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Google Releases Latest Version of Chrome

Increased Speed, Design Changes, HTML5 Support

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Not too long after the first birthday of the Google Chrome browser, a new stable version has been released. The release includes:

- themes support
- a new New Tab page
- an updated omnibox
- support for audio and video tags
- faster Javascript performance

Themes support has been tested in beta, but this is the first time it has been released in a stable version of Chrome. Google says there will be more themes in the future, but for now, you can pick one from the existing themes gallery.

Chrome Themes

The New Tab page has been redesigned in a way that is more customizable. Users can rearrange thumbnails of their most-visited sites by clicking and dragging, and they can pin thumbnails to a spot so they don’t disappear when browsing habits change. Here’s a visual comparison of the old and new New Tabs Pages:

Old

Old New Tabs Page

New

New New Tabs Page

Then there’s the Omnibox. "Because it’s a search bar as well as the web address bar, the multi-talented Omnibox helps you get to the sites you’re looking for with just a few keystrokes," explains Chrome Program Manager Anthony Laforge. "With this release, we’ve optimized the presentation of the drop-down menu and added little icons to help you distinguish between suggested sites, searches, bookmarks, and sites from your browsing history."

Omnibox

Audio/video tag support are just part of Chrome’s HTML5 capabilities. With tags like <video> and <audio>, you can embed audio and video clips just as if you were embedding an image.

Finally, the new version of Chrome is faster than past versions. According to Laforge, they’ve improved by over 150% in Javascript performance since the first beta, and by over 25% since the most recent stable release.

Google Releases Latest Version of Chrome
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  • http://howtoplayacousticguitar.org sam

    …why Oh why couldn`t they ad this hook next to the back and forth- arrows like Explorers got, when you click it you see the websites you have visited recently? I know, Explorer is not the best browser out there, but they do have a couple of things I would like to see in Chrome.

    Furthermore I would like to find a working PR-button for Chrome, just like the plugin you can get for Firefox.

    Maybe this functions already are available with Chrome, but I haven`t seen them. Will install the update though. Good post, btw.

    • Peter Kasting

      @Sam: Right-click the back/forward buttons, or click and hold, or click and drag downward.

  • Daytona

    Google developed an excellent idea with the new tab page which could be easily set to the home page. from here you could select any one of your 9 most frequently visited sites with a single click, type a search directly into 1 of 3 external search engines or search your history, single click to your latest bookmarks. Excellent!

    The new release basically removed all that functionality and the list of most frequently visited sites was reduced to 8.

    How to take a great product and make it appear instantly worse!!

    You can’t even use the old format as an option.

    Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

    • Guest

      I completely agree. I’m really disappointed. Google Chrome was my favorite browser SIMPLY because it had that home tab page and had the top 9 sites arranged very neatly. Now the newest version looks VERY tacky and takes away from the functionality. Why Google would do this, I will never know. Now everything you love about Google products (simplicity, efficiency, etc) is being replaced by flashy tackiness and visual bulk (aka themes). To say I”m disappointed is an understatement. I might have to uninstall this software all together.

  • Guest

    You would think the author would have the common sense to state what the latest version number of Chrome is. Duh! Maybe a link to get the update too? Duh!

  • Greg

    Please, PLEASE allow the user to change the FIND text color. Right now, it’s only a LIGHT yellow that doesn’t show well at all.

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