Google Upgrades Chrome URL Bar

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Google (Nasdaq: GOOG  ) has just merged a new browsing-history feature, called history quick provider, into its Chromium nightly builds and is expected to move it into the developer channel soon.

The history quick provider, short HQP, has been available since Chromium 12 build 77646, which was released Thursday morning. The new HQP changes the behavior of the URL bar (omnibox) to enable users to recall recent browsing destinations. Phrases typed in the URL bar trigger a search process across page titles and URLs that have been visited within the past 72 hours, URLs that have been typed at least twice, and URLs that have been visited at least four times. Only those four types of URLs and their page titles qualify for priority results that are shown in the dropdown field of the URL bar.

HQP shows those URLs on top if there is a phrase match either in the URL or in the page titles. For example, if you visited ConceivablyTech at least once within the past 72 hours, and you begin typing "Dis" in the title bar, ConceivablyTech will be shown as a result, as the word "Disruptive" is part of our page title.

You can try the feature by downloading a snapshot of Chromium. No installation required, if Chrome already runs on your system, but be careful, as these versions may be buggy.

In unrelated news, one of our readers told us that Mozilla's Robert O'Callahan has reacted to one of our recent browser benchmark articles and explains browser hardware acceleration in depth (Firefox 4 and IE9) Thanks, James!

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