Thursday, February 9, 2012

Chrome 17 released with prerendering and security features

Google has released version 17 of their Chrome web browser. Along with the usual list of bug fixes, Chrome has two major feature changes: prerendering pages and *.exe and *.msi file checking.

Prerendering pages, which the Google Chrome Blog likens to a sandwich shop you visit regularly knowing your order as soon as you walk in, works by loading the page you're navigating to in the address bar as soon as autocomplete detects an page you're likely to go to. According to the Chrome Blog this can significantly speed up loading pages, sometimes to the point of loading the page instantly as soon as you hit enter.

The other major feature update, *.exe and *.msi file checking, attempts to make browsing the web more secure by checking any *.exe and *.msi files you download against a list of known safe files. If the file isn't in the list Chrome will compare the metadata of the site against a list of known bad sites and warn the user that they may be downloading a malicious file. An older blog post from the Chrome Blog notes that while this is limited to executable files for the moment, Google plans to extend this feature to all resources on a page in the coming months.

Chrome should automatically update to the new version, or you can head over to the Chrome download page to pick it up if you haven't already.

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