0 is due January 12.

A number of third-party galleries for Chrome extensions already are available, but programmers for the project have said on mailing lists that a Google site is planned. Earlier this year, Google shipped a version of Chrome that pointed to a collection of visual themes before the Chrome themes gallery was actually live to the public.

Extensions are a key asset of one Chrome competitor, Mozilla's Firefox; extensions permit people to customize the browser and add new features without burdening the overall project. Firefox is getting a new extensions framework, Jetpack, starting with version 3.7 due in the first half of 2010, and Mozilla has just launched its own Jetpack gallery.

About the author

Stephen Shankland has been a reporter at CNET since 1998 and covers browsers, Web development, digital photography and new technology. In the past he has been CNET's beat reporter for Google, Yahoo, Linux, open-source software, servers and supercomputers. He has a soft spot in his heart for standards groups and I/O interfaces.


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