updated 09:15 pm EDT, Thu August 11, 2011
Also includes beta of Native Client, Web Audio
Today's release of a new beta of Google's Chrome 14 web browser brings three major changes -- the first to Mac users, the second and third to users on all platforms. Included in the new beta is the much-requested Print Preview for the Mac version, but more importantly the updated beta features encryption of all synchronized data, and the first preview of a technology that will eventually envelop Chrome itself, called Native Client.
In addition to providing greater security, the Native Client process allows platform-specific code to be run at native-app speeds -- making the browser faster overall, and allowing platform-specific features to run safely within it.
In time, Chrome itself will become a Native Client package -- making it much more difficult for the browser to be exploited. Under Native Client, modules are examined in advance to make sure they don't employ any restricted processes (such as writing to the disk). The technology will eventually be extended to Chrome OS itself.
Other changes in the latest beta (numbered version 14.0.835.35) include the debut of the new Web Audio API, and native Lion feature support (such as Full Screen and Resume), along with the usual assortment of security and bug fixes. A developer-channel build of Chrome 15 is expected next week.