Google Chrome 13 Hits Dev Channels; Adds Background Apps Support, Multiple Profiles and More

Google has just released 13 to the dev channel and it has a lot of new features which include a working version of Multiple Profile switcher, experimental new tab page and tab grouping. Additionally, Google Chrome 13 also adds a new feature called Compact Navigation and the ability to restrict to search.

The new development version also adds an option to enable the Web Audio API and an option to allow "Background Apps" to continue running even when Chrome is shut down.

Background Apps are   which provide users with functionality that quietly runs in the background without intrusion. Background Apps could be apps that regularly check your email or account and notify you of new updates. The new feature in Google Chrome 13 will allow apps to continue running.

The new "Background Apps" feature is enabled by default, you can disable it by going to "Options -> Under The Hood" and deselect the checkbox next to "Continue running background apps when Google Chrome is closed".

Google Chrome Multiple Profiles

Google Chrome 13 also features a working version of the profile switcher which allows users to use different profiles for different Chrome windows. This will allow users to work with different profiles without having to keep logging in and out. Google Chrome 13 also has the latest Flash player – Version

Google Chrome New Tab Page

Google has been working on the experimental new tab page for a while and it looks like things are finally taking shape in Google Chrome 13. When you enable the feature from about:flags, you will see a new tab page which now lists most visited sites and apps in tabs. It also has additional tabs but they don’t have any content. The new tab feature could allow users to create customizable tabs where they can list out different apps, however, there is no option to customize them right now.

Chrome Hide Toolbar

Google Chrome 13 also has an option to hide the toolbar which can be done by right click on a tab an selecting "Hide the toolbar" from the menu options. Using this option hides the Omnibox and icons. I would prefer to have a keyboard shortcut to enable and disable this feature.  You will need to visit the about:flags page and enable the "Compact Navigation" feature to get this option.

Finally, Google Chrome 13 also adds a new option to restrict Google Instant to only searches. Prior to that, Google Instant would kick in even when you load any webpage. This could get annoying and a feature to disable it is a great addition. You will have to enable this feature in about:flags too.

Overall, it looks like Google Chrome 13 is shaping out really well. Some of the features like multiple profiles and new tab page are really exciting. Hopefully, these changes should hit the beta and stable channels soon.

Google Chrome 13 Hits Canary Build; Stable Version Bumped to Chrome 11

Check updates at the bottom of the post

Google has just released 11 to the stable version of the browser for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux. In addition to that the Canary build is now Google Chrome 13. Google Chrome development version has also been updated with the new Profile Switcher feature.


Google Chrome 11 includes several enhancements including speech input through HTML which allows users to speak text and then insert them into HTML forms. The Chrome Blog has a detailed article on how this works with Google Translate.

In addition to that, Google has also updated the development version of the browser to include the new Profile Switcher feature which will allow users to create and switch between multiple sync profiles for different windows. However, the feature is still being developed and does not allow you to create multiple profiles.

The Canary build of Google Chrome has also been bumped to Google Chrome 13 (v13.0.747.0). Both the development and Canary features look identical which means that most of the changes are under the hood.

Tab Grouping Google Chrome

Some of the visible changes in the development and Canary build include “Tab Grouping”, focus existing tab on open and the experimental new tab page which still seems to be experimental. Google Chrome 13 might be shipped to the development version after the Multiple Profile features is fully functional.

Update: Multiple Profiles now work properly in Chrome Canary build 13.0.750.0, this should hopefully be shipped to development version soon. The new Google Chrome 13 build now allows users to create multiple profiles for multiple windows.