The preview of Google Chrome for Windows 8’s Metro has been released, and looks more of the same.
The Dev preview version of Chrome for Windows 8 is out, and we’re taking a look at it
Google has announced and talked about its Google Chrome browser coming to Windows 8, and it’s now available to use for those running the Windows 8 Release Preview. The browser looks very similar to any version of Chrome available for download, but bare in mind this is just a preview.
It’s strange the browser even exists in its current form, because programs are usually the subject of close scrutiny. Chrome works in the way users expect (not exactly the Windows 8 brief), supporting add-ons and sync. Google Chrome for Metro supports Flash across all websites, different to Internet Explorer 10 which supports select sites such as YouTube.
Metro gestures such as swiping backwards and forwards aren’t currently supported, though undoubtedly will be when the Metro UI goes live. Swiping up from the edge of the screen or from the top takes the browser into fullscreen mode, which isn’t a gesture supported in Metro. I’ll be surprised if Microsoft allows devs to invent different gestures, when browsers are being set as the default to work.
Chrome for Metro does use the snap views, which allows two apps to be on-screen simultaneously, at the cost of reducing Chrome’s size and therefore limiting browsing functionality. Charms such as Share are also supported, with the Charms bar appearing at the right-hand side for context sensitive functions.
It’s nice Google is supporting Windows 8, but at the same time it’s almost pointless that we’re effectively seeing the same version of Chrome currently available on Windows and OS X. Mozilla has taken a different approach, showing a unified design across the desktop and mobile devices with rounded tabs and simplified dropdown menus. Hopefully future versions of Chrome will take note, especially from Internet Explorer 10 which has a completely different experience to the desktop version.
What’s curious to me is that there’s full Flash support. Microsoft is only supporting specific websites such as YouTube to ensure performance doesn’t suffer, but Google seems to be maintaining it’s open source policy with full support. We’ll have to see how that plays out.