Google on their quest for the best web browser in the world, have yet another version that has hit the beta channel that is designed around improving two of Chrome's key aspects: speed and security. The first change in Chrome 17 beta is the ability for pages to start loading in the background before a user has even finished typing a URL into the Omnibox address and search bar.
Dominic Hamon, a software engineer at Google explains: "If the URL auto-completes to a site you're very likely to visit," he explained when announcing the browser update. The pre-rendering makes the full site show up almost instantly, according to Google. Google have also introduced an extension to its Safe Browsing technology, which protects users against malicious downloads by analysing executable files, including Windows .exe and .msi files, for known malware.
With this new extension, Chrome will issue a warning if a certain file appears to be malicious and will also alert the user if a file is downloaded from a website with a poor reputation for hosting malware-infected files. What this does, is protect users from the "social engineering" type of threat, such as anti-virus products being offered online, but it's still up to the user to proceed with the download or discard it.
Google's database is currently small, but it should built up as the feature slides into the stable release. Chrome 17 beta also includes the usual mix of bug fixes, additionally, Google updated the browser's Stable channel to version 16.0.912.75, closing three high-risk security holes. Download links are below: