What you need to know about Chrome 25

browserIf you use Google Chrome, you should know about the important new security updates and controls included in the newest update. Also, Chrome 25 also adds a new capability that might bring some changes to the Web in the future.

Here’s what you need to know about Chrome’s latest update:

1. Chrome 25 has a new security feature that blocks silent add-on installations. What are add-ons? They’re small programs meant to be extensions of the browser to allow a useful feature to run. But, in some cases, third parties are silently installing these extensions without what Google feels is “proper acknowledgement from users.” These add-ons can also serve malicious purposes. Hackers can use add-ons to secretly track the information users enter on the web.

With the latest update, users can approve a silent-installed extension by clicking in the dialog box that appears when Chrome blocks the add-on. While it might seem like a little bit of a hassle, for the added security, it’s worth it.

2. The update patches 22 vulnerabilities. Vulnerabilities are bugs and security gaps in the browser. Interestingly, Google pays researchers for finding vulnerabilities as part of its Chrome Vulnerability Reward Program (what the PCWorld calls Google’s “bug bounty program”). Of the 22 vulnerabilities fixed in this release, nine of them are considered a “high” threat, eight are “medium,” and five are “low.”

3. Google disabled MathML in Chrome 25. MathML, or Mathematical Markup Language, is a method of describing Web pages. If you’re a Web developer, you might find this an important change, but for the average user it’s an invisible one so don’t worry.

4. Chrome 25 now has speech recognition support. This means that developers can integrate speech recognition capabilities into their Web apps. Google has a demo so you can see what this might look like (note: you need Chrome, of course, to make it work). So, while this feature might not be pages yet, don’t be surprised if you see it in the future.

If you don’t have Google Chrome but want to give it a spin, you can download it here. If you already have Chrome, it will automatically update to the latest version so keep an eye out for those silent add-on approvals.

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