Chrome browser update promises better battery life for users of Windows laptops and improved privacy.
Google has updated the stable release of its Chrome Web browser to version 23, delivering better video performance for Chrome on Windows and the potential for improved privacy.
The company maintains several versions of Chrome. The stable release is recommended for users who favor stability over cutting-edge features. The beta, developer and canary release versions are less stable but incorporate more new Web technology.
Chrome 23 adds support for GPU-accelerated video decoding for Windows users. The result is more energy-efficient video playback. In a blog post, Google engineer Ami Fischman said internal tests have shown a 25% increase in battery life during video playback in Chrome on a Windows laptop.
The latest version of Chrome also provides a way to easily view website permissions, such as whether or not pop-up windows are allowed. Clicking on the page/lock icon in the browser address bar now reveals a drop-down menu that includes a permissions tab alongside the connection tab.
Chrome 23 also adds support for do not track (DNT), a protocol for communicating ad tracking preferences to websites.
DNT was proposed by security researchers in 2009 as a way to enhance user privacy. It was first implemented by Mozilla in Firefox, and was subsequently incorporated into Microsoft Internet Explorer, Apple Safari and Opera.
In February, Google said that it would incorporate DNT into Chrome before the end of the year, in keeping with an agreement reached among online advertising companies, the White House and the Federal Trade Commission.
DNT remains controversial and not all companies have agreed to treat DNT signals the same way. In October, Yahoo said it would not honor DNT signals from users of Internet Explorer 10 because Microsoft has turned DNT on by default instead of allowing the user to choose whether DNT should be on or off.
"The effectiveness of [DNT] is dependent on how websites and services respond, so Google is working with others on a common way to respond to these requests in the future," explained Fischman.
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