Chrome 10 release improves security and boosts speed

The latest release brings numerous performance improvements, such as an updated JavaScript engine and improvements in usability
Written by Ben Woods, Contributor

The latest release of the Google Chrome browser, now at its tenth major version, is faster and more secure than previous releases, the company announced on Tuesday.

Google said on its Chrome blog on Wednesday that the browser uses an updated version — code-named Crankshaft — of Chrome's V8 JavaScript engine that brings a 66 percent improvement in JavaScript performance compared with the previous version.

Google Chrome 10

Chrome 10 options now opens in its own tab, rather than a pop-up. Credit: Ben Woods/ZDNet UK

"With today's stable release, even your most complex web apps will run more quickly and responsively in the browser," Google said on its blog.

The release also extends Chrome's sandboxing technology to the integrated Flash player, meaning users of Windows Vista or Windows 7 should be better protected from malicious web pages. Sandboxing is the process of quarantining certain software components in order to block external access to system or registry settings.

As well as generally speeding up the browser, Chrome 10 will now come with password sync, enabled by default, which allows users to synchronise saved passwords across multiple computers. Chrome 10 also offers the option to encrypt the passwords for extra security, Google said.

Google has also introduced tweaks to improve usability of the browser, such as revamping the settings interface to make it easier to import data from another browser, change the homepage or change browser settings. It also adds a new search box that lets people search for settings they want to change within Chrome. Opening up the settings interface now involves a new tab in the browser, rather than a pop-up window.

Browser competitors

On Monday, Google browser competitor Mozilla delivered the first release candidate of Firefox 4 to developers, bringing with it similar new features such as WebGL hardware acceleration — Google introduced GPU-based hardware acceleration in Chrome 9 — as well as Firefox Sync and an updated version of its Gecko HTML and TraceMonkey JavaScript engines.

On Friday, Microsoft launched a website encouraging people still using Internet Explorer (IE) 6 to upgrade to IE8. A release candidate of Internet Explorer 9 was released on 11 February and includes new security and privacy features, as well as general speed improvements courtesy of its upgraded Chakra JavaScript engine.

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