Google Chrome gets big JavaScript speed boost

Slowly, but surely, Google is building its Chrome web browser into an even fiercer competitor to Firefox, Safari, and Internet Explorer. According to a post on the official Google Blog, the latest public release brings major performance improvements as well as a handful of extra features.

The speed gains center on JavaScript performance. In Google’s own V8 Benchmark Suite, the new Chrome release is purportedly 32% faster than the current stable version. That should translate into palpable gains with not just Google’s own Gmail and Docs services, but other JavaScript-heavy pages, as well.

Other improvements in the new Chrome update: the ability to remove pages from the "Most visited" list in new tabs, form auto-filling, and a full-screen mode (accessible by hitting F11, just like in Firefox). Oh, and Google says it’s also fixed more than 300 bugs since Chrome’s initial launch.

The update should propagate silently to current Chrome users. (And indeed, it seems to have reached one of our systems already.) If you’re still waiting and are feeling particularly bored, you can watch a video about the new release here.

Comments closed
    • Usacomp2k3
    • 13 years ago

    Finally it behaves more friendly to Windows. Desktop display elements such as “show windows side-to-side” actually work now, rather than treating Chrome like it doesn’t exist. Very handy for me on my 1920×1080 monitor at work.

    • Ashbringer
    • 13 years ago

    I second this.

    • Jakubgt
    • 13 years ago

    Add no script, adblock+ and weatherfox to google chrome and it will be the perfect browser.

    • indeego
    • 13 years ago

    Convinced me! /Uninstalled FF and Opera it is, FOREVERg{

    • vikramsbox
    • 13 years ago

    Neither chrome nor firefox can ever come close to Opera. Chrome is 9MB+ and pretty sparse. FF is 7.3MB+ and much the same. Opera is only 5.5MB and also includes a cool email client, its much more robust and fast than any other. Its download manager is also good unlike that of FF. Only problem is that you don’t get too many extensions. But quite frankly, the only FF extensions that I found useful were Safescript and DownLoadThemAll.
    Doesn’t matter what FF and Google do, but Opera is still at the top. I hardly use FF nowadays. Both FF and Chrome will end up being bloatware like IE.

    PS- the email client of opera falls back only in rich text editing, though they seem to be working on it. The “views” format of storing and displaying messages and the auto display of attachment types in the message tree are very advanced. Outlook 2007 and GMail have taken leaves out of Opera Mail’s book. What else to say?
    Many customizations in the browser are easily accessible (not like about:config mess of FF). Dialog boxes, alerts, progress bars, all are way ahead of anything FF or GC can throw up.

    • Rahabib
    • 13 years ago

    extensions and addons. I cant switch until they add those.

    • bthylafh
    • 13 years ago

    It’s been working for me.

    • UberGerbil
    • 13 years ago

    Actually, it has that now (didn’t used to — only turn-the-wheel scrolling).

    • Nitrodist
    • 13 years ago

    Yeah, and who does MS think they are, using the function keys without properly attributing their inventor?

    • pikaporeon
    • 13 years ago

    needs held-mousewheel scrolling

    • UberGerbil
    • 13 years ago

    I have to say, I upgraded the version on an old (Athlon XP 3200) Windows XP box — figuring improved software performance should be most significant on slower hardware — and I haven’t seen any noticeable difference on any site I’ve visited (including GMail). Perhaps I haven’t found one that is JS-intensive enough, and Chrome certainly was “fast enough” before, but this qualifies as a “meh” so far. The bug fixes are nice, though (need to see if they fixed that intermittent context-menu copy bug).

    • poulpy
    • 13 years ago

    Somebody needs to take a chill pill.
    How about you come back angry at Cyril when yourself have some sort of proof of “IE invented it first” with you?

    MS hasn’t invented the browser and -although they contributed in pushing forward during the Netscape years- they certainly haven’t introduced many of the latest sleek features found in today’s FF/Opera/Chrome/Safari..

    • BooTs
    • 13 years ago

    l[

    • pedro
    • 13 years ago

    Excellent news. I shall be popping it on the family computer shortly then.

    • swampfox
    • 13 years ago

    Agreed. Do suggest it to the Chrome team.

    • Namarrgon
    • 13 years ago

    That used to be necessary for it to work at all, and even then it’d crash frequently if a page had Flash (for me, anyway). Well, just that tab would crash at least.

    Now, however, I’m typing this on Win7 RC x64 in Chrome 2.0, with no –in-process-plugins switch, and the crashes I was seeing before appear to be completely gone. Chrome just got re-promoted back to my primary browser 🙂

    • blubje
    • 13 years ago

    “The update should propagate silently to current Chrome users” ugh, bad style. I hope it’s at least SSL secured.

    • Kulith
    • 13 years ago

    You have to add something to the shortcut but it works.

    –in-process-plugins I believe it is.

    • Flying Fox
    • 13 years ago

    Are they supporting Win7 RC yet?

    • Flying Fox
    • 13 years ago

    Also it won’t work with people running user-level accounts without trying to prompt for privilege elevation. Seems like there’s still a lot of hate in UAC.

    • lycium
    • 13 years ago

    yes, the GIF support is absolutely terrible 🙁

    • Kulith
    • 13 years ago

    Thanks, I went to About to update it.

    It was still at 1.0.1 so I don’t think its ever updated itself.

    • Decelerate
    • 13 years ago

    Frankly I love the most recent thumbnails when I open a new tab. I want another row and column of that. Heck, the amount of rows/columns should be editable!

    • Vasilyfav
    • 13 years ago

    I only use portable Chrome to avoid that bullshit. One folder with the cache and all my personal settings wherever I please, and no installation.

    • odizzido
    • 13 years ago

    I wonder if they fixed animated gifs? on both my computers they slow down as they go so by the end of the animation it’s running at like 1/10th the speed if they are decently long. It’s actually pretty annoying.

    • ish718
    • 13 years ago

    I believe Chrome will grow to be a powerful browser over time, just needs more support and features…

    • UberGerbil
    • 13 years ago

    It should update itself (though you have to quit and restart it to get the new version) but if you want to force it go to the About dialog — there should be an update button visible if a new version is available.

    • BenBasson
    • 13 years ago

    That would hinder the silent stealth updates.

    • Kulith
    • 13 years ago

    Ok so does chrome update itself or do I have to download the new version?

    Also, glad we can now remove pages from our “most visited”. Two of my fall 2008 class websites are still stuck at the top from last year. Clearing cookies and history with ccleaner doesn’t clear these two like it clears the rest for some reason….

    • indeego
    • 13 years ago

    And installing in %progfiles% like normal programsg{<.<}g

    • armistitiu
    • 13 years ago

    Great more javascript speed. That’s what Chrome really needs … Give us Add-on support!!!

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