Fresh off of fixing a problem that caused MacBooks to crash, Google's Chrome team announced Chrome 21 beta. Chrome updates are pretty common and often receive little fanfare, but today's beta has a couple treats worth mentioning: Native support for video chatting in the browser and better Google Cloud Print integration.
The video chatting support, which taps the WebRTC standard, lets Web apps use your camera and mic (with your permission) without requiring plug-ins. That's going to be handy when setting up a video chat with mom and pop and it can't hurt that the standard doesn't require Flash. In its blog post about the beta, Google also pointed out that the getUserMedia API lets developers do some things that strike us as Kinect-like. For example, the Stinkdigital Magic Xylophone lets people tap out tunes with their fingers and a webcam. On the printing side of things, Chrome now displays your Google Cloud printers in the print dialog. That includes your Google Drive share, mobile devices, and FedEx stores, as well as printers that support cloud printing.
Google also axed Chrome support for Mac OS 10.5 in the upcoming Chrome 22, which is already available to developers via the Dev channel. That's not as harsh as it sounds, as Mac OS 10.5 is nearly five years old.
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