Existing Chrome users can get the new version by clicking the ‘hotdog’ (Menu) icon then ‘About Google Chrome’ to check for updates – version 24 will be downloaded and installed automatically if you don’t already have it.
New users can download and install Chrome 24 directly here. Alternatively, a full standalone offline installer is available here – this may be useful if you want to save the Chrome installation file e.g. to put on a flash drive and install on multiple computers without having to re-download it each time.
There are also many ‘behind the scenes’ technical improvements and bug fixes plus one new feature:
Support for MathML – Chrome 24 adds support for MathML, a markup language used in HTML documents to provide visual appearance to math content e.g. equations. This will be of limited interest to most users but MathML is already supported in Firefox/Safari and may be of benefit to scientific websites.
2. Server-side changes to Google Cloud Print enable Chrome’s printer selection dialog to load twice as fast.
3. Google say that they are also working on improving the time it takes Chrome to start up – I have to say that if Chrome 24 does start up more quickly I certainly haven’t been able to notice on my test computers.
Pepperflash Flash Player plugin updated – version 188.8.131.52 includes security enhancements and bug fixes, no new features. Pepperflash is a cross-platform API for plugins for web browsers – early reports from some users report that the latest version has not resolved some audio and video problems on Flash sites. If you encounter issues, try installing the standalone Adobe Flash plugin for non-IE browsers and disabling the Pepperflash plugin – see our guide on fixing Flash crashes in Chrome.
HTML5 Score – The HTML5 test score is unchanged at a total of 448 but this still keeps Chrome in top place amongst all major browsers tested. For comparison:
Opera 12.10 – 419
Safari 6 – 378
Firefox 18 – 374
IE10 – 320
IE9 – 138
Note: these scores only indicate how well browsers support the draft HTML5 standard – they don’t necessarily mean that a browser actually performs any better. However, higher scores in the tests indicate that a browser may better cope with (and display) webpages that make heavy use of HTML5 e.g. games.
RAM Usage – Chrome still uses a lot of RAM because it runs each tab as a separate process. This is good for security and stability but bad for performance on systems with limited memory. In my recent review of memory usage in Firefox, Chrome and IE, Chrome came second – behind Firefox but well ahead of IE9.
As last time, the changes in Google Chrome 24 are mostly behind the scenes (security fixes and technical changes) and the only new feature is unlikely to excite many. However, the continued speed improvements are particularly welcome.