It looks like Google wasn’t lying when they said they planned to more rapidly iterate their Chrome web browser. Today brought the initial release of version 7 of Chromium, the open source browser that Chrome is based on. If all goes as planned, this latest iteration should begin to trickle into the Chrome stream in just a few weeks.
It wasn’t even a week ago that version 6 of Chrome hit the beta stage. While the stable build of Chrome is still stuck on version 5 (5.0.375.126, to be exact), given the rate at which Google is refreshing the beta channel (just about daily), you can probably expect 6 to go stable shortly. Once that happens, builds of version 7 should start making their way into the dev branch of Chrome.
Google has stated that they hope to ship a new version of Chrome every six weeks now.
So what’s new in Chromium version 7? Not too much as far as I can tell right now. Google continues to tweak the UI of the browser a bit, but all of the major features seem the same. That said, version 7 of Chromium does feel noticeably snappier than the latest builds of version 6 of Chrome. Both the beta and dev channel versions of Chrome 6 have seemed slightly buggy over the past week or so. Chromium 7 feels much more solid.
One thing still not enabled by default in Chromium 7 are Chrome Web Apps. While you can get them to work by enabling the appropriate flag, Google clearly doesn’t feel they’re ready for prime time yet. The promise at I/O was to have them ready for “later this year,” so here’s hoping it’s something Google does choose to turn on in version 7 eventually.
But if not, it may only be another few weeks until Chromium 8.
Google Chrome is an based on the open source web browser Chromium which is based on Webkit. It was accidentally announced prematurely on September 1, 2008 and slated for release the following day. It premiered originally on Windows only, with Mac OS and Linux versions released in early 2010. Features include: Tabbed browsing where each tab gets its own process, leading to faster and more stable browsing. If one tab crashes, the whole browser doesn’t go down with it A...