Faster than a speeding rabbit: speed, sync, and settings

February 17th, 2011

In the spirit of the lunar new year, we’re excited to kick off the Year of the Rabbit with a slew of enhancements in the Chrome beta channel. Today’s new beta includes a dramatic improvement in JavaScript speed, new password sync features, and entirely revamped browser settings.

In our new beta release, JavaScript is as quick as a bunny. With a new speed boost that we previewed in December, Chrome’s JavaScript engine V8 runs compute-intensive JavaScript applications even more quickly than before. In fact, this beta release sports a whopping 66% improvement on the V8 benchmark suite over our current stable release.

This release also includes a preliminary implementation of GPU-accelerated video. Users with capable graphics hardware should see a significant decrease in CPU usage. In full-screen mode, CPU usage may decrease by as much as 80%! This means better battery life so you can keep going and going like that pink bunny in the commercials.

For those of you who enjoy the convenience of saving passwords in Chrome, you can synchronize your saved passwords across multiple computers, along with your bookmarks, preferences, themes, and extensions. For added security, you can choose to encrypt your synced passwords with your own secret sync passphrase. To enable sync, visit the “Personal Stuff” section of Chrome’s settings dialog.

Speaking of settings, you’ll notice we have reworked the look and feel of the settings dialogs. Instead of opening in a separate window, they now open in a tab. More importantly, we’ve added two new settings features that make it easy to customize Chrome to your liking. Firstly, if you can’t remember where a particular pesky configuration setting is, simply type its name into the search box to see the settings that match as you type. Secondly, you can also now jump directly to most settings pages using their own dedicated URLs, without needing to navigate through a sequence of windows. Here’s a short video of the new settings interface in action:

As always, we’re eager to get your feedback and look forward to bringing this basket of beta-fortified carrots to the stable channel over the coming weeks! (For those of you keen for some fun and games in this Year of the Rabbit, we’ll leave you with the mind-bending #ThinkFastGame speed challenge to try out alongside our new beta.)

Posted by Jeff Chang, Product Manager and Min Li Chan, Product Marketing Manager