Google Chrome Dev Now With Instant Search - gHacks Tech News

Google Chrome Dev Now With Instant Search

With all the talk about Google's new "instant search" functionality it was only a matter of time until it was made available in the Chrome browser.

Recent versions of the developer version of Google Chrome, and the Chrome Canary builds, are already compatible with Google Instant Search.

And with compatible we do not mean that users can open a Google Search page and search there. No, the instant search functionality has been integrated into the browser's omnibar.

It is however not activated by default, and users need to start Chrome with the parameter --enable-match-preview to enable Instant Search in the Omnibar. (Update: This is no longer necessary as it has been enabled in all versions of Chrome natievely.

Once started with the parameter, the browser displays search results for characters that are entered into the address bar of the browser automatically as you type. The behavior is different from that on Google's search page though as results can be divided into two groups.

google chrome instant search

The first result group is the typical Google search result listing, the second a matching page for the search term. Entering gh for instance in the address bar will load ghacks directly, while g will load the Google homepage. This may be linked to bookmarks in the browser.

There is obviously a problem with that, especially for users who type moderately. It could mean that they accidentally open a lot of pages while typing. (Update: the direct page opening functionality has been turned off)

The search page looks different though, as the developers have decided to add the blank tab page information on top of the search results. A click with the mouse on the page that has been loaded removes those information immediately, while pressing return loads the page again without the information on top.

The developers should consider adding configuration options to the new search option, for instance an option to increase the time it takes before search results are displayed.

Update: Instant Search in its current form is no longer available. Chrome does support search suggestions though which are displayed as you type.

  • We need your help

    Advertising revenue is falling fast across the Internet, and independently-run sites like Ghacks are hit hardest by it. The advertising model in its current form is coming to an end, and we have to find other ways to continue operating this site.

    We are committed to keeping our content free and independent, which means no paywalls, no sponsored posts, no annoying ad formats (video ads) or subscription fees.

    If you like our content, and would like to help, please consider making a contribution:


    1. Anon said on September 27, 2010 at 12:39 am

      Might come to FF, at least as an extension:

    Leave a Reply