Google Answers Your Chrome Questions

14 Nov Google Answers Your Chrome Questions

Technologizer, CA, By Harry McCracken, November 12, 2008
I spent much of yesterday at Google, visiting with several teams to learn what they’ve been working on lately. I came with a little list of questions in my pocket–ones that members of the Technologizer community threw out when I said I was headed to the Googleplex. And while there were some good questions that just weren’t appropriate for the Google reps I met with, I did pose several community-supplied queries to Brian Rakowski, a Google product management director who works on the Chrome browser. Questions and answers after the jump… Technologizer community member Relyt asked: “What are your plans for Google Chrome in the future? How much is planned to be changed for the final release (example- interface)?” Rakowski told me that the Chrome beta is mostly about testing the browser’s reliability and ability to accurately render Web pages of all sorts. Once Google is comfortable that Chrome is robust enough for general consumption, it’ll take it out of beta. Featurewise, though, that version may be more or less the same as the current one. But Google wants to make sure that Chrome quickly gains the basic features that you kind of assume every browser will sport, such as a more comprehensive approach to bookmarks and auto-completion of text fields. Rakowski says that it’ll implement some of this stuff itself, but other features are being worked on by members of the Chrome open-source community. Rakowski stressed that Google doesn’t think in terms of a “final” version of Chrome: It plans to roll out new features more or less continuously…much as it does with most of its Web-based services. Kon Z asked: “What does Google have to say in response to Professor Hermann Maurer’s statements, especially about Chrome sending every visited URL to Google?” I asked Rakowski about the hubbub over Chrome privacy, most of which centers around the fact that the browser’s default settings for its Omnibox address bar send every keystroke back to Google–so it can auto-suggest sites you may be looking for–and the fact that Google stores about 2 percent of queries to help power the auto-suggest feature. He said that the company takes privacy seriously, and that it thinks that auto-suggestions are a useful feature which most users will like–but that it also lets folks disable auto-suggest, in which case their keystrokes won’t be logged. He said that some concerns about Chrome are based on misconceptions, but that the company has already made some Chrome tweaks based on legitimate issues that users have brought up.