Chrome 17 launches, upcoming updates focus on speed

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As mentioned on the official Google Chrome Blog this week, the Chrome team has pushed out a stable version of Chrome 17 to all users of the popular Web browser. Detailed extensively in a previous article, Chrome 17 brings pre-rendering to the browser and has the ability to start loading pages as the user is typing the search query or URL into the omnibox. The browser makes these judgments based of the Web history of the user, but only analyzes the data on a single machine rather than Web history under the same login on multiple machines.

google_chrome-logoIn addition to the pre-rendering feature, Chrome 17 brings a higher level of security to the browser. When attempting to download an executable, Google will compare the URL of the site against a database of sites known to distribute malicious files. Beyond the two new features, Google also paid over $10,000 to developers hunting down pesky bugs in the software. Testers that located eleven bugs during the process were paid figures ranging from $500 to $2000 and an additional nine bugs were squashed as well.

Looking beyond Chrome 17, the beta for Chrome 18 was pushed out to developers and consumers. Chrome 18 utilizes the GPU in a computer to accelerate rendering of 2D Canvas content, part of HTML5, which is used in both Web-based games and animations. For users with slower computers still on Windows XP, Google is pushing out support for SwiftShader. This software is designed to help emulate how a GPU works in a faster PC and display 3D content more efficiently. It’s definitely not a substitute for a real GPU in newer machines, but it will be helpful for anyone with a PC that’s a few years old. Chrome 18 will likely be released during late March if the six-week release cycle continues. Even further down the pipeline, Google is already adding support for the next version of JavaScript within Chrome 19. 

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