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A Few Useful Tips for Latest Google Chrome Dev Channel for Desktop and Chromebooks

On August 4, we reported the release of the Chrome 14.0.835.19 (Platform version: 811.18) on the Dev Channel for Samsung Series 5 and Cr-48 Chromebooks. The new release in additon to ‘More panel size fixes, Print improvements, Fix problem with sad tab page resource loading, Fixed the size of take photo dialog’ also added a warning at the bottom of the file manager which informs users that “these files are temporary and may be automatically deleted to free up disk space”. (see pic below)

The warning links to a page that provides more details: “Your browsing data is automatically deleted if your Chromebook is running low on space. If additional space is needed, non-owner profiles that have not been accessed for more than 3 months may be erased (including downloaded files).”

Chromebooks include a 16GB SSD that’s mostly used to store system files and cached user files. User data is encrypted and some of the data is automatically synchronized (preferences, bookmarks, extensions, apps, passwords). To reclaim disk space, Chrome OS can always delete discardable data like browser cache, so it’s unlikely that important user files are removed first.

In another news releated to Chrome, the latest Chrome Dev Channel builds removed the bookmarks bar from the new tab page and updated the new tab page to include a bookmarks section. Right now, Chrome only shows a placeholder: “Bookmarks coming soon”, but this should change in the upcoming releases.

Until the bookmarks section is created, you can find your bookmarks in Chrome’s menu. There’s also the bookmarks manager and the Omnibox, which suggests relevant bookmarks when you start typing a URL or some words from the title. You can still enable the bookmarks bar (Ctrl+Shift+B), but it’ll always be visible until you disable it.

Inspired by mobile operating systems like iOS and Android, the new tab page now includes multiple screens for apps, most visited pages and bookmarks. You can create multiple screens for apps and the most visited sites, remove sites and apps by dragging them to the trash and transform sites into apps using drag and drop. The new tab page uses dynamic icons that are resized to match the window’s size.

Also, you may have notice that when you Google either by visiting to Google.com or from your browser’s built-in search feature, Google always redirects you to the localized version of the search engine for your country — redirects from google.com to google.tld (google.co.uk, google.fr, google.co.jp etc.).

If you prefer google.com over country based localized version, you can click go to “Google.com in English” at the bottom of the homepage or just go to google.com/ncr. Now, Chrome no longer checks the Google cookie to see the changes mad e to the domain and reset you back to default search settings.

Here’s a way to edit a settings file:

  1. Close all Chrome windows.
  2. Go to Chrome’s user profile directory (for example, in Windows Vista and Windows 7 the path is: %LOCALAPPDATA%\Google\Chrome\User Data\).
  3. Open the file Local State in a text editor like Notepad, TextEdit or gedit.
  4. Find the two lines that include “last_known_google_url” and “last_prompted_google_url” and change the Google URL from “http://www.google.tld/” (.tld=.co.uk, .fr, .co.jp etc.) to “http://www.google.com/” or any other Google domain.
  5. Save the text file and restart Chrome.
  6. If you see an infobar that asks if you want to switch to your local domain or keep google.com, choose the second option.
  7. That’s it!

[Thanks, Cougra, Alex]

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