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03 August 2011, 10:31

Chrome 13 brings Instant Pages, closes holes

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Google Chrome Logo Google has announced the release of version 13 of the Chrome web browser. Chrome 13 is the latest version of the WebKit-based browser and is available for all platforms; it adds several new features and addresses a total of 30 security vulnerabilities.

The stable channel update, labelled version 13.0.782.107, includes support for the company's Instant Pages technology. Enabled by default, the new feature works by predicting what links a user is likely to click and automatically downloading and pre-rendering them, causing the pages to appear to load much faster. The company estimates that Instant Pages will save users "two to five seconds on typical searches". Other changes include a "much smarter" Omnibox, Chrome's combination search box and URL bar, and the addition of print preview support for Windows and Linux users which uses Chrome's built in PDF viewer; the developers say that print preview for Mac OS X is in the works.

According to Google, 14 of the 30 security vulnerabilities fixed by the update are rated as 'high-risk' and include multiple use-after-free errors, cross-origin bugs, and crashes related the built-in PDF viewer and the V8 JavaScript engine used by Chrome. Other holes closed include 9 medium-risk bugs and 7 low-risk issues. In all, Google paid out $17,000 to security researchers for reporting these vulnerabilities as part of its Chromium Security Reward programme.

As is Google policy, further details of the vulnerabilities are being withheld until "a majority of users are up-to-date with the fix". All users are encouraged to update to the latest release as soon as possible.

More details about the stable branch release, including a full list of security fixes, can be found in a post on the Google Chrome Releases blog. Chrome 13.0.782.107 is available to download for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux from Users who currently have Chrome installed can use the built-in update function.

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