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Google Chrome dev version update brings app sync, more

Google Chrome's dev channel has been bumped from 7.0.503.0 to 7.0.517.0. The update wasn't silky-smooth for me this time -- more on that later in this post. So what's new in Chrome dev?

For starters, there's been a lot of code cleanup, and there have also been some minor UI tweaks as well -- a few pixels rounded here and there on Mac, but nothing too noticeable. Google Chrome's remoting code has seen numerous updates and it looks as though the feature is just about ready for us to test. Right now, however, all you can see is a login window -- but you won't be able to login. My guess is that only Google's internal accounts will work at the moment.

Chrome's sync will support apps following the update. Of course, this won't really do much good until Google opens the Store and allows us to install apps from an official location but this is still an important addition. 7.0.517.0 is slated as the next Chrome beta version, so with app support looking good it would make sense for the arrival of the next beta browser to coincide with the beta testing of some actual apps, too.

One final change you may notice is a tweak to the design of the new tab page. Your installed apps and most visited sites are now collapsible (as they have been in Chromium builds for a few days now) and a shadow effect has been added to the horizontal separators. You currently can't have both sections expanded at once, but they can both be collapsed. The sections also auto-collapse -- click to show apps, and your sites will iconize, and vice versa.

About:Labs has also arrived in Chrome dev, so you can now take side tabs for a test drive by visiting the Labs page instead of adding a command line switch.

Now, back to the update process itself...

This is also the first time I've had trouble retrieving a Chrome update. Google's Anthony Laforge announced the release last night, but Chrome still tells me that the update server is not available. There could be any number of reasons for the hold-up, but with the arrival of the Web Store just around the corner and the possibility of Chrome OS hardware on the way, Google may be rolling out additional hardware or battening down the hatches on current servers in preparation.

Patience, young padawan. Your dev channel update will arrive soon if you're getting the "not available" message -- try restarting Chrome and see if that fixes things.

Tags: apps, channel, dev, google chrome, GoogleChrome, remoting, sync, update