The Chrome team has been building up for this for the past week or so, as any dev channel user will tell you, and the Google Chrome 13 Beta is finally here. Don't expect any ground-breaking new features, but Chrome 13 does come with some things to get excited about.
It includes a pre-rendering technology which enables it to star loading webpages, on request by websites, based on predictions of what the user will click on.
It also comes with one feature that some people just couldn't conceive not having in a browser, print preview. Finally, the Omnibox just got a little better with the introduction of partial matches for suggestions.
"Instant Pages is available today in the latest beta release of Chrome. Thanks to Chrome’s new prerendering technology, some Google.com search results will appear to load almost instantly after you click on them," Chris Bentzel, Software Engineer at Google, wrote.
"Although Google.com is the most high-profile site to use this new prerendering technology, it can be used by other sites since it’s been designed as a web standard," he added.
Google debuted Instant Pages support in its search engine earlier this week. But the only browser that supports the feature is Chrome 13, which was still in the dev channel at the time, so a small number of users actually benefited.
A lot more people use the beta channel, but it won't be until Chrome 13 lands in the stable channel, some four or five weeks from now, that most users will get the benefit of Instant Pages.
"We’ve added some awesome to the omnibox by suggesting partial matches for URLs and page titles from your browsing history," Bentzel explained another addition in Chrome 13.
This is an incremental improvement, but it should come in rather handy and it's one of those things that probably should have been included from the get-go.
Finally, Google is making plenty of users happy with a Print Preview page, based on Chrome's built-in PDF reader, which enables them to see what the page they're printing is going to look like and make adjustments with the results visible instantly. This is one feature that has been requested, literally, the day after Chrome launched and has only now been implemented.