Chrome Beta Build 26 comes with a number of improvements and new features to help make web apps more powerful by integrating improved spell checking of Google Docs and Google Search into the browser.
Currently, this feature is not available in Chrome for Mac.
In this release of Chrome, Google has refreshed the dictionaries for default spell checker, and have also added support for Korean, Tamil and Albanian languages.
The new spell checking engine (also available in Google Docs) even understands proper nouns, “so if you’re wondering how many Ns there are in Dananananaykroyd, worry no more (there are four),” the Chrome team wrote.
“Users who sync their settings will also notice their custom dictionary gets shared across devices now, so you won’t need to teach that new Chromebook how to spell your name,” the team added.
Furthermore, users who have “Ask Google for suggestions” spell check feature enabled, will see support for grammar, homonym and context-sensitive spell checking in English. “Support for additional languages is on the way,” Google said.
“We’re now rolling out support for grammar, homonym and context-sensitive spell checking in English, powered by the same technologies used by Google search. Support for additional languages is on the way,” informs Google.
In addition, the following new features are also available in this beta:
allows storing HTML fragments intended to use for any reason at any time during the lifetime of a web page, “but that aren’t ready or shouldn’t be used during page load.”
Unprefixed CSS Transitions & calc() function allows you to use basic mathematical expressions anywhere a length or number is required by a CSS property.
Google notes, that both prefixed and unprefixed versions work in Beta 26, but users should switch to the unprefixed versions after Chrome 26 reaches the Stable channel.
activeTab Extensions API allows extension to interact with the currently active tab when the user invokes your extension – “for example by clicking its browser action or hitting a keyboard shortcut,” explains google.
Additionally, Google has disabled MathML to resolve security and stability issues, and has also removed support for the datetime <input> type in Chrome for Android.
Other new web platform features included in this release are:
- HTML <main> element can be used to represent the main content of the <body> of a document or application
- CSS pseudo elements (like ::before and ::after) can now be animated and transitioned
- Encrypted Media Extensions allow you to play protected audio and video content on the web.
The enhanced spell-checker is opt-in, so it’s not enabled by default. You need to right-click a text field, go to “Spell-checker options” and make sure that “Ask Google for suggestions” is enabled. It’s a privacy-sensitive feature, since everything you type is sent to Google’s servers.
Context-sensitive spell checking, was first available in Google Wave, is incredibly useful at times when you make mistakes when writing for example “fund a place” instead of “find a place”.
Since, Google uses the language models built for Google Translate to find the words that don’t belong in a certain context and highlights them–you just right-click the underlined words and click Google’s suggestions.
Update: Also, the latest Canary build of Chrome now shows an audio animation in the tab through a new extension called “Chrome Super Sync Sports.”
The extesnion is build using “WebSockets, HTML5 Audio, Canvas, CSS3, Google Web Fonts, Google Cloud Platform and Google App Engine” by the Creative Lab at Google.
“This experimental web application lets you sync your smartphone or tablet to your computer to play. Pick a sport, connect your mobile device to your computer, choose from 50 athletes and if you’re sitting with friends, invite up to three of them to join your race using their mobile device and your computer screen.”
You can grab the extension at Chrome Web Store, or directly at chrome.com/supersyncsports.
To get started, ensure that your device run a modern browser, “then visit chrome.com/supersyncsports on your computer or mobile device, pick a game and decide if you’re playing solo or with friends. Next, visit g.co/super in Chrome on your smartphone or tablet and type in the unique code shown on your computer screen. You’ve now “super sync’ed your mobile device with your computer, and you’re ready to race!,” Google wrote.
Adding, “Use the arrow pad on your smartphone or tablet to select one of 50 athletes and prepare yourself for the competition. The motions you make on your mobile touchscreen will move your athlete on your computer screen. To move your athlete forward and win the race, you need to make the correct gestures as quickly as possible. The better you are, the higher your chances of making it to the global leaderboard,” Google blogged.
Chrome Apps protecting local data were displayed in chrome://settings/cookies. And, finally, Chrome Menu supports the Windows High-Contrast mode available behind the barbarous keyboard shortcut <Alt> + <Shift> + <PrtScr>.