Google announced this week that the latest version of its web browser, Chrome 17, is now available. The new version sports page pre-rendering for faster performance, plus some security enhancements.
"When you start typing in the Chrome omnibox and the URL autocompletes to a site you're very likely to visit, Chrome will prerender the page, so it will appear faster--sometimes, even instantly--as soon as you hit Enter," Google engineer Noé Lutz writes in a post announcing the release.
Chrome 17 also includes better protection against malicious downloads, Lutz notes. "In addition to checking a list of known bad files, Chrome also does checks on executable files (like .exe and .msi files)," he writes. "If the executable doesn't match a whitelist, Chrome checks with Google for more information, such as whether the website you're accessing hosts a high number of malicious downloads."
Some have voiced concerns that the malware protection functionality collects user data and could thus be a privacy issue. But Google says the data it collects is used only to find and flag malicious files.
These features were first introduced in the Chrome Beta channel in January. But Lutz says that Chrome OS, from Chromebooks, will also be updated soon with additional features, including image editing and sharing capabilities.
Google Chrome is an excellent web browser. But since switching to Hotmail and using SkyDrive more extensively, I've been using Internet Explorer a lot more though. In fact, if you check out my Wakoopa profile, you'll see that a lot of my usage has changed in recent weeks.