File Under: Browsers

Chrome 10 Beta Offers Faster JavaScript, Less CPU Usage

Google has released version 10 of its Chrome web browser to the beta release channel. Chrome 10 is a major overhaul, featuring a new version of the V8 JavaScript engine, which is 60 percent faster than the version of V8 found in Chrome 9. Faster JavaScript means faster web apps, and the Chrome 10 beta is definitely the speediest version of Chrome yet.

To get the update you’ll need to be using the Chrome beta release channel. Head over to the Google Chrome channels page to download the latest beta.

JavaScript isn’t the only speed improvement in Chrome 10, Google has also enabled experimental support for GPU-accelerated video. Provided you have a capable graphics card, HTML5 video should be considerably easier on your CPU. The Chrome blog says that, in fullscreen mode, CPU usage “may decrease by as much as 80 percent.” I didn’t see anything quite that dramatic, but it’s definitely an improvement over Chrome 9.

If you’re a fan of Chrome’s sync features, this release adds support for encrypting your passwords with your own secret sync passphrase. The new encryption setup works much like Firefox’s sync encryption — just create a passphrase and enter it on every machine that syncs to that account.

Although its been in the dev channel for some time, Chrome’s new tab-based settings panel has now made its way to the beta channel. Having settings appear in a tab rather than a separate window is mildly more convenient, but the real win is the new search box, which allows you to quickly find the setting you want without wading through every tab and menu item.

To go along with Chrome 10 moving to beta, the Chrome dev channel has also been updated to a new version of Chrome 11. The dev channel update is primarily a bug fix release, though for Mac OS X users their is one small change — the tab overview mode is now on by default.

If you’re not one to trust your daily web browsing to beta or dev channel releases, fear not, Chrome 10 should be headed for prime time just six weeks from now (and, for those keeping score, it’s only another year and four months until Chrome overtakes Emacs in version number).

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