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05 Nov 11 Chrome 16 beta adds multiple account syncing

Google has released the latest beta version of its Chrome web browser, which brings support for multiple account syncing.

Chrome 16 was released, in beta, on Thursday and will make it easier for multiple users to share a computer but retain their own personal search, bookmark and app settings when they use the browser.

“Signing in to Chrome enables sync and brings your Chrome bookmarks and other personalized settings to all of your computers. Anything you update on one device instantly updates everywhere else,” Miranda Callahan, a Chrome software engineer, said in a blog post on the official Google Chrome Blog.

“In today’s beta release, we’ve added a new feature that lets people who use a shared computer each have their own personalised Chrome, and lets them each sign in to Chrome to sync their stuff,” she added.

To test it out, users need to click the spanner in the top right hand corner, navigate to options — preferences on a mac — then ‘personal stuff’ and then select ‘add a new user’.

A new instance of the browser will then open, ready for another user to log in and sync their apps, history, and bookmarks. A badge in the top of the browser shows which users are logged in at any given time.

However, Callahan warns that the feature does not provide security from other users of the computer, and that people would be better off using separate user accounts built into the operating system for that purpose.

“This feature isn’t intended to secure your data against other people using your computer, since all it takes is a couple of clicks to switch between users,” Callahan said. “We want to provide this functionality as a quick and simple user interface convenience for people who are already sharing Chrome on the same computer today.”

Google updates stable Chrome builds every six weeks, but makes updates to its beta channel builds every two-to-three weeks.

Picture credit: Google

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