Google today released the latest stable version of its Chrome browser. Version 32 includes many of the features that recently arrived in the beta channel, including improved malware blocking and tab indicators for when a site is playing sound, accessing the webcam and sending video to your Chromecast. Google uses a speaker icon, blue rectangle and red dot to indicate these different functions.
Those indicators are a godsend for anybody who has ever tried to figure out which tab suddenly started playing music or a video. Google first started playing with this idea in early 2013, but the beta only got this feature in November.
This new version also includes Google’s new malware blocker, which arrived in the experimental Canary build of Chrome last October. With this, Google will automatically block any downloads its systems have flagged as malware.
For Windows 8 users, the new version now sports a new look in “Metro” mode (Google still uses that term, even though Microsoft itself has moved away from it and left it rather unclear what the new terminology should be). In Metro mode, Chrome now looks like ChromeOS with its integrated app launched on Windows. In previous versions, the Metro mode simply presented users with the regular Chrome interface. This never looked quite right, but with this new interface, Google is actually using the Metro mode to its advantage and is basically bringing ChromeOS to Windows.
Also new in this version is support for Chrome’s “supervised users” feature, which is officially still in beta. With this, family members can check on a kid’s browsing history, for example, and set up site restrictions through chrome.com/manage.
As always, this release also includes a good number of security fixes (21 in total), as well as stability and performance updates.