Google has released Chrome 14 to the Chrome beta testing channel, which includes, among other new features, the initial beta release of Google’s “Native Client” technology, first announced in 2010.
If you’d like to try out Chrome 14 beta, head on over to the beta downloads page.
Chrome 14 has several improvements including the much better OS X Lion integration we mentioned previously, along with print-preview support for Mac OS X users. But possibly the biggest news is that Google’s Native Client technology is getting closer to prime time.
The problem for web app developers is that thus far Native Client is only available in Chrome. Google has created an API, dubbed Pepper — Native Client is abbreviated NaCl, which is also shorthand for table salt, get it? — which allows the browser to talk to Native Client and means that any web browser could, in theory, implement it. Thus far, however, none have.
For now, if you want to test out some Google’s sample code, grab the latest Chrome beta and head on over to the Native Client demo page. In my testing Native Client was indeed quite speedy, but running it for any length of time sent my laptop’s fan into overdrive.
While Native Client is still a beta release, if it catches on with developers and other browsers embrace it, it could open the doors for a whole new generation of faster, more powerful web apps.