SiliconFilter

Google Wants to Make Chrome’s Spell Checker Smarter

/

Google makes extensive use of auto-correction in its search engine and often automatically displays results for the auto-corrected words when its algorithm is reasonably sure that it understands what your really meant to write. In Chrome, however, the built-in spell checker is not very smart and often displays non-sensical suggestions (or provides no suggestions at all). The latest developer version of Chrome, however, can now make use of Google's server-based spell checker, which greatly improves Chrome's default spelling suggestions.

Given that Google has to send data from your browser to its servers, this is an opt-in service.

If you are using the developer channel of Chrome, you will now see the option to "ask Google for suggestions" when you right-click on a misspelled word. Once this feature is turned on, Chrome will automatically go out and retrieve suggestions from Google's servers. This means that you sometimes have to wait a second before the right word appears.

In our tests, though, the suggestions coming from Google's online spelling service were generally better than those from Chrome's built-in spell checker. In many cases, for example, Chrome now actually showed suggestions for words that stumped the built-in spell checker.

Sending All Your Misspelled Words to Google

Depending on how worried you are about your privacy, this may obviously not be a feature for you. All your misspelled words, after all, will be send to Google's servers. Google's privacy page for Chrome doesn't currently explain how Google handles this data (likely because it's only in the developer version right now).

To install the developer version of Chrome, head over here and look for the right version for your operating system.



4:35 pm


Next: Opera Browser Gets a Dev Channel, Too

/

Blame Chrome. Ever since Google started releasing self-updating developer versions of its browser, other browser developers have been following suit. Mozilla now uses the same concept for releasing early (and potentially unstable) versions of Firefox. Starting today, Opera will use the same concept to give early adopters a sneak peek at upcoming versions of its browser, too. Dubbed Opera Next, users can install this self-updating version in parallel to the stable version of Opera to check out new features before they become widely available (the Next and stable versions will remain two completely separate installs).

Unlike Chrome and Firefox, though, Opera will not develop multiple versions at the same time, instead, the Next channel will keep users updated from early snapshots to alpha, beta, release candidates and stable versions as Opera releases these. Once a stable version is released, the process will start over with the snapshots of the next version.

Also New: Live Speed Dial

The latest preview version of Opera also features the company’s new “Live Speed Dial extensions.” Just like in Chrome (though it’s worth noting that Opera pioneered this), whenever you open an empty tab, a number of icons appear in the browser that represent the sites you visit most often. Now, developers and publishers who want to make use of this new feature can also show small live previews of a site or other interactive experiences.

By default, the speed dial only shows the top left corner of a site (where the site’s logo can typically be found), but once it’s set up correctly, publishers can use Opera’s new Speed Dial extension to easily create small interactive widgets. Opera is currently featuring a few of these on its extension page here.



9:51 am