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Google releases Chrome 23, brings video GPU acceleration

by Alistair Lowe on 7 November 2012, 10:40

Tags: Google (NASDAQ:GOOG)

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qaboub

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With Google's typical six-week release schedule for Chrome, we don't always see too many significant updates all in one go, however Chrome 23 promises to offer a few much-welcome additions.

Google has at long-last provided GPU acceleration for native video playback to Windows users. Previously, the task fell to plug-ins such as Adobe's Flash, however, as major sites like YouTube move away from Flash in favour of native HTML5 playback, it's becoming vital that browsers offer this acceleration themselves.

GPU acceleration reduces CPU load and allows it to enter a low-power state. Google observed that, on a Lenovo T400 laptop, battery-life increased by a full 25 per cent once the GPU was able to take the reins. Likewise, hardware acceleration should offer smoother playback with less impact on other desktop programs.

Catching-up with competing browsers, Chrome now features the DNT (Do Not Track) protocol, which allows users to reject tracking cookies by default, helping to anonymise user traffic and prevent some targeted advertisements. However, DNT functions by sending a DNT request to a website and so, whether or not to track a user all depends on how the individual site behaves, thus Google also took steps to add fine-grain control over a site's permissions.

Google Chrome 23 Site Permissions

From the icon displayed just before a websites address, it's now possible to turn on/off individual cookies, data, images, javascript, webcam access and so on, on a per website basis.

For Windows 8 users, you'll notice that Chrome no-longer defaults to loading in the Modern UI when clicking on links from within the new interface. Switching back can be performed by clicking on the "Relaunch Chrome in Windows 8 Mode" option in the settings menu. Likewise, the bug that caused Chrome to believe it had been closed incorrectly in the Modern UI has been resolved.

If your browser hasn't auto-updated you already, head on over to "About Google Chrome" in the settings menu to trigger the update.



HEXUS Forums :: 6 Comments

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It's a great update for chrome. Faster now than it ever was and saves battery life. Google really giving their users what they want now.
ah-ha! That'll be why Chrome spazzed out earlier and wouldn't load anything. Would be nice if it told you it had updated itself. This silent update mechanism never seems to go 100% smoothly for me. Just a shame it takes 5 times longer to close Chome and all processes to finish on this netbook than it does to open Chrome a fresh.
Funkstar
ah-ha! That'll be why Chrome spazzed out earlier and wouldn't load anything. Would be nice if it told you it had updated itself. This silent update mechanism never seems to go 100% smoothly for me. Just a shame it takes 5 times longer to close Chome and all processes to finish on this netbook than it does to open Chrome a fresh.

Oh. Interesting, I had what sounds like the same problem (using Chrome), but it affected all web browsers. Had me a little puzzled (other net connections were fine) and went away on restart.
that sounds more like a system issue, I can't imagine a Chrome update would prevent other browsers from working too.

My wife was complaining about not being able to load pages, turns out she hadn't actually restarted anything (the laptop or Chrome) in months. Closed Chrome, applied all the pending updates, restarted and I've not heard her complain for a while (about that anyway).
Funkstar
that sounds more like a system issue, I can't imagine a Chrome update would prevent other browsers from working too.

Yes, it has recurred a couple of times and I've been forced to restart frequently :(

Not sure what's going on..