Google tests enhanced toolbar

Google plans to release a new version of its browser toolbar whose functionality can be customized and extended.

Google plans to release an improved test version of its browser toolbar whose functionality can be extended with custom buttons.

With these buttons, users can search Web sites directly from the new Google Toolbar 4 Beta. The buttons can also be used to link to Web sites and display syndicated feeds.

"By letting them personalize the toolbar, we're putting power in the hands of users," said Sundar Pichai, a Google product manager. Google plans to have about 50 such buttons available on Monday at http://toolbar.google.com/buttons.

Users will be able to create their own search buttons by right-clicking on a Web site's search box and selecting the "generate custom search" option.

Publishers can also put a custom button on their Web sites for users to add to their toolbars. Developers can use an API (application programming interface) to develop custom toolbar buttons.

The custom buttons featured in Google's gallery have gone through a process of quality assurance by the California company, but those located elsewhere haven't, he said.

The custom buttons bring to the Google toolbar the increasingly popular widget concept and strengthen the toolbar's use as a control panel for navigating the Web, said Allen Weiner, a Gartner analyst.

Another new feature in Google Toolbar 4 Beta is the ability to create and label Web site bookmarks. Users only need to click on the toolbar's star icon to add a Web site to the toolbar's "bookmark" section, Pichai said.

Google Toolbar 4 Beta also has an improved search box which now generates suggestions as users are typing in queries. The suggestions can be based on popular Google queries, spelling corrections and the users' own search history and bookmarks, he said.

The toolbar also lets users share Web pages via e-mail or SMS (short message service) with its "send to" command. Another new feature is the ability for users to sign in to their Google account right from the toolbar, and thus access services such as Gmail

Google Toolbar 4 Beta is available only for Internet Explorer 6.0 and up on Windows 2000 and Windows XP. Google also plans to release a version for the Firefox browser later, he said.

Google would do well to add more features to the toolbar to let users tag, annotate and share Web content, Gartner's Weiner said.

To download the new toolbar and get more information about creating and installing custom buttons visit http://toolbar.google.com/buttons.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Juan Carlos Perez

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?