Google Chrome Update Adds More Features, Speed

According to a blog post unveiling the Google Chrome updates, Nick Baum, Google Chrome product manager, said the browser is more stable. What's more, Google claims that the browser is now a staggering 400 times faster than it was when the first stable version was released in 2009.

"We're excited to usher in the new year with a bundle of browser goodness for the stable version of Google Chrome," Baum wrote in the blog post. "With today's new stable release, all Google Chrome users on PCs can access over 1,500 new features, through our new extension system."

The extensions Baum referred to are little developer-created programs to add functionality to the browser and visited Web sites. Those include alerts and notifications, quick access to Web services from address bar icons and other functions. The extension tool lets users pick which applications they want and dictate how they are used.

Other new features added to the browser include bookmark sync, a tool available on the Windows version of Google Chrome that lets users transfer bookmarks across computers without manually recreating them.

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And for developers and designers, Google added a number of HTML5 APIs in the new Chrome browser release, including LocalStorage, Database API, WebSockets and more.

Windows users will be automatically updated within the next week, Google said. For Linux Google Chrome users, extensions are available on the beta channel. For Mac users, Google is working in extensions, bookmark sync and more.

Still, the more than 1,500 features Google has added to Chrome, nothing competes with the claimed improved performance.

"Lastly, but certainly not the least, we've improved performance by 42 percent over our last stable release and 400 percent since our first stable release last year," Baum wrote.