March 27, 2013
Google Chrome Wants You To Spell Better
Michael Harper for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online
Members of team Google wear their nerdiness as a badge of honor. They´ve bid Pi-million dollars ($3.14159) on a set of mobile patents. They´re working in earnest on a pair of glasses that better belong in a Star Trek novel than in the office. They named their operating system “Android,” for crying out loud.
Yet with their latest update to the Chrome browser, the Google team has tipped their hand, revealing that they´re not just run-of-the-mill nerds but rather the most egregious kind of all — grammar nerds.
Now, Google´s Chrome browser is not only capable of turning the web into a 3D tilt-based game, it can also tell you what words you´ve spelled incorrectly.
Taking to their blog post, the Google Chrome team announced that the latest build of their browser will include improved spell checking for all languages. Chrome 26 will also check what´s been written for common homonym mistakes across newly updated dictionaries.
When Chrome finds a word that it takes issue with, it will highlight it as is typical in any other spell check system. The user can then click on it to find the correct word or ask Google for another suggestion. The feature works well with popular nouns and celebrity names as well. In one showcase example, Google highlights a piece of text that asks “Who would win in a thumb war, Jon Stewart or Steven Colbert?”
Of course, Stephen Colbert is spelled with a “ph,” and the new spell check feature knows this.
It also wouldn´t be a Google product without cloud-based syncing. Any words or settings added to the browser can be synced across multiple devices. Having trouble remembering how to spell the name of that new band? Simply get it right once, and Google will correct you each time going forward.
Chrome 26 is available now for Linux, Windows and of course Chrome OS. Yet Google is having some difficulties bringing the spell check feature to Mac and has only said that this part of the update will arrive “in the coming weeks.”
While it´s never a bad thing to see proper grammar and spelling, the fact that Google is now syncing dictionaries means they´re getting even more data from their users. While this data could be completely sterile to them, Google has also made this feature entirely optional for those concerned with privacy issues.
The new Chrome 26 also packs in two additional features as well as the usual list of security patches.
Chrome users on Windows can now create shortcuts for multiple users. This comes in handy for families where each member has their own settings, home pages and saved dictionary of words. And none of the security fixes listed in Chrome´s change-log were listed as critical, with only one item listed as high.