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18 Oct 11 Chrome Tips extension from Google educates newbies

Power users already know about all the geeky features that make Google Chrome a powerful web browser, but Google’s upstart app is already a hit with folks like the faithful. The challenge now is to get Chrome to the masses — and educate them on what makes Chrome worth switching to.

Google’s latest offering comes in the form of a new extension called Chrome Tips. You can find its first beta version in the Chrome Web Store, and it just might be worth installing in your family, friends, and coworkers’ browsers if you’ve convinced them to make the switch to Chrome.

What does Chrome Tips show off? Several of the functions you and I take for granted — like pinning tabs, starting a site-specific search in the Omnibox, hiding and showing the bookmarks toolbar, and launching Incognito Mode for private browsing sessions. They’ll appear at the top of the Chrome window inside a pale blue tooltip bar, and the text is accompanied by an animated GIF — which I’ve pulled from the extension and embedded below in a gallery should you want to check them out.

I’ve installed the extension, but have yet to see any of the tips appear, so they’re either contextual or timer-based and I’ve not yet been using Chrome long enough post-install to see them. It’s also possible that Google hasn’t flipped the switch on this beta and it’s installable but not usable yet.

Chrome Tips is, however, a much more productive extension to push on Chrome’s new tab page than, say, Poppit and Entaglement, which were put there late last year to entice users to the Chrome Web Store. It’ll be a nice way to welcome and support new users to Chrome once it’s out of beta.



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