Developers bring 3D, faster loading and a new Web App Store to the Chrome Web browser.

The latest stable version of Google’s Internet browser brings a trio of functionality to Chrome users - 3D, instant page loads and an app store. WebGL enables 3D graphics support within a browser without plug-in software. The WebGL Working Group is made up of other browser vendors besides Google, including Apple, Mozilla and Opera. WebGL-based projects for Chrome are user-submitted on the Chrome Experiments site, along with projects created with HTML5, Canvas and SVG. Projects from the Chrome teams and independent creators are submitted, rated and shared, such as a Google Health Body Browser, or a photo wall from Cooliris. 

Users of this browser will already be familiar with the omnibox, which functions as a URL line, search bar and real-time text predictor. Once a user begins to enter text, the application uses auto-complete to predict frequently visited sites, possible queries or search engine results. With version 9’s new Chrome Instant, the omnibox uses auto-complete to predict a desired Web site, and begins to load as soon as the user begins to type a URL.

As for the Chrome Web Store, it is only currently available in the US. Web applications have been developed by The Huffington Post, Autodesk, Sesame Street, PopCap and Marvel Comics. The New York Times app uses HTML5, keyboard shortcuts, and has an offline mode. TweetDeck, a popular desktop-based social network program, opens in Chrome as a new tab for following contacts in Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare and Google Buzz. 

The last two apps are free, but the Web Store also has popular paid apps from other developers. Many of these use in-app purchasing, but some charge at download, such as Lost Decade Games’ Onslaught! Arena priced at $1.99, though it does offer a free trial.

By Ivory King