Google has launched the 17th version of Chrome browser and it promises to be an interesting release though there are not too many surprises in there. Keeping with its tradition of fast, quick releases (Google has released 17 versions in the time Microsoft took to launch 2) this one is incremental with a couple of good feature additions rather than revolutionary.
Chrome 17 highlights
This is one of the best security features Google has added. Whenever you are downloading an executable (.exe or .msi) Chrome checks whether the program is whitelisted as OK (many known programs with reputed companies will come under this) and if not checks with its safe browsing site whether the website you are downloading from is risky. The Google’s safe browsing site runs checks on the file (including computing its hash, binary size, etc) and also compares to other files available for download from that site, and based on this gives a recommendation whether to safely download and run that program.
To learn more about read this article from the chromium blog.
Google has always been committed to fast browsing. They want browsers to go lightning speed so that users can browse and click more (leading to more revenues for Google, ta-da!). This one comes with a few bug fixes to keep up the lead in browser speed.
One of the ways Google is ensuring that the browsing experience is fast, is by trying to predict what page you will open when you are typing stuff on the Chrome omnibox and then preloading them. For example, if you are typing ES in the address box then Chrome predicts that you want to load ESPN.com (based on past experience) and starts instantly loading them before you even finish typing ESPN.com. This gives you an instant loading experience compared to other browsers.
By default the feature is switch on, but if you feel the predicts are wrong in your case (leading to slower performance and unnecessary downloads) you can switch off by going to Preferences >> Under the Hood and unchecking predict network actions to improve page load performance.
Though technically not a new feature for 17, signin is a feature that is added a month back. It allows you to sign-in to Chrome and maintain the preferences, bookmarks and other settings across multiple machines. That means the autofill that works in home browser will populate the same stuff when you are working in your office machine. Watch this video to learn more.