Google Instant is great — but I rarely use it. Why? Because I simply don’t go to google.com that often. That’s not to say I don’t search Google a lot — I do — I just use the Omnibox in Chrome for almost all of my searches. When Google launched Instant, they noted that it would be added to browser for people like me “in the next few months“. Well, guess what? It only took them 9 days.
Granted, Google has only enabled Instant as a Chrome Labs, and they have only enabled it for Chromium, the open source browser that Chrome is based on. But most features that come to Chromium, usually find their way to Chrome in relatively short order — though they have to then travel through the different levels of Chrome itself (dev then beta then stable). Sadly, this feature is Windows-only for the time being as well.
To activate Instant in Chrome Labs in Chromium, simply type “about:labs” into the Omnibox (the URL area) and hit enter. You’ll then have to click the link to “Enable” the feature, which will require a browser restart. Once you do that, you should be off and running. GoogleWatchBlog took a video of it in action below — it looks great, though I wonder if it will be slightly annoying if I really am just trying to type a URL.
It’s worth noting that this is actually Google Instant, unlike the instant search workaround in Chrome that was reported last week. That uses a different feature called “match preview” to mimick what Instant does, but it’s not exactly the same.
So when can Mac user expect to see the feature? “We’re waiting to iron out the kinks on windows first,” a team member writes on the Chromium Code Reviews page. Oh well, at least we have the Tab Overview lab — which is awesome (and already in Chrome proper — the dev build).