Google's Chrome browser has now hit 30% share of web browser usage and as it continues to rise, new and improved features keep appearing, the latest being a revamp of the app store.
The Only Way is Up?
Over the last couple of months, Google Chrome has continued to eat into Firefox's lead as most popular desktop browser, with the gap down to just 9.2% in September according to one measure. Both are leaving Internet Explorer, Safari and others trailing in their wake.
Updates continue to appear regularly on the Chrome browser. Personally, I love its built-in translations of foreign pages and multiple sign-ins in the same browser. The latest tweak is a new look to the app store. Now just hover the cursor over an app to find out more information and installation is a two-click job.
The new app store makes Chrome more than just a browser
A World of Fun
While it's a swift browser, the app store makes it capable of so much more. You can have a podcast playing in the background, without needing to launch other apps, run Google Docs in another, have a game of Angry Birds that auto-pauses when you tab out of it, and generally run everything from the one app.
You can almost see the appeal of those Google Chromebooks, but it is good to have the backup of a real desktop. It is easy to arrange apps as you would on your smartphone and there are plenty of cloud-based apps, such as Evernote, so you can run a parallel version of your important phone apps, on the desktop. In fact, it's rather how I expect Windows 8 to run across devices, just without the slick tiles.
Sure, other browsers can match a lot of the functionality but Chrome seems to be adopting the app/cloud lifestyle we're used to faster than its rivals. And, Chrome is likely to become the Android browser of choice sooner rather than later.
If that happens, then a Chrome-based universe could rapidly become the place of choice for a high-quality true-cloud user experience, built organically and neatly around the user's needs, rather than thrust upon us by lock-in-happy vendors.