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The latest version of the Google Chrome web browser has been updated to version 10, with improved security and rendering times amongst the changes. The update includes a new version of V8, Chrome’s JavaScript engine, which promises to speed up complex JavaScript web pages and apps.

Google’s own benchmarks recorded a 66% increase in speed over the old version of V8. Other speed enhancements come in the form of hardware GPU acceleration for web videos, putting many of the dedicated graphics cards in today’s modern PCs to use (and taking a load off the CPU).

According to Google: “Attention has turned on finding ways to make more effective utilization of the underlying hardware to achieve better performance and power savings.  There’s clear indication that getting the GPU directly involved with compositing the contents of a web page can result in very significant speedups.”

Currently the GPU acceleration technology can be seen in action over at YouTube’s HTML5 site.

Chrome 10 also includes the hotly tipped Adobe Flash sandbox feature, providing users with a safety net whilst viewing Flash content. Currently the sandbox is only available on the Windows version, though this version undoubtedly needs it the most. On top of this the familiar Options window has now been integrated into a web page, along with a search feature for quick-access to your preferences.


There is also now an option to synchronize passwords to your Google account, giving you access to all your saved login details across multiple computers. You’ll need to have Chrome installed of course, and as an extra security precaution you can choose your own custom encryption passphrase (to prevent account hijacking).

Web apps can now make use of Chrome’s background pages feature, meaning you can choose to still receive notifications even after closing a tab. Google explains that the app “will continue to run until Chrome exits. The next time Chrome starts up, any background windows that were previously running will also be re-launched.”

These windows are not going to be visible but they will be able to perform tasks like checking for server-side changes and pre-emptively loading content into local storage.” Chrome places an icon in the system tray (Windows & Linux) or a context menu on the dock icon (Mac OS X) to notify users they still have a background page running.

There’s even more to the update than this, for a full list of features check out the Chrome blog.

Do you use Chrome? Why (not)? Would you sync your passwords to your Google account? Let us know what you think in the comments.

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