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Latest Chrome Beta Adds Chrome OS-Style Metro Mode on Windows 8

Google pushed out Chrome 32 Beta for Windows and Mac a few days back – a release that has some shiny new features in tow.

All platforms get new ‘Tab Indicators‘.  As we explained recently, this handy feature lets you quickly identify a tab playing sound/video; accessing your webcam or in the process of ‘casting’ to another screen using Google’s Chromecast device.

To locate the playback of errant audio look out for the small speaker icon appended to the end of a tab:

tab indicators in chrome

For sites using your webcam or microphone, or those ‘casting’,  look out for the blinking ‘red dot’ or ‘blue rectangle’ icon respectively.

Screen Shot 2013-11-05 at 20.28.41

Metro/Modern UI Mode for Chrome on Windows 8

For Windows 8 users Chrome 32 Beta brings another visual change – quite a big one at that. When Chrome is set as the default browser, and used in ‘metro mode’, a ‘Chrome OS-style’ workspace is presented.  

Chrome Windows 8 Metro

Google say that this approach has a number benefits over the old, full screen version. For example, you are no longer limited to running Chrome maximised, meaning you can run several windows on the same screen at the same time. You also get access to the App Launcher and App Shelf familiar to Chrome OS users.

Also of benefit to Windows users in this beta is improved malware protection.  Chrome automatically blocks the download of files known to be malware – a frontline move that chimes with Google’s recent decision to limit extension installs to those listed on the Chrome Web Store.

Download Google Chrome Beta for Windows

Want to try them out? You can download Google Chrome Beta from this link, or by changing your channel under Chrome > Settings > Help.