What’s New in Chrome 27

Craig Buckler
Craig Buckler

Chrome 27 was released on May 22, 2013. You probably have it but can check by clicking the tool icon, then About Google Chrome. If all else fails, download the new version from google.com/chrome.

It’s rare to find radical new features in Chrome but there are a few hidden gems…

Increased Speed

Google has improved page rendering by 5% using “smarter behind-the-scenes resource scheduling”. In other words, it’ll use more of your idle network connection to download stuff.

Google claims:

our estimates show that when you add up those saved seconds across all Chrome users, it totals to more than 510 years of people’s time saved every week

Hmmm. I’m sure it’s technically amazing. Shame you won’t notice.

HTML5 Date Input Types

Chrome 27 has some interesting support for HTML5 inputs including date, datetime-local, month, week and time types. You can now define auto-suggest lists so users can quickly select key dates and times, e.g.

<input type="date" list="days" />
<datalist id="days">
	<option label="Chrome 27 released">2013-05-22</option>
	<option label="Craig's birthday">2013-09-05</option>
	<option label="New Year's Eve">2013-12-31</option>

A demonstration page is available at demo.agektmr.com/datalist/

Developer Tool Updates

The Developer Tools window can now be docked to the right — useful for those using wide-screen monitors. It’s a little difficult to spot, but hold down the dock icon in the lower-left of the console window and a menu will appear.

Another interesting new feature: you can right-click any URL on the network tab and select “Copy as curl”. This places a full curl command for that resource into the clipboard. Admittedly, it’s a little geeky but could certainly be useful for replicating automated page tests.

Finally, the console can now be filtered to show just errors, warnings, logs and debug messages.

Sync FileSystem API

This feature is mainly of use to those developing for Chrome OS. The Sync FileSystem API is a new offline storage API for Chrome packaged apps which automatically synchronizes stored data across clients via Google Drive. More information is available at the Chrome Apps reference page.

A Better Omnibox

I still hate the name, but Chrome’s snazzy address bar has improved predictions and spelling corrections.

Squished Bugs

A total of 27 issues and 14 security holes were fixed were fixed in Chrome 27 with $14,633 paid to to eagle-eyed bug hunters.

Goodbye Webkit

Chrome 27 is the last version of the browser to use the Webkit engine. Chrome 28 will use Blink although, since it’s a fork of Webkit, we shouldn’t see radical differences.

That said, Google has already removed 8.8 million lines of redundant code. Wow. Is there anything left?

Blink permits Google to add experimental features such as Lazy Block Layout which speeds up loading by concentrating on the visible part of the page. In a recent demonstration, rendering a large page was reduced from four seconds to 32 milliseconds.

Chrome 28 should appear in July 2013.