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Google Chrome stable lands on cloud 9


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Along with the major Android news from Mountain View this week, Google has pushed version 9 of Chrome out of the beta nest. Available for Windows, Mac, and Linux, Chrome 9 stable marks the spread of WebGL support, debuts Google Instant in stable Chrome's search/location bar, and opens the Chrome Web Store for Chrome-based apps to all users.

WebGL support has been available to Chrome users in the dev and beta channels for some time now. What it means for people on the stable branch is that they will now be able to check out 3D animations are getting a power boost from their computer's hardware without requiring additional software. Google has put together a series of demos to show off what WebGL does. You can also check them out in other browsers that support WebGL, such as Firefox 4 beta and Safari. Although Opera is part of the group that's developing WebGL, Opera 11 doesn't yet support it. Microsoft has no plans for incorporating WebGL into Internet Explorer 9.

Google Instant is the real-time updates to your search results as you enter in a query, changing on the fly. Changing "battle" to "battles" will see your search jump from war-related returns to Battlestar Galactica, depending on your browsing history. By making Instant available to all users from the location bar, Google is helping to cement in user's behavior the location bar as a replacement for the search bar.

The Chrome Web Store applies to the smallest portion of Google users, although it's still an interesting feature that's now made its way to all Chrome users. Best suited for the Chrome OS, the Chrome Web Store app-ifies Web site publishers that have turned their sites into site-specific, Chrome-only apps.

Of the nine security fixes that Google also announced in Chrome 9 stable, most notable was a "critical" fix that addressed an audio bug found by Reddit gamers playing Z-Type. The full changelog for Chrome 9 can be read here.

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