Google Releases Chrome Beta 2

Google has released Chrome beta 2. (Download it here.) If you, like me, loved the first incarnation of Chrome, then you'll certainly love this next version: it's 35 percent faster, and one of my biggest peeves with Chrome has been remedied--you can use the auto-scroll functionality where you push on the scroll wheel of your mouse and it creates an up and down scroller on the screen.

To answer the first question that likely comes to mind, yes, this beta of Chrome is the faster browser currently available. (Even faster than Safari 4, which was heralded as the fastest browser available when it came out just a month or two ago.) However, Chrome still lacks the ad blocking features in Firefox, the wealth of add-ons in IE and Firefox, and the level of security you come to expect in IE and Firefox. Lastly, since Chrome is still a relative newcomer, many web designers aren't testing in Chrome, so not all websites will display properly.

Still, it's really fast. And if browsers continue to become not just a source for surfing the web but also a gateway to using cloud-based apps, speed will be key. (Of course, security is right alongside it, which Chrome certainly needs to work on.)

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