Google this week unveiled its first stab at a Metro-style web browser, and appears to completely ignore Microsoft’s design guidelines, providing just a simple full-screen browser that has more in common with Chrome OS than it does with other Windows 8 apps. Fortunately, it’s just an early, developer-oriented preview, so future user experience changes should be expected.
I previously wrote about Google’s plans to bring Chrome to the Metro environment in WinInfo Short Takes, June 8, 2012. It requires installing the “dev channel” version of Chrome (instead of the more mainstream versions) and updating to the latest build, and doing so on the Windows 8 Release Preview.
It also requires setting Chrome as the default browser, which you do through the hard-to-find Default Programs interface in Windows 8.
When you do so, there are three obvious changes: IE Metro disappears and its Start screen-based tile is replaced with a tile for desktop IE, any web sites you’ve pinned to the Start screen lose their customized site graphic, and a new Chrome tile appears.
When you run the Metro-style version of Chrome, prepare for disappointment. The app currently doesn’t support any Metro-style usage conventions at all. It’s basically just a scaled up version of the Chrome OS-based Chrome app, really.
You can log into your Google account as you’d expect, and your installed Chrome web apps, extensions, bookmarks, and settings will all work in the new browser version as you’d expect.
But beyond that, nothing special. Not yet.
Here are some more screenshots.
Right-click to get the app bar? Nope.
No Metro-style Settings interface either.