So many of us place our online safety in the hands of Google. After all, Google makes the OS that runs Android mobile devices, the web browser on our PCs, phones and tablets, and of course there is the search engine. As a result, Google is pretty hot on security issues. To this end, it has a bug-finding bounty scheme, in which Google pays independent programmers and security researchers hard cash for finding security related bugs in its apps, such as Chrome. Over the last few years Google has paid out over $1 million in bounties, mainly for security issues found in the desktop version of Chrome.

But now Google has started to pay money to those who are finding bugs in the Android version of Chrome. Each of the seven bugs fixed in this version were rewarded with $500 from Google. Among these are fixes for vulnerabilities which exposed Android APIs to JavaScript and a bug that allowed cookie theft by malicious local Android apps.

As well as the bug fixes Google has also been improving the security features of Chrome for Android by strengthening the sandbox technology. “Sandboxing” is a technique which helps keep any malicious mobile websites isolated and doesn’t let them affect or impact the rest of the browser or the OS.

The only wrinkle is that this new “innovative multi-process architecture” that makes the sandboxing better is only available for devices with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean.

Other changes to Chrome for Android M18.1 include YouTube fixes. Now video controls work in full screen mode and videos continue playing after a screen lock/unlock. Also, Google has modified the way it checks your location-aware preferences. Chrome now uses the system-level Google apps location setting. Finally, Chrome will now work better with third party keyboard apps (e.g., third-party IMEs).

You can get the latest Chrome for Android from Google Play. Do you use Chrome rather than the default browser? Let me know your opinion on it by leaving a comment below.

Gary Sims
Gary has been a tech writer for over a decade and specializes in open source systems. He has a Bachelor's degree in Business Information Systems. He has many years of experience in system design and development as well as system administration, system security and networking protocols. He also knows several programming languages, as he was previously a software engineer for 10 years.