Chrome Beta gets Native C / C++ code support, Lion support

Chrome 14 is out in the so-called Beta channel (a pre-release build with slightly more bleeding edge features but not quite so stable as the main release) and gives web developers a number of interesting options for enabling more advanced web applications.

The first major feature, so far unseen in any other browser, is what’s being called “Native Client”. The Native Client interface uses a Google project entitled Pepper to provide bindings between JavaScript running in HTML 5 apps and C or C++ code. The thinking behind Native Client is that it allows re-use of existing libraries and source code that may already exist in C or C++, and provide this power to web apps running in a browser. Obviously security is a serious consideration here: the native code is run in a sandbox, much like each tab in Chrome runs in its own security environment. One of the most enticing possibilities this translates to is the ability to run native code within Chrome OS, support for which is coming soon.

Other features of the major Beta release include support for the Web Audio API, bringing high-level audio processing and synthesis into JavaScript; OS X Lion-specific features such as full screen support, and a whole bunch of experimental APIs.

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