While the last few Chrome release candidates have focused on adding new features, Google is shifting the focus back to speed with the upcoming release of Chrome 17.
First noticed by testers of the most recent beta release of Chrome, Google now starts to pre-render pages as the user types them into the address bar according to the official Google Chrome blog. The feature has many similarities to the Google Instant tweak of the search engine. As Chrome watches what the user types and starts to auto-populate the result, it will choose to pre-render the most likely choice. For instance, a frequent visitor of this site will simply have to type “D” and watch the Digital Trends address autofill in the omnibar as well as watch the site start loading. The quicker page loads are most notable on frequently visited pages as well as bookmarked pages.
According to Peter Kasting, a software engineer at Google, Chrome isn’t analyzing synced data between machines or comparing potential matches against other Chrome user. It only analyzes the local data and makes predictions based on that information. Along with the addition of pre-rendering, Google Chrome 17 will also bring new improvements to the security of the browser. In the past, Google has simply protected users from sites that are frequently reported as offering malware. In Chrome 17, this protection will extend to the download manager.
By protecting users from malicious downloads, Google hopes to halt malicious sites from attempting to convince the user to download a bad file. Chrome will analyze executable files and offer a warning to the user before they attempt to load the file. Google accomplishes this by matching up downloads with sites that have proven to be malicious or dangerous to users in the past. However, Google recommends that users should be wary of all files that are downloaded and Chrome 17′s new security feature won’t be able to provide protection from all malicious files that exist on the Internet.