05 November 2012

What’s new in Chrome 24

Apparently not a lot, interface-wise. Most of the changes in this version are under the hood, covering standards support, from the “resolution” media query and the <datalist> element to Shadow DOM and MathML, and new extensions APIs, for example for capturing the contents of a tab.

If you’re interested in the performance of the browser, Chrome has a built-in about-page for visualizing it, chrome://performance/ – similar to telemetry in . You also need to turn on the flag called ‘Enable performance monitoring’ for the data to be gathered as you use the browser. This page has been redesigned in version 24 with a style more inline with the other setting pages in Chrome. It features three controls on the left for the time range (hourly, daily, weekly, etc.), type of metric to display (CPU usage, memory, network load and time to load page or to startup the browser) and the events (software updates, crashes and freezes or extension installs/uninstalls) and on the right four graphs based on the four metrics. Unfortunately I don’t see a way to export this data in order to analyze it and some useful information (like the number of tabs opened at that time) is still missing.

Google Chrome 24 Performance visualization

Google Chrome 24 Action box default menuThere has also been some work on the ‘Action Box’ experiment after version 23; for one the + button has been replaced with a more recognizable arrow pointing down. After clicking on the entry ‘Find places to share’ you will be taken to a dedicated section for Web Intents apps in the Chrome Web Store. The selection is somewhat limited, but you can one-click-install web intents for sharing like you would with extensions. Afterwards you will find them in the Action Box menu as new entries. The problem with this is that the new ‘extensions’ have very limited functionality: they only share the URL of the current page with the app/website, but not the title; this makes them far less useful than regular extensions or even JavaScript bookmarklets. For now they don’t bring much value to users – and fittingly this experiment has been rolled back and it’s off by default. If you want to try it out you need to enable it from the internal flags page. Google Chrome 24 Web Store selection for sharing web intents

Google Chrome 24 Action box menu with Web IntentsOther small changes include a new flag enabling password generation for account creation pages in the browser. I didn’t see this in action yet, as I’m using LastPass for that. And at some point, the RSS feed viewer introduced in version 21 and still present as of today in the stable channel has been removed, and only shows the bare XML version of the feed – another reason to keep using bookmarklets.


  1. cant agree more. internet explorer and opera should be ashamed and better catch up on mathml supports. the world’d be so much nicer if all main stream browsers support mathml natively without the need of javascript.

    1. Well, Opera is planing to switch their rendering engine to WebKit in the near future, so that part of the problem will be solved.