Google has revealed that we might see the first Blink rendering engine powered Chrome stable build in around ten weeks. This comes just a day after Google announced its plans to switch from WebKit to Blink in its Chrome web browser. Blink is the new rendering engine by Google and is a forked version of WebKit designed to suit the need of Google.
Apparently, Chromium (the project behind Chrome) uses a different multi-process architecture unlike other WebKit based browsers and over the year of Chrome development, this has led to increased complexity. Google wants to remove this complexity and speed up development of Chrome and Chromium projects, thus the switch to Blink.
Chrome developers told the dev community in a Q&A panel that Blink is already integrated in the Canary builds of Chrome, and Google hopes to see the stable versions of its Chrome 28 with Blink for Android and the desktop within 10 weeks.
We can always see it Blink-powered Chrome earlier in the beta releases. You can watch the entire Q&A panel for more information on Blink below.
Google has announced that it is going to stop using the WebKit rendering engine in its Chrome web browser and will switch of Blink, which is a forked version of WebKit. According to Google, this move will speed up development of Chrome as it will reduce complexity.
Google is not alone in this open-source Blink rendering engine move, Opera has also revealed that it will also be contributing to Blink in the future and it will be the new rendering engine to power Opera browsers. To remind you, Opera had very recently switched to WebKit for its Android browser.
Why the change to Blink?
Although, Google sings all praises for WebKit in its Blink announcement blog post, company notes that Chromium (the project behind Chrome) uses a different multi-process architecture unlike other WebKit based browsers and over the year of Chrome development, this has led to increased complexity. Google wants to remove this complexity and speed up development of Chrome and Chromium projects.
“This was not an easy decision. We know that the introduction of a new rendering engine can have significant implications for the web. Nevertheless, we believe that having multiple rendering engines—similar to having multiple browsers—will spur innovation and over time improve the health of the entire open web ecosystem,” Adam Barth, Software Engineer, Google noted in a blog post.
What will be the implications for consumers or web developers?
In short term, very little for both, however in long term, consumers might notice some change on the front-end, developers will have to make the websites compliant with the Blink rendering engine and given the Chrome market-share and also Opera’s involvement, you can’t ignore it. Web developers can read more about Blink here.
As expected with any beta product, Chrome Beta has been updated to build 25.0.1364.33 in Google Play earlier today. It was officially released in the store just a few days ago and is aimed at those who are not afraid of using in-complete software, which gives them an edge in terms of features.
The current Chrome Beta release brings fixes for the following bugs:
- 164632 – Edit Bookmark is broken
- 167351 – Youtube video controls are lost after returning from fullscreen
- 167016 – Some Samsung Galaxy S2 freezes
- 168062 – Double tapping on non-zoomable sites scrolls the page to the top briefly before returning to original position
- 167379 – Sometimes tabswitcher is frozen
- 166998 – Tab content stretched out while returning to it through side swipe gesture
- 168632 – Crash – Stack Signature: TabAndroidImpl::FromWebContents
- 168388 – Sync signed in info text’s font size is too small
- 168430 – Bookmark star icon doesn’t turn grey/white immediately after bookmarking URL /deleting URL from bookmarks
There are still the following issues left, which will keep getting fixed in the coming days:
- Performance is sluggish, noticeably on Galaxy Nexus and Nexus S
- Frequent freeze on devices with specific versions of Qualcomm GPU driver
- Text autosizing may break formatting on some sites
- Video continues playing after exiting fullscreen on android phones
- [HTC Droid DNA] Getting crash on tabswitcher mode
- 163439 – yahoo.com page links are not working
- 166233 – Cannot submit comments on facebook posts or pictures
- 165244 – Text handler jumps or disappears when moving
- 162486 – iframe scrolling broken
- 158633: Tap disambiguation overaggressive
- 169910 – Flickering while opening new tab
If you still missing all the action, you can grab the download of Chrome Beta from Google Play.
Google seems to be planning to take Google Now from just Android devices to desktop computers. A recent code revision to Chromium project seems to suggest the same. Although it might not be a substantial proof of the Google Now’s arrival on Chrome, but it does hint that Google is thinking about it.
Spotted by Google+ user François Beaufort in Chrome code reviews, the Issue 11412291 is suggesting that Chrome will show Google Now cards using the built-in Chrome notifications.
Here is the full description of the code review:
Creating a skeleton for Google Now for Chrome implementation. The CL creates the top-level structure for showing Google Now cards in Chrome via Chrome Notifications. The implementation lives behind -enable-google-now-integration flag.
On being asked about the same by The Next Web, Google said it has nothing to announce it this point and added the following:
We’re always experimenting with new features in Chrome but have nothing to announce at this time.
Google Now might or might not arrive on Chrome, but it does, it will indeed be a great addition to all the Chrome users, whether or not they are Android users.
When the world is talking about cheap tablets, Google along with Acer touched a new low with new Chromebook pricing. Yes, it is even cheaper than the recent Samsung Chromebook ($249) at $199.
The search giant just took the wraps off Acer C7 Chromebook, which comes with a 11.6-inch 1366x768p display, Intel processor, 320GB of hard disk space and Chrome OS. The device reportedly lasts 3.5 hours on the battery and packs Ethernet and Wi-Fi connectivity.
There are 3 USB2.0 ports, 1HDMI port and VGA out. C7 Chromebook weighs just 1.4 kgs and measure 1inch thick.
Sundar Pichai, SVP, Chrome & Apps noted on the official Chrome blog:
“Creating a better, simpler computer and making it available for everyone is at the core of the Chromebook vision. It’s exciting to see people using Chromebooks as the perfect additional computer in the home, and we continue to work with our partners to make them easy-to-use and more affordable. Today, we’re delighted that our partner Acer is introducing a new addition to the Chromebook family: the new Acer C7 Chromebook.”
The Acer C7 will be available starting tomorrow for $199 in the U.S. on Google Play, BestBuy.com and rolling out this week in select Best Buy stores. In the U.K., it’s available on Google Play, Amazon UK, PC World and Currys.
Google adds that it is working hard to bring it to more countries soon.
This is the second consecutive Chromebook launch in the recent days after Samsung Chromebook.
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