Google spruces up Chrome with Instant Search from the Omnibox, other nerdy things

It's a big Chrome day for Google today, and they're kicking things off with new features for the browser itself, features that will be included in Chrome 9 when it lands. The real highlight is the addition of Instant Search to Chrome's famed "Omnibox." It works about as you'd expect: as you type a Google search you still get your regular suggestions, but you also get a full search results page loading and refreshing live as you type. Google took things a step further and actually implemented this for regular sites too: based on your typical behavior, when you start typing an address, Chrome will pull up that site for you automatically (we hope when you type "e" you'll get Engadget, instead of Google's example).

The other huge improvement is "Crankshaft," which Google claims is a 2X improvement in JavaScript speed, based on what benchmark you're looking at. To put it in context, Google claims Chrome is 100X faster than IE's JavaScript performance back in 2008. Other rendering tweaks include a super fast built-in PDF reader (Google demoed the browser loading the entire health care bill in a blink), and full-on WebGL support.