By Craig Buckler

What’s New in Chrome 28

By Craig Buckler

Who needs a six-week old Chrome 27? Chrome 28 has arrived and is ready to download. Click the tool icon followed by About Google Chrome or head to Let’s see what’s been added to the world’s most-used browser

Goodbye Webkit, Hello Blink

Chrome 28 is the first edition to use Google’s new Blink rendering engine. Enter chrome://version/ in the address bar and you’ll see Blink version 537.36. It was beaten off the starting blocks by Opera 15 but what’s a week between browser friends?

Blink is a fork of the Webkit engine and you’re unlikely to spot any major differences. The -webkit- prefix is still required for many CSS3 and JavaScript properties, rendering is identical and I’m yet to discover new Web Inspector features. Even the user agent remains much the same (not that user agent strings have a practical use)…

Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.2; WOW64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko)
Chrome/28.0.1500.71 Safari/537.36

You may receive a small speed boost thanks to the new threaded HTML parser and pipelined page loading, but I doubt it’ll be noticeable in real-world use.

@supports Support

The @supports rule allows you to test for browser feature support in CSS3, e.g.

@supports (text-shadow: 0 0 5px #000) {
	.blur-text {
		color: transparent;
		text-shadow: 0 0 5px #000;

The rule is available in Firefox, Opera 12 and Opera 15 so it’s finally becoming a practical option for web developers.

Rich Notifications

rich notificationsPerhaps the most important new feature is rich notifications for Chrome apps and extensions. The alert windows can display formatted text, images and actions buttons directly inside the pop-up — refer to the API documentation and sample application for more information.

The feature is currently available on Windows with Mac and Linux support coming soon. Whether it’ll be used for anything beyond Gmail is another matter. It’d be great for an RSS Reader, though, Google!

HTML5 Fullscreen API on Android

You can now enable a browser Fullscreen API on your mobile version of Chrome. That possibly makes more sense than a desktop browser and will be a bonus for HTML5 game developers.

Other than 16 fixed security issues, that’s it for Chrome 28. Nothing particularly exciting for web developers, but it’ll be interesting to see how Blink evolves during the next few months.

  • Hmm, much better update, Let’s check how this works.

  • Michael Chang

    The statement “rendering is identical” is not true. I had to close Chrome the other day; when I relaunched it the next day, I noticed that entire swaths of my web app’s layout were broken. I had to comment out various properties (related to the Flexible Box Module) in my CSS in order to restore sanity to my UI. Furthermore, I’ve noticed that all ‘select’ elements now have a different appearance: they used to look okay, but now the background gradient used to render the element is so over-applied that it almost appears inset (vs. outset of beveled, like they used to be). Lastly, the ‘search’ input type has been completely redrawn: it no longer has rounded corners, and the magnifying glass icon is ugly compared to the WebKit version. I had to tweak my CSS to revert the search box back to it’s former appearance, although it’s still not quite as nice looking as it used to be.

    Those are my first-glance observations over the course of about a day. I’m positive that there are more oddities and glitches. Definitely not happy with Blink right now.

  • Mkv

    Still, no correction for the ugly rendering of web fonts (like Google Fonts). In smaller sizes the fonts still look like having been printed by eight-needle dot matrix printers. All modern browsers except Chrome render them without problems.

  • I feel different. Using chrome I feel very fast page loading speed and convenience. I like it

  • tweakradje

    Is Chrome 28 not reading registry policies anymore? Bad Google.

  • Ever since this update, I’ve found that Chrome doesn’t properly preserve the aspect ratios of videos from the BBC iPlayer (and some other video sites). I don’t know where this bug is coming from, and whether it’s specific to me, but it’s making me shift back towards Firefox again…

  • So I guess this new Blink engine is responsible for breaking smooth scroll (with mouse wheel) on half the pages online. As for the Web Inspector, plenty of new “features” show up when editing HTML inline: vast horizontal scrollbars fully overlaying the last line of text, cursor jumping to the middle when typing at the end…

    I just hope this goes back to normal in future releases. Come on Google.

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