Chrome gets noisy tab indicator, new Windows 8 mode


— 9:19 AM on January 15, 2014

Yesterday, Google began the silent, automated rollout of its latest Chrome release—version 32.0. The new update doesn't look all that different from the previous one at a glance, but as Google explains on its official blog, this release includes a few notable improvements.

In Chrome 32.0, tabs sprout a little icon if they're playing sound, recording something, or being beamed to TV via Chromecast. The playback indicator is probably the most helpful. It means you can tell, at a glance, in a busy browser session, which of the tabs is playing an annoying audio ad. Hallelujah!

Chrome 32.0 also includes a reworked Modern UI mode for Windows 8. While the browser can still be maximized to cover the whole screen in that mode, it now defaults to a windowed arrangement with an interface mostly identical to that of Chrome OS. You'll find a bar at the bottom with website and/or web app shortcuts, a Start-menu-style launcher in the lower-left corner, and oversized controls at the top-right of windows. There's no pretty wallpaper, though, just an ugly gray background.

Along with the tab icons and the Chrome OS mode, Chrome 32.0 also includes a new "supevised users" mode, so parents can manage and restrict their kids' browsing, as well as a "stronger" warning if the user attempts to download potential malware.

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