Chrome 31 for Android brings new features, fix to security exploit worth $50,000
Google announced the promotion of Chrome 31 to the stable channel, available to general users. According to Google’s Chrome releases blog, Chrome 31 packs some neat new features, under the hood improvements, and a patch to close an exploit found at yesterday’s Mobile Pwn2Own hacking contest in Tokyo.
Here’s a breakdown of what’s new in Chrome 31:
- Support for KitKat printing – users can now print documents right from Chrome. The feature makes use of the printing APIs that Google introduced on KitKat. You will be able to print web pages over WiFi or through Google Cloud Print, and select options such as paper size or number of copies.
- Support for autofill using the requestAutocomplete Web API. This feature will let Chrome store details such as card numbers and address and send them over to retail sites when requested. This should really cut down on the time needed to place an order online.
- “Add to homescreen” web applications – you can now place shortcuts to web sites and web apps on your homescreen that open in their own process and can be managed in the task switcher. This enables creating web apps that behave more like native ones, as detailed by my colleague Gary Sims here.
- Unspecified “stability, performance, and security updates”.
The Chrome team gave a shoutout to Pinkie Pie, the security researcher that “pwned” Chrome yesterday at the Mobile Pwn2Own event. Pinkie Pie found two critical vulnerabilities in Chrome for Android that allowed him to compromise the browser on both the Nexus 4 and the Galaxy S4. For winning the challenge (and reporting the bug to Google), Pinkie Pie walked away with $50,000 in cash. It’s good to see that, just a day later, the Chrome team has patched the vulnerabilities and committed the change to the stable channel.
Download or update Chrome for Android 31 from the Play Store, ICS or higher required.