I almost feel that I am under-utilizing all of this extra space, especially when I have my laptop connected to an external monitor. Well, a recent Google Chrome plugin has addressed that minor quibble.
To put this in context, let’s go back a few months. When I was in Las Vegas for the Consumer Electronics Show, I had the opportunity to visit with Microsoft Canada. They showed me a number of notable features from Windows 7, one of which was the ability to automatically split your screen in half to display two windows. You simply dragged one window off the right edge of the screen and it would “dock” there, taking up the right half of the screen. You did the same with another window to the left and, in effect, you had a split-screen. This helps a lot with productivity, since it’s like having a dual monitor setup without having two monitors.
Introducing Dual View for Chrome
The newly released Google Chrome Dual View plugin tries to produce a similar effect, but only within the Google Chrome browser. The plugin, which works as a “bookmarklet” in your bookmarks toolbar, lets you show two websites from within a single Google Chrome tab. When you click on the bookmarklet, it brings up a dialog box asking for the first and then the second URL you would wish to view. It loads both websites with each occupying half of the screen. You can see the effect in action through the picture at the top of this post. I put my landing page on one side and Beyond the Rhetoric on the other side.
The Good and the Bad
As with anything else, the Dual View plugin has both its strengths and its weaknesses. It’s great being able to view two webpages at the same time without having to manually resize a couple of windows, but you don’t get the full functionality of having two separate browser windows or tabs. As a quick rundown…
- Show two websites within a single Chrome tab
- Adjust relative size of halves by dragging the divider
- Simple bookmarklet installation
- No address bars, so can’t see where you are
- Must enter URLs manually, including http://
- Cannot open bookmarks in dual view
Can There Be Too Much Google?
Google has dominated my life for quite a while. Even so, if they continue to expand and improve my online experience, both officially and unofficially through innovations like the Dual View, I don’t see any immediate reason why the search engine giant will get dethroned any time soon. It will only be a matter of time before Google rules the world. Maybe, it already does.
Go to chromeplugins.org to install Dual View for Google Chrome.