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Google spins out happy-clappy autofill Chrome 6 beta

Is that a faster V8 in your browser leg, or are you just pleased to see me?

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It’s been a bumper beta 24 hours here on the brewing-browsers El Reg desk, after Google shoved out a Chrome 6.0.472.33 build yesterday.

A developer build of Chrome 6 has been available since June, and now Google has effectively promoted most of that code to beta status for Windows, Mac and Linux fans. But there are exceptions.

The PDF reader plug-in that Google recently melded into the dev build of Chrome 6 is one such feature missing from the beta.

Mountain View has slotted the form autofill tool into its Chrome 6 beta, but the company was keen to stress that the feature will only work once a user confirms that data can be inserted into the form.

“For your security, any personal information stored in Chrome is safely stored and kept private until a user chooses to share the information with a website. Additionally, your credit card information is never saved without first asking you explicitly,” said Google software engineer James Hawkins.

Autofill data can now be synced, with the exception of credit card numbers, added Hawkins.

The synchronisation capabilities baked into the Chrome 6 beta include bookmarks, preferences and themes. But users have to be signed into a Google account to use the feature on Chrome on a particular computer, he noted.

Elsewhere, the Chocolate Factory has tweaked the interface to bring it into line with June’s dev version.

“We have streamlined the upper toolbar, made the Omnibox more approachable, and condensed all of our options into a single menu. We hope that these visual changes will make Chrome feel even simpler,” said Hawkins.

The beta has also turned up the speed dial, with Google claiming that the build is 15 per cent faster on its own V8 benchmark, and has seen the same improvement on the SunSpider benchmark.

It seems that browser makers continue to be minded about pushing their JavaScript engines ahead of the competition.

“Additionally, we’ve improved by 64 per cent on Mozilla's Dromeao DOM Core Tests,” he bleated.

Google has four channels for its Chrome browser code. It starts life in the extremely wobbly Canary lane, shifts to dev builds then reaches beta stage before finally hitting the stable release jackpot.

Chrome 6.0.472.33 is available for download here. ®

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