This week in Google news: Big G released a stable version of Chrome Frame for those of you that can't bear to let go of IE6, and a developer preview of the Chrome Web Store is now available to tinker with. Meanwhile, the Apps Marketplace is as popular as ever, and a new site threatens to steal our weekly Google wrap-up steez.
Introducing Chrome Frame
Chrome Frame came out of the woodwork about a year ago, graduated to beta status in June 2010, and is now available for download. The tool essentially enables antiquated browsers to fake cool by giving them access to modern web technologies like HTML5.
"A stable release is just the beginning for Google Chrome Frame," wrote Tomas Gunnarsson, Software Engineer and Robert Shield, Software Engineer, in the official Google announcement. "We’ve set aggressive goals for future releases: we’re working on making start-up speed even faster and removing the current requirement for administrator rights to install the plug-in. Expect more improvements and features in the near future, as we plan to release on the same schedule as Google Chrome."
This means Google aims to release a Chrome Frame update every six weeks, which, seems like kind of a lot for a solution that would be rendered useless if people would just switch browsers, but hey, whatever floats your boat.
Google Chrome Store
Speaking of Chrome, Google is also putting the finishing touches on the developer preview of their Chrome Web Store. Today, parties interested in charging for apps can sign up for a Google Checkout merchant account via the developer dashboard.
Developers can check out a preview of their app's landing page, as well as customize it by uploading headers and icons:
Note that apps will only be visible to their creators during the developer preview until the store launches later this year.
Checking in with Google Apps Marketplace
Speaking of shopping, the Google Apps Marketplace has officially been around for six months and is growing steadily. Today there are over 200 apps and 400 million users. Here's a quick look at the top rated:
- Smartsheet Project Management: "Smartsheet's online project management tool takes an easy to use spreadsheet to the next level with features such as a Gantt chart, dependencies, sub-tasks, and attachments and discussions on any row."
- RunMyProcess - Workflows and Integration: "Add state of the art workflow, business process and integration capabilities to Google Apps. Design, connect, deploy and measure day-to-day or complex workflows within days."
- Socialwok: Free Business Social Productivity & Customer Management: "Your own private collaboration network on Google Apps to share ideas, files, web links, Google Docs, Google Calendar with your workforce and external parties. "
- Syncplicity Business Edition: "Syncplicity’s unique Google Apps synchronization means users now have the choice to create and edit their files in desktop apps and then open that same file in Google Docs seamlessly."
- Mavenlink Web Collaboration: "Manage all project communications, share files, track time, invoice, and manage payments."
It would be fun to think we inspired Big G with our weekly Google wrap-up, but, well, we probably didn't. In any case, the Internet giant kicked out a new site called Google New to feature -- surprise, surprise! -- everything new from Google. The lifestream-type layout pulls from various official Google blogs to present viewers with a smörgåsbord of the company's latest offerings: