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Google releases Chrome 37 for Windows, Mac, Linux

updated 12:30 pm EDT, Tue August 26, 2014

Windows users get better fonts via DirectWrite

Google has released Chrome 37 for Windows, Mac, and Linux. The biggest change affects only Windows users, in the form of DirectWrite support for better font rendering. Previously, Chrome for Windows depended on the Graphics Device Interface, and Google explains that the change "required extensive re-architecting and streamlining of Chrome's font rendering engine."

Another change is the disabling of showModalDialog, an API that allows apps to show an HTML dialog that freezes all other content. "Unfortunately, showModalDialog's unique ability to freeze content is now widely regarded as a mis-feature in terms of user experience, code complexity, and security," Google writes. "From a usability perspective, showModalDialog rudely demands that you interact with it by freezing all of your other tabs -- even ones from other sites. ShowModalDialog also requires complex and hard-to-maintain code scattered throughout the codebase. This complexity complicates the behavior of new web features like Mutation Observers, Object.observe, and Promises. It also makes showModalDialog a source of a disproportionate number of bugs, including serious security vulnerabilities."

Because some internal business websites rely on the API, an Enterprise Policy setting in Chrome can be used to re-enable it. Even that option will be removed come May of next year.

A minor improvement in Chrome 37 is the addition of a new password manager UI. After entering a new password, an updated prompt to save the password will appear. The same prompt is also appearing for network credentials, something that previously required special effort to save.

The update lastly deals with 50 security vulnerabilities in components like extensions and WebGL. Chrome 37 is a free download via Google's website or the browser's built-in update mechanism.

by MacNN Staff



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