New Google Goodies: Web Store and Chrome OS

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Google Chrome Web Store

Yesterday, Google once again impressed its captive audience at the Google Chrome live event. Google is making the Chrome browser faster, easier to use, and more integrated with the user’s system with each new release.

Among the new features will be hardware acceleration that will allow Chrome to tap into the GPU, something that will certainly come in handy when YouTube is streaming all of their HTML5 video content in HD. But the possibilities certainly do not end there. Anything online, including games, could leverage the power of a GPU integrated browser.

Chrome Web Store

Among the most highly anticipated features unleashed yesterday was the Chrome Web Store. The world has gone app crazy, and having apps for your web browsing only makes sense. I just took a look at some of the apps they have, and from NPR news to cool little web games, it all looks pretty awesome.

As a quick test, I installed the Onion News Network app, and it takes me to the Google TV version for easy fullscreen viewing. This is cool for free apps, but I am wondering what type of quality paid apps would have that would justify paying for them.

Chrome OS

Yes, Virginia, there really is a Chrome OS, but it is not ready yet. Expect netbooks to start rolling out with Chrome OS in 2011. In the meantime, Google is going to let certain people (hopefully including me) test a special 12-inch Chrome notebook.

Since Chrome OS is completely web-based, it needs connectivity. Google will offer this in the form of low-cost unlimited 3G data plans from Verizon (another big win for Verizon). If other carriers know what’s good for them, they will follow with their own similar plans.

The future looks bright for Google fans, and I for one am glad Chrome has become so successful. I still love Firefox and hope it will continue to compete, but Google is pushing the envelope on web innovation, and that is something we all desperately needed.

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