Google rolls out a new version of its Chrome web browser for Windows, Mac, and Linux every six weeks, so it’s kind of hard to get as excited about Chrome 12 as, say, Firefox 4 or Internet Explorer 10. But today Google launched the latest stable release of its web browser and Chrome 12 does bring a few new features to the table, including:
- Support for hardware accelerated 3D CSS for improved web page and web app performance
- Better control over data stored locally on your computer including Adobe Flash Player cookies
- Ability to launch Chrome web apps from the Omnibox (URL bar)
- Warning messages before you download some malicious files
There’s one feature you won’t find in Google Chrome 12 though: Google Gears. The company is discontinuing support for its legacy software that allowed you to access some web content even while you’re offline and will instead provide similar features through HTML5 in the future. Unfortunately for now that means there’s currently no support for offline Gmail access in Google Chrome because Google hasn’t yet developed tools for caching Gmail locally with HTML5.
You can download Chrome 12 from the Google Chrome web site. If you’re already using Chrome 11 you can check for an update by clicking the settings button and choosing “About Google Chrome” from the drop-down menu to check for an update.