Thursday, 12 August 2010 09:31

Chrome beta delivers speed, new features

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The sixth beta release of Google Chrome brings new features as well as more speed to the increasingly popular browser.


Google has released a new beta of its Chrome browser, delivering some new features, user interface changes, and speed improvements.

AutoFill has been enhanced, allowing users to edit, remove or manually add entries. It is also smart enough to support multiple sets of information, such as a name and business or home addresses.

While AutoFill can be used to save credit card numbers, it explicitly asks for permission before doing so.

Synchronisation has also been improved, and now automates the use of the same set of extensions across multiple computers. AutoFill data can also be synchronised, with the exception of credit card numbers.

The disadvantage of using synchronisation is that it requires signing in to the same Google account on all the computers, which allows Google to link your use of all of its services, including your search history.

There are also user interface changes and speed improvements, so please read on.




The new beta inherits the user interface changes made to the developer channel version back in June. They include reducing  the number of buttons in the toolbar (eg, by combining Stop and Reload), and providing an icon to indicate how an Omnibox entry is being interpreted (eg, as a search query or a URL).

On the performance side, Google claims a further 15% improvement on the V8 and SunSpider benchmarks. Beta 6 is in the region of four times faster than the original Chrome beta.

The Chrome beta is available here.

Web analytics company StatCounter currently shows Chrome as having a 10% web share, up from 6% in January 2010.

 

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Stephen Withers

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Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences and a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies.

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