Google released a new version of Chrome today to the Stable channel. Chrome 17 [release notes] is an evolution bringing a couple nice enhancements, including new Extensions APIs, updated Omnibox pre-rendering, download scanning protection and some minor under-the-hood tweaks. Chrome’s download manager now checks executable files upon downloading by pinging Google’s servers for information on the originating site, which results in safer downloading. Omnibox, the browser’s address bar that doubles as the search box, has also been tweaked.

“When you start typing in the Omnibox and the URL autocompletes to a site you’re very likely to visit, Chrome will prerender the page, so it will appear faster–sometimes, even instantly–as soon as you hit Enter,” wrote Google in a blog post (this feature appeared in Chrome betas a month ago).

Google will also get Chromebook users up to the speed with frequent Chrome OS updates. The next Chrome OS update will bring an improved Verizon 3G activation portal and a brand new image editor, allowing Chromebook users to view, edit, and share photos on the web right out of the box. The search giant issued the first public beta yesterday of Chrome for Android 4.0 devices. Even though it lacks Adobe Flash plug-in, we walked away impressed with its simplified interface design, focus on search and tabbed browsing, seamless sync with desktop and great experience overall.


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