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UI Simplified for Chrome 6 (dev channel); Security Updates for Chrome 5

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UI Simplified for Chrome 6 (dev channel); Security Updates for Chrome 5

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If you run the developer channel version of Google Chrome, you'll notice that the recent 6.0.453 release doesn't have the page icon in the upper right-hand corner anymore.  Chrome 6 simplifies the UI even more while adding extension syncing - a feature that's not built in to any other browser.  The new dev build is also the first browser to have built-in PDF support.  Chrome 5.0.375 was released in the public channel this week as well, bringing some significant security improvements.

Chrome 6

Although many features in Chrome 6 are novel, some of them could be struck from the public release if they're unstable or disliked.  Of course, you've probably heard that Chrome 6 has added HTML5 video support for VP8 and WebM (so has Opera 10.6 and Firefox).  However, it won't mean much until WebM establishes itself as a viable alternative to the H.264 and Flash-dominated web.

The PDF plug-in (no third-party plugins needed to view PDFs in the browser!) in Chrome 6 vastly improves its printing quality in this latest release with vector printing instead of pixels.  Some might say that the new UI design is an improvement as well.  The Reload button is gone from the URL bar and it has been combined with the Stop button.  The Go button is gone too.  There is also proper UI resizing, more localizations, faster scrolling, and a consolidated "page" and "wrench" drop down menu from the single wrench icon that sits there now.

                                           

Chrome 6 has also added AutoFill and Extensions to the list of items that Chrome can sync across machines.  

                  

Chrome 6 also enables near-total feature parity between the big three OSes.  Here are some OS-specific changes:

Windows: Image previews now appear while dragging them.
Linux: Experimental password-storing for gnome-keyring and kwallet, and the PDF plug-in must be activated in about:plugins.

Chrome 5

Chrome's public channel finally got the first stable 5.0.375 release for Windows, Mac, and Linux.  Mainly a security-hardening release, Chrome 5 made four memory corruption repairs with high security concern.  One medium-rated fix addresses sandboxes iFrames, and four low-ranked repairs that fixed invalid image crashes, modal dialog crashes, print dialog annoyances, and a WebGL error.

To get on the Chrome dev channel, click here.  The builds are quite stable and fine for everyday usage.

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