One of the things people like best about Chrome is that it loads web pages quickly. To get you where you want to go even faster, Chrome will now start loading some web pages in the background, even before you’ve finished typing the URL in the omnibox. If the URL auto-completes to a site you’re very likely to visit, Chrome will begin to prerender the page. Prerendering reduces the time between when you hit Enter and when you see your fully-loaded web page--in some cases, the web page appears instantly.
On the security front, improvements to Chrome’s Safe Browsing technology should help protect you from additional types of malware attacks. Previously, Chrome focused primarily on protecting you from sites that would exploit your computer with no user interaction required. Now, we’re seeing an increase in malicious websites that try to convince you to download and run a file that will harm your computer. Some websites even pretend this malicious file is a free anti-virus product.
To help protect you against malicious downloads, Chrome now includes expanded functionality to analyze executable files (such as “.exe” and “.msi” files) that you download. If a file you download is known to be bad, or is hosted on a website that hosts a relatively high percentage of malicious downloads, Chrome will warn you that the file appears to be malicious and that you should discard it. We’re starting small with this initial Beta release, but we’ll be ramping up coverage for more and more malicious files in the coming months. Remember, no technical mechanism can ever protect you completely from malicious downloads. You should always be careful about which files you download and consider the reputation of their source.
Try out these changes in the new Chrome Beta--we look forward to hearing your feedback. As always, please keep in mind that the Beta channel inherently comes with more bugs and kinks to work out.
We originally reported on SPDY way back in November 2009, when Google introduced it as yet another experiment in making the Web faster, like Go, Native Client and speculative pre-connections. Over the last 18 months, though, SPDY support has found its way into the stable build of Chrome.
The best bit, though, is that SPDY is an open-source project. HTTP 1.1 is a lumbering beast that needs to be replaced before low-latency real-time computing really becomes a reality, and SPDY is one of the best options currently on the table. To be honest, we're not sure why SPDY hasn't received more coverage -- it's awesome in every way. At the moment, though, the only way to help speed up SPDY's proliferation, is with an experimental Apache mod.
As far as actually 'trying it out,' your best bet is downloading Chrome, hitting up some Google sites, and then checking chrome://net-internals to see your active SPDY sessions. SPDY is a transparent replacement for HTTP, though, and as such it's rather hard to see its effects. Google's sites definitely feel fast in Chrome, but there are more technologies than just SPDY at work.
Some time ago, TomsHardware has published a nice list of benchmark results for the top 5 web browsers. Unfortunately, they did not test the final version of Firefox 4.
Well, this is no longer the case as the most recent tests now include the following:
Internet Explorer 9
Google Chrome 10
Either way, I still find that Scribe just isn't all that handy for competent, speedy typists. You'll have moved on to your next word long before suggestions ever appear in most cases.
For Chrome users who type at a more modest rate of speed, however, the Scribe extension may very well be worth installing. If you find autcomplete helpful while texting on your cell phone, Scribe is probably right up your alley.
One gripe: the default activation hotkey is Ctrl+J -- which is the same sequence used to access Chrome's downloads page. How about making this customizable, Google?
One additional gripe: if you're typing into a field which already auto-suggests (such as tag fields on various Web apps like wordpress), Scribe could give you some grief. Make sure you turn it back off before typing in such fields.
Bonus points to the commenter who submits the most LOL-worthy comment created entirely with Google Scribe!
The Download Squad staff loves their Gmail, and so do our readers (according to Sebastian's recent-but-not-at-all-scientific poll). It's an excellent app, and I can't imagine ever changing back to a desktop email client.
But Google wants to deliver a more desktop-like user experience in Gmail, and they're planning to lean on HTML5 to do it. Recently Google added drag-and-drop support via supported browsers, and it's a feature some of my less-technical friends love. Google is now working on reversing the process -- allowing us to drag files out of Gmail messages and drop them onto our local folders.
Apart from making user interaction in Gmail more like our desktop apps, Google also hopes to use HTML5 tech to turn on the afterburners. In a discussion with Technology Review's Erica Naone, Adam de Boor talks about possible performance leaps with the upcoming extension app support in Google Chrome.
Extension apps will further blur the divide between Gmail as a Web app and desktop email with permission to access additional local resources, and Boor hopes that it will eventually lead to Gmail startup times of "less than a second."
That'd be sweet... you know, if I ever closed my Gmail tab.
Stopwatch image by Flickr user Erika_Marshall
Following on from last night's IE9 vs. Chrome 6 comparison, I've now pitched all four of the major Windows-based browsers against each other. On the same computer! At the same time! (God bless technology.)
As you will see from the video, Chrome (even with hardware acceleration turned on via command line switches) is in a distant last place, miles behind both Firefox and IE. Opera competes well up to a point, but eventually gives way to Firefox and IE with 1000 fishies swimming about.
I state in the video that Opera is hardware accelerated, but I could be wrong (we've confirmed that they have hardware acceleration devs on staff, but don't know what's under Opera's hood just yet). Chrome also performs very poorly, even though it (apparently) has hardware acceleration. Incidentally, if you want to turn on hardware acceleration in Firefox 3.7, follow this guide.
Both Firefox and IE9 use Direct2D to utilize the GPU's rendering power -- so it's probably no surprise that they both show very similar results. It's most apparent when comparing CPU use; IE9 and FF3.7 are both miles ahead in performance, but both show the lowest CPU utilization!
Still, I'm certain Chrome will feature full hardware acceleration soon enough. The thing I'm most interested in is whether we'll see cross-platform hardware acceleration. Direct2D doesn't exist on either Mac or Linux -- so we'll see how it pans out! Meanwhile, if anyone wants to pit Opera or Chrome against Firefox on Linux, I'd be very interested to see the results.
A while back, Opera 10.5 briefly snatched away the speed crown from Google Chrome on my system. Chrome's been comfortably in the lead for quite some time now when it comes to performance, but that may be about to change with the arrival of Opera 10.6.
I put the newly-released Opera 10.6 snapshot build up against both the Chrome 5 beta and Chrome 6 dev channel builds, and the results were pretty astounding: Opera 10.6 posted a Peacekeeper benchmark almost 25% higher than Google Chrome 6.0.408.1 (my results here). Sebastian's numbers were a bit closer, but Opera 10.6 still won (+14%).
That's pretty substantial, and the difference is noticeable while browsing web sites and tackling my usual daily tasks in apps like Gmail, Google Reader, and Seesmic Web. Opera 10.6 appears ready to reaffirm the fact that Opera has every intention of competing with the big boys.
Maybe Opera was poking fun at more than the original Google ad. Perhaps they were dropping a not-so-subtle hint about 10.6 turning up the heat on Chrome, so to speak...
[via Google Chrome Blog]
Today’s new beta release incorporates one of Chrome’s most significant speed and performance increases to date, with 30% and 35% improvement on the V8 and SunSpider benchmarks over the previous beta channel release. In fact, looking back in time, Chrome’s performance has improved by as much as 213% and 305% on these two benchmarks since our very first beta.
Today’s beta release also includes a handful of new features. Not too long ago, we introduced bookmark sync into the browser, which allows you to keep your bookmarks synchronized on multiple computers using your Google Account. Beta users can now synchronize not only bookmarks, but also browser preferences including themes, homepage and startup settings, web content settings, and language. By popular demand especially from avid Chrome extensions users, you can now install and use Chrome extensions while in incognito mode.
Under the hood, today’s release contains the goodness of some new HTML5 features, namely Geolocation APIs, App Cache, web sockets, and file drag-and-drop capabilities. Additionally, this is the first Chrome beta that features initial integration of the Adobe Flash Player plug-in with Chrome, so that you can browse a rich, dynamic web with added security and stability -- you’ll automatically receive security and feature updates for Flash Player with Chrome’s auto-update mechanism.
Engineer: Jim Roskind
1. What is DNS pre-resolution, and how does it make Google Chrome even faster?
2. Why is DNS pre-resolution difficult to do?
3. Explain in more detail how adaptive pre-resolution works
4. How else is DNS pre-resolution beneficial? Can it help with browser start-up time?
5. How do we measure and benchmark the benefits of DNS pre-resolution?
6. What's next for DNS pre-resolution?