I’ll start off by saying I am currently very, very excited. Why, you may ask? Well, it has to do with the latest build of Chrome Canary. See, Google’s added an interesting experimental feature to their untested Chrome build- user profiles. In the upper right hand side of the browser, those who’ve downloaded Canary will see a small beaker icon. Clicking on this will show your your Chrome profile. Basically, it’s your web browsing identity. Your Chrome profile contains your bookmarks, browsing history, saved passwords, and themes. Pretty simple, right?
Now, the profiles feature is pretty rudimentary for the time being. Kind of understandable, given that it’s still technically in the ‘experimental’ stages. Once you’ve created a new profile and set the name and icon, that’s pretty much it. All you can do beyond that is change your sync options- and as anyone already savvy with Chrome will know, bookmark/session syncing in Chrome is pretty old news. So, a lot of you are probably thinking “what’s the big deal, then? All Google’s done is add an unnecessary account sign in. I mean, our Google Accounts work fine, don’t they?”
See, the thing about syncing in the current builds of Chrome is that it’s not only optional, it doesn’t really do a whole lot to change your browsing experience. You can choose to either enable or disable sync; and any stuff you’ve synced will be accessible on other systems once you sign in with your Google account. With Chrome accounts, it seems as though the browser will work more like the operating system- that is, you’ll sign in to your Chrome account before you start browsing. Any browsing or application data will be saved to that account, and not accessible to someone else who uses the system once you sign off. Technically, you could have several people signed onto the same system, in different instances of the browser.
It’d be a fully logged in browsing experience. Basically….it’ll almost be like running Google’s Chrome OS from your desktop. I dunno about you, but I think that’s downright awesome.
And now we come to why I’m so damn excited about this news.
Chrome Profiles And Google Accounts
Want my personal opinion on Chrome Profiles? They’re not going to last. Not because it’s a bad idea or anything, no- that’s not it at all. The reason I think they probably aren’t going to last that long is that I believe Google’s planning to integrate the “Chrome Profile” feature into your Google Account. It’d make a lot of sense, if you think about it- after all, consolidation sorta seems to be Google’s thing lately. Of course, once they’ve integrated Google Accounts into Chrome, what do you suppose their next step might be?
I’ll give you a hint. It involves social networking.
See, it’s no secret that Facebook’s been rather enviously eyeing Chrome’s spot on the browser scene. And say what you will about Facebook’s partnership with Rockmelt, I still think it’s a sign of things to come. After all, if Chrome can make a social networking site, why can’t Facebook make a web browser, right? And you just know that if they were to make a browser, it would involve their users being connected to their Facebook page at all time- being able to chat with friends, view notifications, and share links- all without having to keep a page open on the site. Naturally(browser speed aside), if Chrome’s going to compete, it’d have to follow suit with Google +; no?
Think about it. You get home, and decide you want to surf the web. So you open up Chrome, log in with your Google account, and notice you’ve a few notifications on your Google + page. After taking a quick look at them, you do a bit of browsing- read the news, watch some stuff on Youtube (which has recently received a rather sexy makeover- go check it out); whatever it is you do on the ‘net. Hell, I dunno, maybe you’ll play some Angry Birds. Whatever you end up doing, you’re completely connected with your G + account the whole time- so you don’t miss a second of what your circles are up to. And when you’re done and log off, all of what you did is there on the cloud, waiting for your return.
Personalized browser profiles. One single Google sign on to access all of Google’s services via Chrome. Google + integration. They’re all rather exciting thoughts, aren’t they? But at the moment, that’s all they are- thoughts; ideas. A lot of this article is speculation- though not entirely baseless. I’m just going on what I know about Google right now to put together a reasonable estimate of what I think they’re going to do. Maybe it’s right, maybe it’s wrong. Who can say? Assuming there’s actually a grain of truth to my ramblings; I’d estimate this feature won’t be hitting the Chrome browser for at least two to four weeks- either late July or early August. Hey, that’s right on time for the launch of Google +.