Google just released an update to its cutting edge developer version of Google Chrome that adds a lot of polish to the way Chrome handles extensions. Interestingly, while the stable versions of Chrome are still stuck with the 2.x series, the versions in the developer channel are now already designated as 4.x versions. At this point, users of the developer channel version can already easily install extensions, change themes, sync bookmarks, and profit from a faster rendering engine, while users of the more conservative stable version don't have access to any of these features yet.

Among other things, Google has now made extension management a lot easier and if you use the dev channel version, just type in "chrome://extensions/" and the new extension management interface will pop up.

In addition, Google has also added some new features for extension developers, including the ability to "load an extension and pack an extension" more conveniently.

A small ecosystem of Chrome extensions is already growing up around Chrome, even though only a small number of Chrome users are currently able to use them. Once Google enables these extensions for all users, they will be able to use a wide range of them. The absence of extensions has held back a lot of users who may want to use Chrome but rely on certain extensions. Now, however, it looks like it's only a matter of time before all Google Chrome users will be able to tap into this growing extension ecosystem.

Given how stable both the beta and developer channel versions of Chrome on Windows are at this point, we hope that Google will soon upgrade the stable version to the 3.x or 4.x series, as they offer a lot more functionality. The Mac and Linux versions are currently still somewhat unstable, but at least the Mac version has now become quite usable.