Chrome 53 has been released for Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems, but are there any real changes.
The latest version of Chrome fixed over 30 security issues present in the previous release, made more inroads in Google’s fight against Flash, and takes steps to improve battery life for notebook and laptop users.
Flash no more
Chrome 53 also shows that Google are tightening the noose against the outdated Flash extensions that are still prevalent on websites. Google claims that the kind of Flash used on desktops slows down the loading of web pages for users, and is a security vulnerability.
Chrome 53 begins, what Google hope will be, the final push to force web developers to start using HTML 5 as their default option when creating web pages. Google said back in August of Flash:
“This kind of Flash slows you down, and starting this September, Chrome 53 will begin to block it. HTML5 is much lighter and faster, and publishers are switching over to speed up page loading and save you more battery life. You’ll see an improvement in responsiveness and efficiency for many sites.”
Not so Power hungry
Chrome 53 has also seen improvements into the power usage of the world’s most used browser. Chrome has historically, been criticised for being a battery sucking power hungry behemoth of a browser when it wants to be. Obviously, that’s not such an issue if you’re plugged in, but if you are working off battery power, like I have to a lot of the time, then yes it’s an issue alright. It’s also a weakness that has been exploited by rival browsers such as Opera and Edge, who have highlighted their own battery saving performance versus Chrome.
Chrome’s updated browser however has tried to address that ‘power’ issue. Both CPU and GPU video playback has been improved, and Google claim to have tweaked the overall efficiency and power usage of the browser in general.
Any tweaks that Google take regarding battery performance are of course welcome, but only time will tell just how good the results are in the real world.
More money, more problems?
Finally, Google also paid out just under $60,000 to hackers who found and reported an abundance of security issues with the last release of chrome. 13 of the security issues that were fixed were rated as being of a high severity.
One person, a computer science student from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, was issued a cheque for US$7500 for filing a report about script injection in Chrome extensions.