The latest version of Google Chrome Beta has been released. The update, which brings the browser up to version 22.0.1201.0, adds new features such as web app access to a device’s camera and microphone, as well as better gaming via support for standard video game controllers. The new version of Chrome will no longer support older versions of Mac OS X such as OS X Leopard.

The official Chrome blog reads, “In today’s Chrome Beta release, it’s now possible for you to grant web apps access to your camera and microphone right within the browser, without a plug-in. This is thanks to the getUserMedia API, which is the first big step for WebRTC, a new real-time communications standard that aims to allow high-quality video and audio communication on the web. The getUserMedia API also allows sites to create cool new experiences that weren’t previously possible in the browser. For example, Romuald Quantin and Magnus Dahlstrand at Stinkdigital have created a Magic Xylophone that you can play just by waving your hands in front of the camera.

The magic xylophone

The new API in operation

The new beta also improves support for Google Cloud Print. “Now your printers in Google Cloud Print are integrated right into Chrome’s print dialog, so you can easily print to your Cloud Ready printer, Google Drive, Chrome on your mobile device, or one of over 1,800 FedEx Offices.” The Gamepad Javascript API helps developers access input from any standard gamepad connected to the user’s machine, helping them create a richer platform for gaming.

New print dialogs

New print dialogs

Google recently added support for advertisements within extensions for the Chrome browser. This doesn’t mean that Google will be placing ads within the browser, but an extension, for example, can choose to place ads within it. Of course, some rules have been set in place to make sure that the feature isn’t exploited by developers of extensions. For instance, the user needs to be informed that the ads are being placed within the extension and that the ad doesn’t tamper with the functionality of the site being viewed. The developer also cannot force users to click the ad or submit personal information to it in order to access the extension.

Chrome is one of the most popular web browsers in the world alongside Mozilla Firefox and Internet Explorer. It has a dedicated fan base and has thousands of extensions. The browser is available for Mac, Windows, Linux, OS X, and more recently, iOS and Android. Google’s upcoming tablet, the Nexus 7, is all set to show off what the browser can do on a mobile platform. The latest version of Chrome beta can be downloaded here.

Tags: , , , , , , , ,