Google has released version 18 of Chrome, the company’s own extended version of the open source Chromium web browser. The new Stable channel release, labeled 18.0.1025.142, fixes several security vulnerabilities, and improves graphics and drawing performance on systems with capable hardware.
This is done by adding support for GPU-accelerated rendering of 2D Canvas content on Windows and Mac OS X systems. According to the developers, the GPU acceleration should improve the overall performance of graphics-intensive web applications, making canvas-based animations and games “run faster and feel smoother”. For older systems that can’t make use of of the GPU, Chrome can now display 3D content using the SwiftShader software rasterizer, which Google licensed from TransGaming, Inc. However, the developers note that “a software-backed WebGL implementation is never going to perform as well as one running on a real GPU, but now more users will have access to basic 3D content on the web”.
As part of its Chromium Security Vulnerability Rewards programme, Google paid security researchers $4,000 for discovering and reporting the holes – $8,000 in additional rewards were issued for security bugs reported to the company during the development cycle of Chrome 18. As usual, more details about the vulnerabilities are being withheld until “a majority of users are up-to-date with the fix”.
Further information about this stable update can be found in a post on the Chromium Blog. Chrome 18.0.1025.142 is available to download for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux from google.com/chrome; alternatively, existing users can upgrade using the built-in update function.