Software // Operating Systems
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Google Chrome Beta Update Gets Faster

Users of Chrome's beta version now have access to Autofill and improved synchronization capabilities.

Google on Wednesday released Chrome 6.0.472.33 to its Beta Channel for Mac, Linux, and Windows.

The new beta version introduces a streamlined user interface, with a more refined upper toolbar and Omnibox, and options gathered into a single menu.

These changes have been available on the Developer Channel since June.

The updated Chrome beta also adds a capability seen in other browsers called Autofill, which fills in Web forms automatically with commonly entered data fields such as name, address, phone number, and credit card number.

"Autofill builds up and saves this information for you over time, so that you can fill in long Web forms with just a few clicks without typing in the same information over again," explained Google software engineer James Hawkins in a blog post. "For your security, any personal information stored in Chrome is safely stored and kept private until a user chooses to share the information with a Web site."

Hawkins says that Chrome won't save credit card information without permission.

The latest Chrome beta also features improved synchronization capabilities. Beyond bookmarks, preferences, and themes, users can now synchronize Chrome extensions and Autofill data, except for credit card numbers, through the user's Google Account.

And Chrome's most recent beta iteration is faster than its predecessor. Hawkins says it's 15% faster using the V8 benchmark and 15% faster using the SunSpider benchmark, both of which measure JavaScript performance.

Using Mozilla's Dromeao DOM Core Tests, Chrome Beta 6.0.472.33 showed a 64% improvement.

The most recent Stable Channel release is Google Chrome 5.0.375.126; the latest Developer Channel release is 6.0.472.25.

Last month, Google committed to accelerating its Chrome release cycle to make releases more predictable and to reduce pressure on engineers to complete features prior to relatively infrequent release dates.

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