Google Releases Latest Version of Chrome

    September 15, 2009
    Chris Crum

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 New Tabs Page


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."


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.