Google Tries to Keep Up with Apple, Chrome Beta Syncs Apps and Extensions Across Devices

The new Google Chrome beta simplifies your life by making sure your Chrome settings follow you wherever you go, no matter what device you're on.

With Apple's recent release of iCloud, which lets users access their documents and data anywhere they are, it is no surprise that Google is trying to make its products more sync-friendly.

"Signing in to Chrome enables sync and brings your Chrome bookmarks and other personalized settings (like extensions) to all of your computers," Google Software Engineer Miranda Callahan writes on the Google blog. "Anything you update on one device instantly updates everywhere else, and your stuff is safe in case a truck runs over your laptop."

For people who use a shared computer, the new beta lets users sign in to their own personalized Chrome. You can choose from a collection of 26 avatars to identify yourself as a faceless person, a soccer ball, cheeseburger and more. 

"One thing to keep in mind is that this feature isn’t intended to secure your data against other people using your computer, since all it takes is a couple of clicks to switch between users," the blog states. "We want to provide this functionality as a quick and simple user interface convenience for people who are already sharing Chrome on the same computer today."

You will need to install Google Chrome Beta on all on devices you regularly use in order to get the unified experience. On Nov. 1, Google started rolling out a new, simpler version of Gmail that resembles the design of Google+. In August at UX Week 2011, Google Lead Designer for Search Jon Wiley stressed that Google going through its biggest redesign to date, with an emphasis on a unified interface.


After you download the new beta, go to Preferences (Options on a PC), click Personal Stuff and then "Sign in to Chrome."

If you're on a shared computer, click "Add New User" to use your own, customizable Chrome. 

Clicking Advanced opens up sync settings. You can sync apps, autofill, bookmarks, extensions, themes and more. 

Choose from 26 avatars.