Chrome 27 has now been released for desktop and Android with iOS version following shortly and Chrome 28 is in beta. So what's new?
At the time of its release to the Stable channel on May 21st the Chrome blog noted that Chrome 27 contains optimizations that are claimed to make web pages load 5% faster on average. It also fixed a total of fourteen security flaws - having paid out a total of almost $15,000 on bug bounties to third party security consultants.
One new feature in Chrome 27 is the
chrome.syncFileSystem API which provides app-specific syncable storage for offline and caching usage so that the same data can be available across different clients.
The Chrome Releases blog also noted improvements for omnibox predictions including improved rankings and improved spell correction. In relation to the Android version improved omnibox searching was highlighted - users can now see the search queries in the omnibox instead of in the long search.
Another feature for Android was full-screen support on phones. What this means is that as you scroll, the top toolbar disappears so you can immerse yourself in the web page content. When you scroll up, the toolbar returns.
However, what desktop users of Chrome are probably most interest in, is the way the omnibox is becoming redundant. The ability to enter queries using voice isn't new in Chrome 27, but having the results announced, Siri-style, is. The feature works for straightforward queries, such as what's the weather like in New York or How many days in 6 weeks - but we haven't made it find the I Programmer website yet. Like most voice recognition systems it trains you to phrase questions correctly - you learn not to pause and to rearrange the question to make it more understandable. So far spoken answers haven't been included on the Android version, although voice input has been there for a while and the Chrome blog talks of voice input being added to the iOS version in a matter of days.
Chrome 28 is now in beta and its star attraction for Android uses in the same built-in translation for web pages as it already available on the desktop. Also the full-screen support will be available on tablets as well.
For the desktop, and initially on Chrome OS and Windows only, with Mac OS X and Linux to follow Chrome 28's improvement is a revamped interface for rich notifications that can be received even when the browser isn't open. Rich notifications enable you to create action buttons and respond to clicks right within your app, empowering your users to do anything they could do within the app’s UI itself.