Google has announced the release of Chrome 21 to the beta channel for Windows, Mac, Linux and Chrome Frame. And while the new build won’t revolutionise your life overnight, it does include support for a couple of new APIs which will make for richer web experiences in the future.
The first of these, the WebRTC getuserMedia API, allows users to give web access to their camera and microphone from within the browser, no plugin required. And a few web apps already show some of the creative possibilities: Paul Neave’s “Webcam Toy” uses WebGL fragment shaders to apply real-time special effects to the video, for instance.
And of course there’s the usual bundle of less exciting (but still very necessary) bug and security fixes.
Elsewhere, the big news wasn’t so much what Google were adding to Chrome, as what they were taking away: when Google’s Jason Kersey announced the release of Chrome 22 to the Dev Channel, he revealed that from this build Google Chrome will no longer support OS X 10.5, aka Leopard. If that’s an issue for you then you’ll have around 3 months to upgrade (or choose a new browser) before Chrome 22 becomes the stable release.