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17 December 2010, 11:13

Google updates Chrome Beta & Dev channels

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Chrome Logo The Google Chrome development team has released Chrome 9.0.597.19, the first beta of version 9 of the company's WebKit-based web browser. Previously only available in the Chrome developer channel (a.k.a. the Dev channel), the first Chrome 9 beta adds a number of security and performance enhancements, as well as new features over the previous version.

Aimed at developers and early adopters, version 9.0.597.19 of Chrome features built-in sandboxing for the Adobe Flash Player plug-in and support for WebGL. Now enabled by default, WebGL is a royalty free specification that's essentially a JavaScript binding to OpenGL ES 2.0 (Open Graphics Library for Embedded Systems) that allows browsers to display hardware accelerated 3D graphics without the need for a plug-in – links to various WebGL demos can be found in a post on the Chromium Blog. Support for Google Instant search, the company's new search enhancement that provides live updated search results as users input their queries, is also included. Further information about the latest Chrome beta can be found in a post on the Google Chrome Blog by Software Engineer Carlos Pizano.

The company has also released the first Chrome 10.0 build into its developer channel. According to Google, Chrome 10.0.612.1 features updates to the browser's V8 JavaScript engine (version and updates to the WebKit browser engine (version 534.15). Other changes include the addition of a Google Cloud Print sign-in interface for Windows-based systems and various Mac-specific changes, such as tweaks to tab overview mode, sandboxing the GPU process and an experimental popup blocker animation.

As with all development releases, use in production environments and on mission critical systems is not advised. Users testing the release are encouraged to provide feedback and report any bugs that they encounter.

Google has also launched a charity drive called Chrome for a Cause. The company will donate money to various charities for each tab Chrome users open from the 15th to the 19th of December.

Chrome 9.0.597.19 and 10.0.612.1 are available to download for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux. Users who currently have beta and dev versions of Chrome installed can use the built-in update function by clicking Tools, selecting About Google Chrome and clicking the Update button. The latest stable branch of Chrome is version 8.0.

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