Google has launched Chrome 25 Beta for the desktop version of the browser and has teased several new features that could be a part of the more stable release. The beta version will have the exciting new Web Speech API that will have voice support, a new tab page with a search box and blocking of silent extension installations.

The Web Speech API is a feature that has got most excited to try out the beta. Google says that Web Speech, which is a JavaScript API, will help developers integrate speech recognition into their apps. Google has pushed voice support heavily on phones and is now bringing it to desktop version of its browser too. “Imagine if you could dictate documents, have a freestyle rap battle, or control game characters with your browser using only your voice. With today’s Chrome Beta release, this future is closer than you think,” wrote Google in its blog announcing the release of Chrome 25 beta.

Chrome 25 beta loaded with features

Chrome 25 beta loaded with features

The announcement of this beta comes only days after Google announced that it had merged the development cycles of Android and desktop version of Chrome. It is going to be a little challenging for developers to create web apps that will make optimum use of this new feature because after all, a phone would require voice commands more often than a desktop would.

Google also explained with a demo how the Web Speech API will work. You can check the demo out where you can learn how to dictate emails into Chrome after you have upgraded your browser to Chrome 25.

The other two user-specific features were already spoken about by Google in December. Chrome will now launch a search box in the new tab page and will also keep queries in the omnibox after a search is performed. The default search engine you use in your Chrome will appear as you hit ‘New Tab’ as Google will not be pushing its own engine in this update.

One of the most important updates the Chrome 25 beta brings along is the disabling of silent extension installation. Google had detailed this move out in a blog post in December and said that it would be retroactively removing all extensions installed using them.

Peter Ludwig, Product Manager, Google, had said that since extensions at times can influence Chrome's functionality and performance, users should be aware of what extensions were added to their browser. According to Ludwig, it had been possible thus far to silently install extensions into Chrome on Windows using the Windows registry mechanism for extension deployment. While the feature had originally been in place to let users add a useful extension to Chrome together with the installation of an application, it was abused by third parties. It has been revealed that third parties silently installed extensions into Chrome without a user's consent.

The  HTML5 Rocks Shadow DOM Tutorial

The HTML5 Rocks Shadow DOM Tutorial

For developers, Google has added Unprefixed support for Content Security Policy to help them reduce the risk of cross-site scripting and other content injection attacks. Developers can now use the unprefixed Content-Security-Policy HTTP header to define a whitelist of trusted content sources.

Chrome now also supports the Web Components Shadow DOM functionality. Google writes in the blog, “Web Components is a set of cutting edge standards that will make it possible to build reusable widgets for the web. Shadow DOM is a key part of Web Components that enables DOM tree encapsulation. Without it, widgets may inadvertently break pages by using conflicting CSS selectors, class or id names, or JavaScript variables.” You can check the HTML5 Rocks Shadow DOM Tutorial for more.

The Chrome 25 beta can be downloaded from here.

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