updated 02:55 pm EDT, Tue March 30, 2010
Chrome to improve plugin tech for Flash's sake
Google today previewed its long-term plans for Chrome with a new developer build that integrates Flash. The new version automatically downloads the latest version of Flash at the same time as the browser and makes Flash updates a part of Chrome's own automatic update systems. Future development will also extend Chrome's signature sandboxing design to prevent malicious Flash code from touching other parts of the app or the OS.
The cooperation is portrayed as part of a larger collaboration between Google, Adobe and Mozilla to create a new plugin API that aims to solve many of the problems with plugins today. The standard would determine how Flash and other plugins could behave and would, if realized, make plugins as fast, secure and stable as regular HTML. Flash would fit in more tightly with regular website design as a result, Google explained.
The Adobe partnership is an indirect slap by Adobe at Apple, which has recently been critical of Flash as crash-prone and resource intensive, using this to decline collaboration on Flash for the iPhone. Safari on the desktop still comes ready for Flash, but Apple has been steering most content providers towards plugin-free HTML5 videos.
Google despite its new alliance has often been supportive of the same standards as Apple, as Chrome already supports HTML5 and YouTube has an HTML5 beta.