Google Releases New Version of Chrome for iOS

New Beta Channel and Dev Channel releases for Chrome OS are also unveiled as part of the regularly scheduled release calendars for Chrome applications.

Google has just announced several new updates for its Chrome for iOS, Chrome OS and Chrome browser software products that repair bugs, improve stability and add new features for users.

Amid the updates is a new Chrome 33 browser release for iPads and iPhones, according to a Feb. 18 post by Jason Kersey of the Google Chrome team on the Google Chrome Releases Blog. The latest version has been rolling out to users' devices since the release was unveiled, he wrote.

For Chrome browser users, the Beta Channel of the browser has been updated to Version 33.0.1750.112 for Windows, Mac and Linux, according to a Feb. 18 post by Anthony Laforge of the Chrome team.

Meanwhile, the Chrome OS Dev Channel has received an update to Version 34.0.1833.6 (Platform version: 5463.3.0/5463.4.0/5463.5.0/5463.6.0/) for all Chrome OS devices, according to a Feb. 15 post by Matthew Yuan of the Chrome team, while the Chrome OS Beta Channel has been updated to Version 33.0.1750.93 (Platform version: 5116.80.0) for all Chrome OS devices, according to a separate Feb. 14 post by Dharani Govindan of the Chrome team.

Google released the latest stable version of the Chrome Web browser, Version 32, to users in January. That release included indicators on the browser tabs so that users can quickly find tabs that may be running audio sound clips, Webcams or Webcasts, which can be distracting. Also included in the latest browser was a different look for Windows 8's Metro mode, as well as the automatic blocking of malware files. The feature that will let users shut down tabs that have unwanted audio files was introduced in November 2013 as a beta feature and is now being integrated as a standard feature. Users can visually scan their browser tabs to find the noisy, offending tab so that it can be quickly closed.

The Chrome 33 beta version was also released at the same time to the development pipeline for eventual promotion and release to users, according to an earlier eWEEK report. The Chrome 33 beta version has a host of intriguing new features that will help developers extend the browser and its capabilities even more for Chrome enthusiasts, including Custom Elements, Web speech synthesis and improved WebFont downloading.

A key new feature is what Google calls Custom Elements, which allows Web developers to define new types of HTML elements to use in their Web applications. Custom Elements will allow developers to define new HTML/DOM elements, create elements that extend from other elements, logically bundle together custom functionality into a single tag and extend the API of existing DOM elements. Custom Elements will also allow developers to architect their apps and code in much cleaner ways.

Another key new feature is a Web Speech API, which enables Web developers to add speech recognition and synthesis to their Web pages, according to Google.

The new beta Version 34 of Chrome also has moved away from supporting the old Netscape-era NPAPI plug-ins, as previously announced by Google in September 2013. That move was made starting this month because NPAPI isn't used or supported on mobile devices. NPAPI support on Macintosh and Windows will be completely phased out by the end of the year, and on Linux, Chromium will no longer support NPAPI plug-ins starting as early as April.

Other changes aimed at developers in the Chrome 34 beta include the new availability of the requestAutocomplete API for easy Web payments for Macintosh users, as well as the optimization of WebFont downloading and support for the latest version of the Web Notification API.

In September 2013, the Chrome browser celebrated its fifth birthday. Launched in 2008 as a desktop or laptop application, Chrome today is widely used as a mobile browser on many different devices by users to browse the Web and conduct searches, whether they are at home, at work, traveling or vacationing.

Chrome has had quite a ride since its birth. In June 2012, it surpassed Microsoft's Internet Explorer as the world's most used browser for the first time, and it added lots of useful features over the years to encourage even more users to adopt it.