Google Chrome Overview Updated March 23, 2021

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1,823 'Google Chrome' stories

May 2011 - February 2023

Chromebooks Chrome

Available for Windows, Mac, and Linux, Google Chrome is the most widely used desktop browser in the world. Since its launch in 2008, Chrome has expanded to Android, iOS, and is the basis of a cloud-based operating system.


Chrome was developed out of frustration at the state of browsers that limited Google’s increasingly complex web apps. In creating its own browser, Google could push the state of the web and build the best experience for its products.

Launched in September for Microsoft Windows, Chrome quickly gained 1% of the total desktop market share by the end of the year. A developer preview in 2009 brought Chrome to Mac OS X and Linux, but a stable version was not available until May 2010. In November 2011, Chrome overtook Firefox in worldwide usage and in September 2012 became the most widely used web browser beating Internet Explorer.

In July 2009, Google announced a project to build an operating system that stored applications and user data in the cloud. The thin client OS was publicly demoed in November, but it was not until 2011 that the first Chromebooks shipped from OEM partners.

A beta version of Google Chrome for Android launched in February 2012, with a stable version ready by June. Google also released an iOS version, but it is limited technically due to security restrictions enforced by Apple.


Chrome shares many of the same features and underlying technology across all platforms. The browser and OS maintain version number parity across all platforms. Every six weeks a major version is released to the Stable Channel and a new developer version is introduced in the Canary Channel. A Beta Channel acts as an intermediary way to access new features without too many bugs.


The automatic Chrome update system downloads updates in the background and insures that users are always on the latest version of Chrome. There are many minor patches between between major updates that delivers security fixes and keeps users secure. Chrome maintains a Safe Browsing blacklist of malicious sites that pop up a bright red warning so users can turn back.

Tabs are sandboxed to make sure processes cannot interacting with critical memory functions and other processes. Besides for security, a multi-process architecture gives each site and plug-in a separate process. As such, a crash will only take down that tab and not the entire application.

Since the first version, Chrome has had a private browsing feature. Incognito mode prevents the browser from storing cookies or history and can be opened alongside regular tabs.


The main Chrome interface has remained mostly the same over the years. In fact, the ‘Chrome’ name refers to the lack of UI elements and a focus on the browsing experience. An Omnibox acts as both the URL bar and search box. At the time, many browsers had two separate fields right next to each other. The Omnibox has prediction capabilities to help users find what they are looking for and is also present on the mobile apps.

Android apps

Later this year, Android apps and the Play Store will arrive on Chrome OS. Google previously experimented using ARC Welder to virtualize the Android run time and allowed apps to run on all platforms, including Mac, Windows, and Linux. The latest approach is limited to Chrome OS, but provides a much more native and fast experience. Apps open up as windows and can become phone or tablet-sized. Touchscreen Chromebooks will provide the best experience.

Google Chrome Stories February 3

Sometime in the not-too-distant future it appears Google Chrome for Android will be making it much easier to delete your browsing history, with a quick option to delete 15 minutes of history.

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Google Chrome Stories February 2

On desktop web, most instances of Picture-in-Picture (PiP) are quite basic. Google Chrome is now working on adding support for more advanced Picture-in-Picture players and use cases.

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Google Chrome Stories January 27

Google Chrome is set to get a “refresh” to its interface sometime in 2023, and work is already underway. Thanks to how Google works on Chrome, we can get a sneak peek of what’s in store for the upcoming redesign.

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Google Chrome Stories January 26

Spotted in development last year, Google announced today that it’s rolling out the ability to require your fingerprint to access Incognito tabs in Chrome for Android.

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Google Chrome Stories January 24

Back in September, Google started testing an “Omnibox Modernize Visual Update” to revamp a core part of the mobile browser. Chrome for Android is now rolling out a Material You address bar redesign that adds more Dynamic Color.

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Google Chrome Stories December 28, 2022

As HTTPS has become more common across the web, Google Chrome is preparing to launch a security option that will block “insecure” downloads through HTTP.

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Google Chrome Stories December 21, 2022

Starting in February 2023, Google Chrome will change up its release cycle slightly with a new “early stable” release designed to catch major issues before they hit all users.

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Google Chrome Stories December 16, 2022

Chrome’s in-page price tracking button is live on Android devices

As part of a series of updates aimed at making holiday shopping easier, Google recently released a change that allows you to track prices right in Chrome. While that feature has been live on desktop for some time, Chrome’s price tracking feature is now available on Android.

Google Chrome Stories December 15, 2022

Speedometer is a browser benchmark that measures responsiveness by simulating user interactions on demo web applications. Introduced by Apple’s WebKit team, Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox are now partnering on the development of Speedometer 3.

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Google Chrome Stories December 12, 2022

Google was originally set to phase out Chrome support for old Manifest v2 extensions in 2023, but that’s now being postponed.

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Google Chrome Stories December 10, 2022

Given the large user base, Google rarely makes major changes to the interface of its browser. However, one in-development redesign plans to “modernize” the Chrome Omnibox on Android, and the end result looks a lot like the Pixel Launcher.

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Google Chrome Stories December 8, 2022

Google started rolling out passkey support in October, and availability has now entered Chrome’s stable channel with version 108. 

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With Chrome 108, Google is introducing Memory Saver and Energy Saver modes to improve the browser’s performance and extend battery life, respectively.

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Google Chrome Stories December 6, 2022

As Google works on an Omnibox redesign for Android, Chrome on desktops is getting a very handy shortcut that lets you quickly search your history and bookmarks right from the address bar.

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Google Chrome Stories December 2, 2022

The increased prominence of Google Password Manager continues with the latest version of Chrome for Android replacing the browser’s built-in saved credentials list.

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How to use Chrome’s new price tracking feature to get the best deals this holiday

Google Chrome has an abundance of tools, though the best ones are the features that save you money. This guide will take you through using Google Chrome’s new price tracking feature so you can find the best deals online.

Google Chrome Stories November 29, 2022

Google has added a nifty feature to Chrome for iOS that gives you the option to quickly open external links from other apps using Incognito. It’s especially useful on shared devices.

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Google Chrome Stories November 14, 2022

Taking inspiration from Android, Google Chrome on the desktop is gaining a new dynamic theme, made from your current background.

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Google Chrome Stories October 25, 2022

Google Chrome ditching support for Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 in early 2023

If you’re still on an older Windows PC running Windows 7 or Windows 8.1, Google might be giving you a big reason to finally upgrade. Starting in early 2023, Google Chrome will strip support for Windows 7 and Windows 8.1.

Google Chrome Stories October 18, 2022

It’s not often we talk about iOS or iPhone over here at 9to5Google, but for those entrenched within the Apple hardware ecosystem, you have access to a number of iOS-exclusive Google app lock screen widgets you won’t find on Android. Are they any good? We’ve gone hands-on to find out if Android users are missing out.

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Google’s push to optimize first-party apps for large screen Android devices and the Pixel Tablet continues with a handful of updates for Chrome that rolled out in recent months.

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Google Chrome Stories October 12, 2022

Apple, Google, Microsoft, and others in the industry want to replace website/app passwords with “passkeys” that just require you to unlock your device. Starting today, Android and Google Chrome will support signing in with passkeys.

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Google Chrome Stories September 29, 2022

Google rolled out Tab Groups to Chrome for Android last year and is now changing the behavior of the open tab count to be more accurate.

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Google Chrome Stories September 28, 2022

Manifest V3 is how you’re meant to build Chrome extensions, and Google today laid out a more detailed transition timeline away from Manifest V2.

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Google Chrome Stories September 27, 2022

Previewed earlier this month, Google is now rolling out its first iOS 16 Lock Screen widgets with updates to Chrome and Drive.

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Google Chrome Stories September 25, 2022

Season 34 of The Simpsons kicked off tonight with a “couch gag” that pays tribute to Google Chrome’s Dino game. 

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Google Chrome Stories September 22, 2022

How to make Chrome’s Incognito even more secure with your fingerprint

To make your browsing even more secure, Chrome on Android has added a feature that lets you secure the mode behind a fingerprint. This guide will show you how to turn it on and off for Incognito mode in Google Chrome.

Google Chrome Stories September 16, 2022

Beginning in 2020, some Google apps on iOS added a “Privacy Screen” that requires Touch or Face ID authentication to access. Chrome for Android is now getting the ability to lock your Incognito tabs behind your fingerprint.

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Google Chrome Stories September 12, 2022

With iOS 16 launching for the iPhone today, Google is detailing upcoming Lock Screen widgets across six major apps set to arrive over the coming weeks.

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Google Chrome Stories September 5, 2022

In an ideal world, all Android apps would use Custom Tabs over in-app browsers (WebViews). Google is now making it more apparent when you’re “running” a Chrome Custom Tab (CCT).

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Google Chrome Stories August 18, 2022

Cloud gaming is a wonderful way to get high-quality games without expensive hardware because, more and more, it’s something that you can access with nothing more than a browser. Now, Nvidia GeForce Now is rolling out support for 1440p streaming through your browser, but with a slight catch.

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Google Chrome Stories August 15, 2022

How to import passwords to 1Password from Google Chrome

Generally, people don’t often use more than one password management app. With security apps like that, users tend to pick one and stick with it. If you happen to be moving to 1Password, you’ll want to export passwords from other sites like Google or LastPass, bring all of your credentials with you, and import to 1Password. Fortunately, it’s easy and this guide will walk you through it in no time.

Windows 11 famously made it an exhaustive chore to change your default browser, but it has since eased up quite a lot. Now, Google Chrome is rolling out the ability to become your default browser on Windows with a single click.

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Google Chrome Stories August 11, 2022

How to search any image on Chrome desktop using Google Lens

Chrome is a great browser with tons of tools and functionality; one feature that many users aren’t familiar with is the desktop version of Google Lens that’s fully integrated into Google Chrome. Follow along to learn how you can use Google Lens on Chrome desktop to search for any image on the web.

Google Chrome Stories July 30, 2022

As of late, Google has been working to add more features to Chrome’s New Tab Page, and the latest example is Google Photos integration.

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Google Chrome Stories July 27, 2022

Google was originally planning to get rid of third-party cookies in its browser by 2022, but that was later pushed back to 2023. That cookies deadline for Chrome is now being delayed to 2024 

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Google Chrome Stories July 25, 2022

Google Chrome could soon show the strength of your new password

Passwords are a necessary evil — for now – but Google Chrome looks to be making a move to help push for stronger passwords with a new indicator that shows how strong your password is.

Google Chrome Stories July 19, 2022

With version 100 in late March, Google released a Chrome icon redesign across the desktop and mobile apps. An interview today with the team behind the revamp shares some interesting details about the process. 

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Google Chrome Stories July 14, 2022

Google Chrome for desktop looks to be testing a new PWA install dialog

In Chrome, both on desktop and mobile, Progressive Web Apps are becoming more common among certain websites. The current look on Chrome for desktop is very basic and doesn’t provide much information for users prompted to install a website’s PWA. That looks to be changing in the future with Chrome for desktop testing a new dialog box for PWAs.

Google Chrome Stories July 11, 2022

How to upload your own music to YouTube Music

YouTube Music is a vast service that covers tons of genres, playlists, and albums from thousands of artists around the world. That being said, there will be some times when you can’t quite find the track you’re looking for. Fortunately, YouTube Music lets you upload your own music to keep with you in your account. Here’s how to do that.

Google Chrome Stories July 6, 2022

Your laptop’s battery life may get a boost as Google Chrome looks to tone down background pages

Google Chrome is the world’s most popular internet browser, but it’s also notorious for eating up battery life in many cases. However, a new behind-the-scenes change may help that going forward.

Google Chrome Stories July 1, 2022

Google Translate makes it easier to peruse the web without running into the language barrier, but sometimes the all-or-nothing approach of Google Chrome’s built-in Translate integration can be the wrong way to handle it. Now, Google Chrome is preparing the ability to translate selected text.

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Google Chrome Stories June 30, 2022

In recent weeks, the Google Password Manager has seen a number of changes, and the company is making them (along with a few others) official today.

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Google Chrome Stories June 23, 2022

How to stream flawless fullscreen video on an ultrawide 21:9 monitor in Chrome

If you have an ultrawide monitor, you no doubt know the struggle. Streaming videos and content from services, while created in 21:9, doesn’t get you quite the right look. This guide will show you how to get fullscreen 21:9 content to display correctly on your ultrawide monitor.

Version 103 of Chrome is rolling out this week, and Google is highlighting several new features on iPhone and iPad that span usability and security.

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Google Chrome Stories June 21, 2022

The technology industry (Apple, Google, Microsoft) ultimately wants to get rid of passwords with passkeys. Until then, the Google Password Manager is starting to offer on-device encryption so that “only you can see your passwords.”

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Google Chrome Stories June 9, 2022

Google is highlighting additional machine-learning-backed Chrome features that work on device and are meant to create a “more helpful browser,” especially on the security front.

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Google Chrome Stories June 6, 2022

How to use Google Chrome’s ‘Reading list’

Google Chrome’s “Reading list” has been around for quite a while, letting users save articles and web pages for persuing at a later time. That feature is still around, though it might seem hidden with one of Chrome’s newer updates. This guide will bring you through everything you need to know about Chrome’s reading list, including finding and removing it from Chrome.

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