Chrome gets more stable, more secure Flash plug-in

Flash may be on its way out in the mobile world, but it’s still going strong on the PC. Now, Google says the version of the Flash plug-in built into its Chrome web browser has gotten even better. The plug-in has been ported to a new plug-in architecture that allows an "even deeper level of sandbox protection," the company says. The change should translate into not just better security, but also improved stability and performance.

Here are the deets from Google’s Chromium blog:

Windows Flash is now inside a sandbox that’s as strong as Chrome’s native sandbox, and dramatically more robust than anything else available. And for the first time ever, Windows XP users (specifically, over 100 million Chrome users) have a sandboxed Flash—which is critical given the absence of OS support for security features like ASLR and integrity levels.
Beyond the security benefits, PPAPI has allowed us to move plug-ins forward in numerous other ways. By eliminating the complexity and legacy code associated with NPAPI, we’ve reduced Flash crashes by about 20%. We can also composite Flash content on the GPU, allowing faster rendering and smooth scrolling (with more improvements to come). And because PPAPI doesn’t let the OS bleed through, it’s the only way to use all Flash features on any site in Windows 8 Metro mode.

You can try the new-and-improved Flash plug-in for yourself in Chrome 21, which quietly rolled out to Chrome users last week. Those who haven’t converted can download the browser here.

I haven’t noticed many differences with the new Flash plug-in, except that, oddly enough, the full-screen function in YouTube now always snaps to my primary monitor, even when the video was playing on my secondary display. Adobe ironed out that problem way back in February 2011, when it added proper multi-monitor full-screen support. I guess the latest version of the plug-in must have rolled back the change somehow. Weird. (Thanks to The Verge for the heads up.)

Comments closed
    • Deanjo
    • 7 years ago

    “Stable” “Secure” and “Flash” should never be used in the same sentence.

      • pedro
      • 7 years ago

      You just did.

    • jackbomb
    • 7 years ago

    Chrome 21 is much faster on my C2D/GMA950 powered laptop. Scrolling is 60fps-smooth, and YouTube’s full-screen mode has hardware-accelerated rendering (no more tearing, much lower CPU usage, and 1080p is now playable). Before the update, hardware acceleration would only work on my desktops.

    On the laptop, HW acceleration only works when Aero is enabled. Disable Aero, and it feels like I’m using Chrome 20 again.

    • UberGerbil
    • 7 years ago

    It’s not going to work for everybody, but I [url=http://i.imgur.com/jIZVE.png<]solved[/url<] all of these problems in Chrome long ago.

    • Mourmain
    • 7 years ago

    “Chrome 21”. I think that’s the first time I’ve seen a software with a version number above 20.

      • bthylafh
      • 7 years ago

      less and xterm have it beaten handily.

      • shaurz
      • 7 years ago

      Even Fractint is only at version 20.4, and that is a very old program.

      • pedro
      • 7 years ago

      Emacs is sitting at 23.3.1. (Actually 24.1.)

    • Neutronbeam
    • 7 years ago

    So how come post-updated Chrome won’t display some pages correctly NOW, such as the New York Times site? All text is stacked and formatting is gone. That’s not the only page where it happens but is the most annoying. Any ideas on this gerbils?

      • derFunkenstein
      • 7 years ago

      Looks fine here, both on the front page and in articles.

      • njenabnit
      • 7 years ago

      I get the same thing on [url<]http://www.diynetwork.com/.[/url<] Just a stack of text

        • Neutronbeam
        • 7 years ago

        Yet that site displays perfectly fine in Chrome for me. Well, no doubt the problem will be resolved in coming iterations of the browser.

        • Kurotetsu
        • 7 years ago

        Both that site and the New York Times site look great in Chrome for me.

        • Shouefref
        • 7 years ago

        That site doesn’t show up perfect in my browser either. I use an older one.
        If a site doesn’t show up good enough, I just ignore that site.
        Basically It’s always the same problem: they have “updated” the site to “improve” it, and by doing that, you run into problems because your browser is “too old”.
        But I’m not going throught the trouble of updating (I DON’T CARE whether it’s automatic), just to see a site, as all those sites are only made to make me view ad’s anyway.

      • Mourmain
      • 7 years ago

      Maybe you have text zoom enabled? That seems to mess up the formatting of some sites (though not as you described).

      • OneArmedScissor
      • 7 years ago

      The Slimes never displayed much of anything correctly. That’s not a browser issue.

        • Grigory
        • 7 years ago

        Ooooh, the commies will downvote you for that one! 🙂

      • demalion
      • 7 years ago

      What I’ve found is that, since the 21 update (I now realize given the info from this news posting), I more often have Flash fail to work until I exit and restart Chrome, usually associated with using demanding GPU applications (like DX 11 games).

      I don’t know if this just growing pains for the new plugin system, or an artifact of continuing Flash instability, and/or game instabilities interacting with the graphics driver, bumping into its increased prioritization of security and stability outside of the sandbox along with GPU acceleration.

      So: perhaps restarting chrome and/or trying a driver version that is supposed to work better with Flash GPU acceleration might help with things.

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