Chrome 25 Update Fixes 22 Flaws, Blocks Silent Add-Ons & Adds Voice Recognition

23 February 2013, 5:33 pm EST By Alexandra Burlacu email: Mobile & Apps

Google updated its Chrome browser to version 25, patching 22 vulnerabilities and introducing a new security feature that prevents add-ons from silently installing.

With the new version of Chrome, users can now also tell their browser what to do, as Chrome now sports voice recognition support.

The new security feature is notable, as it automatically disables third-party add-ons that other software quietly installs. Add-ons or "extensions," as Google calls them, that third-party software previously installed will no longer be allowed to run either. When Chrome blocks the add-on, however, it will display a button in a dialog box to allow users to approve the silent-installed extension if preferred.

Google first started limiting add-ons back in July 2012 with its Chrome 21, which blocked add-ons hosted on a third-party website. From then on, only add-ons from Google's official distribution channel, the Chrome Web Store, were allowed.

In terms of voice recognition, the new version of Chrome also adds the Web Speech Application Programming Interface (API), allowing websites and Web app developers to include speech recognition features in their creations. Web Speech API is based on JavaScript.

With the new addition, Chrome 25 users can now tell their browser what to do. Users can, for instance, compose an email via voice directly within Chrome 25.  As shown in a Google demo, users simply have to click on the microphone icon and start talking, then click the icon again when they're done. On the other hand, as high as the accuracy level may be, the demo shows no way to correct mistakes.

The feature will need more developers supporting voice recognition to gain any traction, but it is promising nonetheless. In specific types of applications it could actually prove quite useful.

Chrome version 25 sports other tweaks and enhancements as well, most notably stability and memory fixes. Chrome users who want to update to the latest version can do so by clicking on the three-line icon at the top right of the browser (below the X) and selecting the "About Google Chrome" option in the browser's main menu. The browser will check for updates and get the latest version available. Re-launch to complete the update. New users, meanwhile, can try out Chrome 25 by downloading the full version from Google's Chrome website.

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