Google Updates Chrome Browser and Chrome for iOS, Android

The Chrome 30 browser includes 50 security and stability fixes, while Chrome for Android gets finger-swiping updates.

Google's latest Chrome Web browser, Version 30.0.1599.66, is now available to Web users for free download, featuring some 50 security patches and fixes and easier search capabilities for finding images.

The new Stable channel release was announced by Karen Grunberg of the Chrome team in an Oct. 1 post on the Google Chrome Releases Blog. The new version is supported on Windows, Mac, Linux and Chrome Frame. Other improvements include several new apps and extension APIs, she wrote.

Also released is a new Stable channel Version 30 of Chrome for Android, which includes updated swiping gestures for Android device users, according to an Oct. 2 post by Jason Kersey of the Chrome team on the Chrome Releases Blog. The new release, which will be available through the Google Play store over the next few days, will now allow users to swipe horizontally across the top toolbar to quickly switch tabs and to drag vertically down from the toolbar to enter into the tab switcher view, wrote Kersey. Users can also now "drag down from the menu to open the menu and select the item you want without having to lift your finger," he explained.

Other new features in the new Chrome for Android include faster searching when going from the Google Search app to Chrome, improved Password Sync and the ability to search by image by using a long button press, Kersey wrote.

Also released was a new Stable channel Version 30 of Chrome for iOS, wrote Kersey in another post. The release includes several stability issues and other bug fixes.

In conjunction with the new Chrome for Android release, Google has also created a new release for its Chrome Beta for Android application, Version 30.0.1599.82, which features various crash fixes and swipe updates, he wrote.

Several Chrome OS versions also received updates, including a new Beta channel release for Chrome OS to Version 30.0.1599.84 for all Chrome OS devices, which features bug fixes and stability updates. The Dev Channel version of Chrome OS has now been promoted to Version 31.0.1650.6 for all Chrome devices after receiving a number of improvements and bug fixes.

In September, Google announced that its Chrome Web browser will no longer work with a series of older, formerly popular Netscape-era Web browser plug-ins starting in January 2014, as the company works to shed the plug-ins to make its modern Chrome browsers even more reliable. The benefit of such a move will be that users will experience fewer glitches and crashes. The Netscape Plug-in API (NPAPI) had ushered in an early era of Web innovation by offering the first standard mechanism to extend the browser, according to Google. Two reasons that the move is being made now is that NPAPI isn't used or supported on mobile devices, which includes a hugely growing segment of Web users, and because the Mozilla Foundation is also planning to block NPAPI plug-ins in December 2013.

Launched in 2008, Chrome presently holds 40.7 percent of the global Web browser market, compared with 28.6 percent for its closest competitor, Microsoft's Internet Explorer, according to the latest global statistics available from StatCounter. Chrome celebrated its fifth birthday in early September. Initially released in 2008, by June 2012, it surpassed Microsoft's Internet Explorer as the world's most used browser for the first time.