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29 March 2010, 10:33

Google adds Geolocation API to Chrome Dev channel

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Google Chrome Logo In a post on the Chromium Blog, Google Developer Advocate Eric Bidelman has announced that the latest developer channel (a.k.a. the Dev channel) release of Chrome, version 5.0.356.2, includes support for the World Wide Web Consortium's (W3C) Geolocation API draft specification. Developers can enable the new API that provides scripted access to geographical location information by running with the --enable-geolocation flag.

Using the Geolocation API, web applications can determine the user's current position via getCurrentPosition using the World Geodetic System (WGS 84). Navigation systems and similar applications can also use watchPosition to continuously track a users current position by requesting repeated updates. Under the W3C's draft, the Geolocation API must only be used with "the express permission of the user".

Other changes in the developer release include Favicons for extension pages, the addition of a setPopup action to browserAction and pageAction for dynamically changing which pop-up to show and Incognito extensions. With incognito mode, developers can prevent their extensions from saving data locally in the current window. The developers note that, by default, extensions will not run in incognito mode. As this is a Dev channel release, use in production environments and on mission critical machines is not advised.

Chrome 5.0.356.2 is available to download for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux. Alternatively, users that currently have a Chrome Dev channel release installed can update using the built-in update function by clicking 'Tools', selecting 'About Google Chrome' and clicking the 'Update' button.

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