Google Delivers Chrome 18 Browser

Google releases Chrome 18, a new version of its Web browser featuring hardware-accelerated Canvas support.

Google has released its Chrome 18 browser with new hardware-accelerated Canvas rendering.

In a blog post, Karen Grunberg of the Google Chrome team said Chrome 18 has been released to the Stable Channel for Windows, Mac, Linux and Chrome Frame. Chrome 18 also features several security enhancements and bug fixes.

In a March 28 post on the Google Chromium Blog, John Bauman and Brian Salomon said Google has enabled GPU-accelerated Canvas2D on capable Windows and Mac computers, which should make Web applications like games perform even better than a pure software implementation.

Bauman and Salomon also noted that Chrome 18 features software-based WebGL support via SwiftShader, a software rasterizer licensed from TransGaming. WebGL enables compelling 3D content on the Web.

€œKeep in mind 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,€ Bauman and Salomon wrote.

The release of Chrome 18 follows by a couple of weeks the release of Firefox 11. On March 13, Mozilla announced the release of Firefox 11, which adds new in-product developer tools that make it easier to visualize page elements. Firefox 11 also expands Firefox Sync capabilities to let users sync add-ons across computers.

Firefox 11 also includes new developer tools that represent the structure of Websites in a new way and make it easier to live-edit Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) code. The first is a new visual layout tool unique to Firefox, Page Inspector 3D View. Nicknamed Tilt, it is a new WebGL-based Website visualization tool that highlights the structure of a page better than a flat view, so anyone can immediately understand the relationship of the code to the page output.

In addition, Firefox now includes the new Style Editor tool, which allows developers to edit CSS like a text editor and see changes instantly, entirely within the browser.

And Firefox 11 introduces Add-on Sync. Users now have the option to sync add-ons between computers to allow for a seamless experience across Firefox at work and at home. Users can enable this feature in the Preferences window on the Sync tab.