More Google Web Browser goodness: Chrome 12

More Google Web Browser goodness: Chrome 12

Summary: Google releases yet another major update to its Chrome Web browser.


On the eve of the Chromebooks being released to the public, Google has rolled out the next version of its Chrome Web browser: Chrome 12.

"Wait," you say, "Didn't Google just release a new edition of Chrome last month?" Yes, yes they did: Chrome 11 and now they're back with another one. If you're a cynic like me, your first thought might have been: "Is there anything new here besides the number? Is there really anything here that demands it be called a major new release?" The answer to those questions is: Yes. Yes, there are sufficient new features in this model for it to be worth given a new number.

The biggest changes have been security improvements. As Ed Bott reported recently, Chrome has had trouble with identifying phishing malware. Now, Chrome has improved its phishing and malware detection so that it does a better job of detecting potential trouble headed your way from the Internet.

Google has also improved how it handles Adobe Flash Player's Local Shared Objects (LSOs), aka Flash cookies. On other browsers, there was no native way of handling them you could either manage them with Adobe's own online LSO manager. In Chrome 12, you delete Flash cookies from inside the browser. To do this use the command

Wrench > Tools > Clear browsing data

and select "Delete cookies and other site and plug-in data."

Another feature, but one that I don't see much use for on today's Web is Chrome now supports 3D CSS (Cascading Style Sheets). This enables 3D effects. It's neat, but I expect I'll have a 3D television in my living room before I use this much on the Web. To use it properly, you'll need to run Chrome 12 on Windows Vista or above or Mac OS X 10.6 or above. There's no Linux or Chrome OS support. Grrrr! You also need a system with 3D graphics so if you have a low-end system you may be out of luck.

If you want to see what it looks like, or you're just a fan of Aardman Studio's Wallace & Gromit, you can watch 3D CSS at work in this HTML5 video experiment, Shaun the Sheep.

Page 2: [Chrome 12 on the test-bench] »

Chrome 12 on the test-bench


So much for features, but when you're talking about Chrome what most people want to know about is its performance. Ever since Chrome first came out, it's been known as a fast, very fast, Web browser. Here's what I found in this go-around.

As usual, I've been using Chrome 12 on both my Linux and Windows PCs. For test purposes I used my faithful old Windows 7 test box: a Gateway DX4710. This PC is powered by a 2.5-GHz Intel Core 2 Quad processor and has 6GBs of RAM and an Intel GMA (Graphics Media Accelerator) 3100 for graphics. It's hooked to the Internet via a Netgear Gigabit Ethernet switch, which, in turn, is hooked up to a 25Mbps (Megabit per second) cable Internet connection.

On it, I ran both Chrome 12 and the latest version of Internet Explorer (IE) 9, using a variety of benchmarks. Before moving to pure performance I checked out their compatibility with standards.

My first test was the Acid 3 compatibility test. This checks out how browser, or not, is with various Web standards such as CSS, JavaScript, and Extensible Markup Language (XML). Here, Chrome, with a perfect score of 100, proved better than IE 9 did with its 95.

Next I ran the HTML5 Test. This benchmark is exactly what its sounds like" It checks to see how compliant the Web browser is with the HTML5 Web page standard. Once more Chrome came out on top with a score of 291 out of a maximum of 400. IE flops here with a score of only 130 points. Curiously though, Chrome 12 is slightly less compliant than Chrome 11 was with HTML 5. Chrome 11 scored 293 on the same test.

As for pure performance, I started with Kraken 1.0. This is Mozilla's update of the Sunspider JavaScript benchmark but, Mozilla claims, "Kraken focuses on realistic workloads and forward-looking applications." In Kraken, the lower scores are best. Here, Chrome 12 not only blew away IE, 5449.8ms to 17,051.9, but it also left Chrome 11 with its score of 6,311.7 eating its dust.

After that I put them on the test-bench with Peacekeeper. In benchmark, higher scores are better. Here, Chrome 11 and IE were close with Chrome 11 ahead by a nose with a score of 8,427 to IE's 8,343. Chrome 12, however, proved to be slower than both with 7,939.

By the accounting of Google's own V8 Benchmark Suite, their JavaScript benchmark, where higher scores are better, Chrome 12 has the lead with a score of 7,797 with IE way, way in the back with 2,193. On the other hand, Chrome 11, with 9,122 was faster still.

Last, but never least, according to the grand-daddy of JavaScript Web benchmark, SunSpider JavaScript 0.9.1, Chrome 12 had a score of 278, In this benchmark, where lower is better IE is the winner with 252.6, but at least Chrome 12 was faster than Chrome 11.

The bottom line is that while Chrome 12 is fast, it's actually not, taken everything into consideration, as fast as it once was. I wonder whether in adding security and other features, if Chrome is getting to be a little too heavy,

Mind you, Chrome's still my favorite Web browser, and I really, really like getting control of my Flash cookies, but I'm going to be keeping a close eye on future iterations of Chrome. Firefox also used to be the hands-down winner and then it got slow, fat, and even now its memory leaks are an annoyance. I'd hate to see Chrome go down a similar path.

Related Stories:

Browser Wars: Chrome winning, IE losing

Chrome 11: The Best Browser?

Microsoft Office Web Apps to officially support Chrome with Office 2010 Service Pack 1

IE9 versus Chrome: which one blocks malware better?

Four Reasons Firefox 4 can make a go of it--And one reason why it can't

Topics: Google, Browser, Malware, Microsoft, Security, Software Development

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  • RE: More Google Web Browser goodness: Chrome 12

    Old news already. Today they announced instant pages, instant images and some voice features which will be in the beta version this week. I usually run the beta version, and haven't really ever noticed any problems with it.
  • RE: More Google Web Browser goodness: Chrome 12

    Once its reaches version 25, probably it will be out of beta status.

    Google is shooting on its on foot with a new releases each month and releasing half baked products. Enterprise will ignore google products and nobody will care about some artifical benchmarks.
    • Mayan Prophecy disagrees

      @owlnet Based on a six week release schedule, Chrome 25 will come out around December 2012. Sorry, Mayan prophecy seems to indicate that Google Chrome 25 will destory the world.
      Your Non Advocate
      • RE: More Google Web Browser goodness: Chrome 12

        @facebook@... yooooooooooooooooh?
    • RE: More Google Web Browser goodness: Chrome 12

      @owlnet weeeeeeeeeeeeeh?!!!
  • RE: More Google Web Browser goodness: Chrome 12

    SJVN: It's not the first time people came to tell you that the HTML5test is flawed as it only test a VERY LIMITED subset of HTML5 implementation that isn't final. <br><br>And the same goes for ACID3 test, the reason of IE9 scored only 95 (out of 100) is because there aren't much future for SVG fonts and SMIL Animation since both spec is overlapped with CSS spec and even SVG working group is thinking about dropping those features to optional. <br>Those tests are synthetic in nature and tells you nothing about the real world differences. And just admit it, all major browsers nowadays are pretty much the same in terms of standard compliance.
    • RE: More Google Web Browser goodness: Chrome 12

      "SJVN: It's not the first time people came to tell you that the HTML5test is flawed as it only test a VERY LIMITED subset of HTML5 implementation that isn't final. "
      ... Nor do I suspect it will be the last time. That doesn't seem to fit his purpose.
      • RE: More Google Web Browser goodness: Chrome 12

        @noagenda - Sad, but true.

        I long for the day that SJVN actually exercises even a modicum of journalistic integrity and actually tests new browser releases against the official HTML5 compliance test suite published by the W3C and also tests each new browser against at least two perf tests from a variety of sources, including Microsoft's excellent TestDrive demos.

        But then, as he has so amply demonstrated, he's not interested in presenting a balanced, informative perspective - he's far more interested in pushing his own personal agenda.

        Thus one must take most of what he writes with a VERY large bucket of salt.
  • RE: More Google Web Browser goodness: Chrome 12

    Did they remove the feature where anything you type in the browser becomes their property?
    • Better yet....


      Did they remove the feature where any user can install this without IT knowing about it?

      Also, do they still count installations caused by errant clicks by the user? (most customers that bring in computers with it installed have no idea how they got it)

      Or how about the feature where it breaks IE by hijacking required HTML hooks from the registry? (not just file associations either - these are require HTML hooks that IE needs to work, and Chrome doesn't. Yes, this is actually in new versions of Chrome)
      • It is not just IE that Chrome breaks

        @Joe_Raby Chrome plays havoc with Outlook and Office productivity suites that leverage Mime types.

        Quite frankly, until Chrome installs and uninstalls completely, cleanly, and reliably, I cannot trust this beta software on my production systems.
        Your Non Advocate
      • Good call


        I don't trust it either. Until they stop using user-level installs and start actually installing it into Program Files ala Microsoft's recommended program behaviours, I will consider this malware.
  • Fast?

    "Ever since Chrome first came out, its been known as a fast, very fast, Web browser."

    Except that now it's no faster, and maybe slower, than its major competition. So no, Chrome is not known for being fast anymore.
    x I'm tc
    • RE: More Google Web Browser goodness: Chrome 12

      @jdakula ngeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeh?
    • RE: More Google Web Browser goodness: Chrome 12

      have u ever used it??
  • RE: More Google Web Browser goodness: Chrome 12

    "On other browsers, there was no native way of handling them you could either manage them with Adobe?s own online LSO manager."

    BetterPrivacy addon for Firefox, alive and well since 2008. For browsers that intentionally depend on add-ons for increased feature/funtionality, it's kind of misleading to state "no native way" of doing something, when a transparent add-on can provide the function, native or not. Blocking LSO's is really not really leading edge stuff.
  • RE: More Google Web Browser goodness: Chrome 12

    <I>"To use it properly, you?ll need to run Chrome 12 on Windows Vista or above or Mac OS X 10.6 or above."</I>

    What? No slamming Google for not supporting Windows XP users?
    The one and only, Cylon Centurion
    • It works great on XP. IE9 is not supported on XP at all!

      @Cylon Centurion <br><br>It's the just the advanced CSS3 3D doesn't work on older OSs. <br><br>I don't see 3D effects having much impact in the Enterprise where XP is the most prevalent.
      • I think you missed the point


        This blogger was one of the first to flog IE for a lack of XP support.
        Michael Alan Goff
      • @goff256 No I got the point, it's just inaccurate...

        ... as Chrome 12 runs on XP, IE9 does not. So Cylon's jibe at SJVN was in wrong, I know he makes a lot of mistakes and is overly biased. But if you're going to slam the guy you might as well be accurate in your statements.