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Chrome 18 Released

By Matt Simpson - Saturday, April 07, 2012

It used to be simple. You wanted to get on the internet; you clicked the internet explorer icon on your windows PC. Then along came Netscape. It offered many of the same features as Microsoft’s IE, but also had many features that IE did not. It also ran somewhat faster in many situations. This was a time when each kilobit counted as most people were using dial up modem connections.  Microsoft was very troubled to find that people were using their operating system and not their web browser. They tried some less than scrupulous practices to try to ensure that people continued to use their web browser and were later called out by regulators for their unfair practices regarding how they attempted to force users to browse the web with their own software.

Today, there are many browsers for the web user to choose from. Internet Explorer still exists, but it is as likely as not today that people will be using another of the web browsers available. The most common alternative browsers are one from Opera, Mozilla, and Google. These browsers have a split share of the market, with fans loyal to each. However, the one that most people find to do things better than the others is Google’s Chrome. It has some of the most advanced browser features when it comes to security and usability. It is also one of the best performing browsers in most cases.

Modern Web Browsers

In those old days, about the only thing a web browser had to do was to load and display HTML text and the occasional image. Now they are essentially a full media browser connected to the internet. Instead of simply viewing text they are also responsible for online animations, videos that may be in high delimitation and full screen with surround sound audio. They also play music and other streaming audio. Full screen animation or even 3D graphics can now be used within a web browser. Games that were once complete off line titles can now be played within the web browser over the internet. The web browsers can also be used for productivity, such as the cloud based office products or Google’s own docs’ software.


Google’s Chrome is one of the best browsers for many people simply due to its ability to sync with the other Google account features so many uses. Chrome can sync bookmarks and even search history, so no matter where you are logging in, you can logon to your Google account and have everything available by synchronizing with the Google account. This makes it one of the most powerful cloud based internet systems. Google, taking a cue from the trouble Microsoft had, Google allows you to sync their account information regardless of browser, but you will get more functionality by using the Chrome Browser.

Chrome 18

One of the few places that the Google has been behind the very best from Opera and Mozilla’s competition in this market has always been the use of GPU acceleration. While there was some off loading to the GPU in some of the recent Chrome builds, this represents the first time the entire HTML canvas was available as a GPU accelerated piece. This build also adds a software WebGL function, so older PC’s with GPU’s that could not be tasked with the kind of 3D rendering the page requires could still fall back on the CPU to do the computations. This would certainly result in a less than optimal display speed of the content in question; it would allow it to be viewed where it otherwise would simply be unable to view the content.

The 18th revision of Chrome isn’t just about the tie in to graphics accelerators but also fixes 9 different bugs that couldn’t be easily patched. There are also some changes that help Chrome to address non specific security threats. Google has made changes to harden the browser against the most common kind of attacks the browser is likely to suffer from, even if no specific attack has been found.

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