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Chrome 21 Debuts with New Video and Audio API, 26 Bug Fixes

With this new release, Google's browser takes its first step towards implementing the WebRTC real-time communications standard.

Google on Tuesday released version 21 of its popular Chrome browser, complete with several new features and a raft of security fixes.

Perhaps most notable among the browser's new features is an API for high-quality video and audio communication.

Known as the getUserMedia API, the new technology "lets you grant Web apps access to your camera and microphone without a plug-in," explained Shijing Xian, a Google software engineer, in a Tuesday post on the Google Chrome Blog.

The getUserMedia API is actually just Chrome's first step towards implementing WebRTC, a new real-time communications standard that's designed to allow high-quality video and audio communication on the Web, Xian added. Cloud Print Integration

Also included in the new Chrome 21 release is deeper integration with Google's Cloud Print service.

"Now your printers in Google Cloud Print are integrated right into Chrome's print dialog, so you can easily print to your Cloud Ready printer, Google Drive, Chrome on your mobile device, or one of over 1,800 FedEx Offices," explained software engineer Robert Toscano in a blog post announcing the software's beta version last month.

Then, too, there's the browser's expanded support for gamepads and newly added support for high-resolution Mac Retina screens, Xian noted.

26 Security Fixes

Last but not least, Chrome 21 also brings 26 security fixes, including one rated "critical" and nine rated in the "high" severity category.

A total of only $2,000 was paid in rewards as part of Google's bug bounty program, however, since Google found the majority of the vulnerabilities itself, many of them using its AddressSanitizer tool, it said.

Ready to get Chrome 21 for yourself? It's now available as a free download from Google's Chrome site.

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