Google Chrome 16 Released – What’s New?

Google have released Chrome 16 – the latest Stable Channel version. If you already use it you can get the new version by clicking the ‘wrench’ icon then ‘About Google Chrome’ to check for updates – version 16 (currently 16.0.912.63) will be downloaded and installed automatically if you don’t already have it.

New users can download and install Chrome here. Apart from 15 security fixes (paying out a cool $6,000 in rewards to the finders) there are some nice new features in Chrome 16:

1. Enhancements To Sync – Signing in lets you take your Chrome stuff with you – to access this feature, click the ‘wrench’ icon then ‘sign into Chrome’ – you will need a Google Account.

You can save your bookmarks, extensions, apps and preferences to your Google Account – so they will be available on any computer you use. It’s also a good way to backup your Chrome stuff online – even if your computer died you would easily be able to restore (synch) your data and settings onto a new computer.

2. Multiple User Profiles – This new feature is of particular use when more than one person shares (logs into) the same Windows user account. Adding new Chrome users lets each user have their own personal browser settings, bookmarks, passwords and history etc – and lets each of you sign in to Chrome to sync just your own stuff.

To add a new user, click the ‘wrench’ icon then ‘Options’ (Preferences on a Mac), then click ‘Personal Stuff’ and click ‘Add new user’. A new instance of Chrome will open ready for this new user to customize with their own settings and bookmarks, change their profile name and picture etc.

Tip: to avoid grinding your computer to a halt, it is a good idea for this new user to close the previous instance of Chrome – keeping 2 or more copies of it open at the same time can suck up an awful lot of system memory (RAM) and could slow down or even crash your computer.

For more info and pictures of multiple user profiles, see the blog here.

3. Google Cloud Print – Chrome 16 adds the ability to print any webpage to Google Cloud Print – a service that lets you make your printer(s) available to you from any enabled web app. For a detailed review of Cloud Print see here.

Conclusion

The addition of multiple user profiles is a fancy new feature – but is only of real use if you share your Windows user account with others (which ideally you shouldn’t). Best practice for security is that each Windows user should have their own password protected user account i.e. they log into Windows separately which means that each person will have their own profile and data anyway (stored in their own Windows user account).

But, in reality, family members often do share the same user account so they would benefit from setting up multiple profiles – just remember that it does not secure your Chrome data from the other people because it only takes a couple of clicks to switch from one user to another.

So if you want to protect your browsing data and history from prying family eyes, set up new Windows user accounts for them to use…

2 Responses to: "Google Chrome 16 Released – What’s New?"

  1. Don Wood says:

    Hi Roy!

    First of all, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Please open this up for a warm message:

    http://www.elion.ee/docs/joulukaart/eng/

    Secondly, you were right about my computer. It’s not Google. It’s me. I’m having trouble with I.E. and FireFox. So, I got busy and accidently wiped out my restore points. :/ To make a long story short, I’m thinking of backing up my system even though it’s flawed. But my applications are all there and my discs are in India — half way around the world from me. So, my question: If I restore to factory settings and then do a restore from my current hard drive back up, will I end up with the same problems all over again or only get my applications, like I want?

    By the wsy, this entire page is black except for links. I have to drag my mouse over it to read it. Dunno if that’s me or you?

    Thanks,
    Don

    • Roy says:

      Hi Don, nice message/site, thanks and Happy Christmas to you. This article looks ok to me and I’ve checked in different browsers so I think it’s just you…

      Always a good idea to have a current backup of personal data but I would again suggest you call in a professional with the tools/experience to diagnose what’s wrong before trying anything else or you could cause more problems than you solve e.g. those restore points may have included the solution if it was a software problem :-(

      I can’t answer your question as it all depends what your problems are being caused by but hope you get them sorted soon.