Google's Chrome 51: Less battery drain from video, simpler site logins - plus 42 bug fixes

The Chrome 51 browser has security fixes for numerous bugs and also introduces a new feature to streamline the login process for regularly used sites.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer

Google says Chrome 51 reduces offscreen rendering, cutting power consumption by up to 30 percent on popular mobile sites.

Image: Google

Google has rolled out Chrome 51 for Windows and Mac, bringing a ton of security fixes and new features for developers and users.

The Chrome 51 browser introduces the new Credential Management API that should make signing into sites less of a hassle. Developers can use the API to allow their users to sign in once and be automatically signed back in on their return.

The API should bring additional benefits to Android users as they move between the desktop and their mobiles. In Chrome, the credentials are stored in the browser's password manager, which can be synced with Android apps that have integrated Google's Smart Lock for Passwords API.

Google has also reduced the burden of offscreen rendering and says it can help cut power consumption by up to 30 percent on popular mobile sites. The feature is designed to minimize the impact on a device's battery caused by videos, social widgets, and ads.

Google also paid out $65,000 to security researchers under the Chrome rewards bug bounty, which helped the company fix a total of 42 bugs in the browser.

Security researcher Mariusz Mlynski scooped up a cool $30,000 for reporting four of the five high-severity bugs that are fixed in Chrome 51.

Mlynski found two cross-origin bypass bugs in Chrome's extension bindings, and two cross-origin bypass bugs in Chrome's Blink rendering engine. Google valued each of the bugs at $7,500.

The other $7,500 reward for a high-severity bug went to researcher Rob Wu for a type confusion issue in Chrome's V8 JavaScript engine.

Google has only published basic details for 24 of the 42 bugs fixed in Chrome 51. Of the 24 currently disclosed, nine were high-severity issues, 10 were medium, and four low.

One of the high-severity issues affected PDFium, the PDF rendering engine for Chrome, which was vulnerable to a heap overflow. Google paid Cisco's Talos malware researcher Aleksandar Nikolic $3,000 for reporting that issue.

Google notes that detailed descriptions of the bugs will be kept under wraps until most Chrome users have updated.

Google earlier this month it awarded $20,337 to researchers, most of which went to Mlynski.

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