November 28th, 2008
A Google engineer came and spoke at my university a few years ago, and talked about one of Google’s strategies – ‘Release Early, Release Often’. This partially explains why GMail is in perpetual Beta – It is constantly being changed and improved, and so never really reaches ‘Final’.
When Chrome was first released, I wondered how this would happen, since it is not a web-based application and updates depended on the user. I expected that updates would still be quite regular, but not quite so transparent. And so I waited.
The one day, I was checking for updates (via the Spanner icon, About Google Chrome), and I noticed that the version number was bigger than it had been. And then it twigged – the Google Update Service is automatically installed alongside Chrome, and runs continuously. That let Google continue to update Chrome for everyone at their pace.
I’m not really a big fan of programs that run in the back ground continuously, so I turned off the Google Update Service. Today I had my first opportunity for a manual upgrade of Chrome. And it was seemless. Go to the ‘About’ page. Chrome checks for updates, and offers for you to download it. Press Ok, wait for the update to take place, and re-start Chrome when you would like. Too easy!
I think the best part about the upgrade process is that there are no annoying pop-ups or reminders to restart Chrome. It just says to close all windows and re-open Chrome to complete the update.
So, now I have a nice shiny new version of Chrome!