Google is on the roll when it comes to its browser, having stamped out five stable releases this year alone. The latest stable version of Chrome 8 includes a built-in PDF viewer, better sync options, and support for the upcoming web apps.
The search giant promoted Chrome build 8.0.552.215) to the stable channel on Friday. Compared to the previous stable release, Chrome 8 includes over eight hundred bug fixes and stability improvements, including thirteen security updates.
It also contains a few new nice-to-haves worth mentioning.
The most prominent new feature is a built-in PDF viewer running in a sandboxed environment to ensure that faulty PDF documents cannot bring down the entire browser.
Also worth noting is support for the upcoming web applications that will be distributed on the Chrome Web Store which is scheduled to go live alongside Google Chrome OS.
Chrome’s sync options have been expanded to include apps, as seen in the below screenshot.
Additionally, a new flags menu has made its debut. Accessed by typing in "about:flags" in Chrome’s address bar, this feature lets you change Chrome’s hidden settings, including Instant Search, tabs, side tabs, WebGL 3D canvas rendering, cloud printing, GPU accelerated compositing, cross-site scripting protection, outdated plugin warnings, click-to-play for blocked plugins, and more.
Chrome’s hidden settings can be accessed by typing in about:flags into the address bar.
According to NetApplications, Chrome’s web usage share is on the rise, having crossed the 9.27 percent mark in November and making Chrome the third most-popular browser in use.
If you’re on the developer or beta channel, you’ll need to switch to the stable channel before you install this version of Chrome. Those of you already on the stable channel should see Chrome update itself automatically.
If not, hit the Wrench menu, choose About Google Chrome and hit the Update Now button. Alternatively, you can download stable Chrome 8 release for Mac OS X, Windows, and Linux here.