Google Chrome: Still value in a "beta"

Google is putting the beta label back on some versions of its Chrome browser - well, sort of. The company said today that it's re-introducing the beta channel so it can get some feedback from people who are willing to be guinea pigs for new features.

Google is putting the beta label back on some versions of its Chrome browser - well, sort of. The company said today that it's re-introducing the beta channel so it can get some feedback from people who are willing to be guinea pigs for new features. It originally removed the "beta" label from Chrome in December.

On the plus side, users who love or hate Google's browser now have a chance to not only try the most recent features first but also get to share your thoughts with the team at Google that has the power to either improve or kill those features. On the downside, it is a beta version, so there are bound to be bugs and/or other hiccups.

Also see: Google Chrome: The five best new features

New features would be added as they're ready, instead of waiting for a major update release. Google mentions, in its blog post, some of the enhancements beta users might enjoy:

The best thing about this new beta is speed — it's 25% faster on our V8 benchmark and 35% faster on the Sunspider benchmark than the current stable channel version and almost twice as fast when compared to our original beta version. Some of the new features you can try out include form autofill, full page zoom and autoscroll (both thanks to a new version of WebKit), and a cool new way to drag tabs out to get a side-by-side view (shown below).

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