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Google releases a faster Chrome 2. - 5/22/2009 8:58:38 AM   


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The company has stressed that Chrome 2, which it announced on Thursday, is not a major release with a host of updates. It is named '2' mainly as a metric to help Google keep track of changes internally, it said. Chrome 2 does, however, include some new features and a speed boost.

Google attributed the speed boost to the incorporation of a new version of WebKit - Chrome's underlying engine - and an update to the browser's V8 JavaScript engine. As a result of these changes, Darin Fisher of the Chrome team wrote in a blog post, "interactive web pages will run even faster".

"We've also made sure that JavaScript keeps running fast even when you have lots of tabs open," Fisher wrote. "Try opening a bunch of web applications and then running your favorite benchmark."

Chrome, like rival browser Opera, displays a panel of most-visited site thumbnails on each newly opened tab. One feature of Chrome 2 is the ability to remove certain of those thumbnails, if the user does not want particular ones to be displayed.

Another new feature is a full-screen mode, which entails hitting F11 to maximize a video or presentation by hiding the title bar and the rest of the browser window. Chrome 2 also introduces form autofill to the browser for the first time.

The new release, build, is the final version of a beta that was given to testers in March.

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