Chrome 25 Lands with Web Speech API, for the Future, and Extension Blocking, for Now

There are only a couple of noteworthy features in the latest Chrome

By on February 22nd, 2013 08:31 GMT

Google has pushed Chrome 25 to the stable channel, the latest version had already made its debut on Chrome OS devices. The latest Chrome comes with a couple of interesting new features, but nothing revolutionary.

The most useful is extension blocking, any extensions installed by third-party software will be disabled by default which should help keep Chrome cleaner and lighter.

Also interesting, potentially, is the Web Speech API which enables developers to "translate" voice into text.

The JavaScript API can come in handy in any number of apps, voice commands and voice search are already being used quite often on mobile devices.

Google has been experimenting with voice search in the browser for a while now, Google Search has had a "mic" button for a couple of years now, Google Maps as well.

Now, Google is expanding the feature and making it available to all developers via a standard API. Whether you'll be seeing any web apps with voice features any time soon is up to the developers.

It's safe to say Google hopes it will be popular, the newly announced Chromebook Pixel comes with three microphones to cancel surrounding noise and the noise of the keyboard as you type.

That's great for voice chat, obviously, especially since WebRTC is coming into its own, but it should also help quite a lot with voice recognition.

While the Web Speech API may prove interesting in the future, for now, the big feature in Chrome 25 is the extension filtering.

Plenty of software, antivirus software in particular, installs all sorts of add-ons and extensions in your browser sometimes not even asking, sometimes by burying the option somewhere you're unlikely to notice.

It's not just annoying, it's bad for the browsers. If the browser is slow because of these extensions, people are going to blame Google or Mozilla for it. Firefox introduced a feature to block automatic extension installs a long time ago, it's nice to see Google getting around to it as well.

As of Chrome 25, third-party software won't be able to install extensions without your approval. Likewise, existing extensions installed via this method will be disabled unless you specifically choose not to.

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