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 newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
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

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?