What’s in the latest Chrome update? Big performance boost, tab search and tab actions, native app for new Macs

Google this week released Chrome 87, boosting performance with “the largest gain … in years” and featuring a reworked user interface for the browser’s built-in PDF viewer.

The Mountain View, Calif. company also paid out more than $42,000 in bounties to security researchers who reported some of the 33 vulnerabilities addressed in Chrome 87. Ten of the bugs were marked “High,” Google’s second-most-serious threat level. (Critical vulnerabilities are very unusual in Chrome.) A large number of the bounties — seven of the 10 tagged High — had not been yet given a dollar amount, so the actual payout will certainly be significantly higher than the acknowledged amount.

Because Chrome updates in the background, most users can finish the refresh by relaunching the browser. To manually update, select “About Google Chrome” from the Help menu under the vertical ellipsis at the upper right; the resulting tab shows that the browser has been updated or displays the download process before presenting a “Relaunch” button. People new to Chrome can download version 87 for Windows, macOS and Linux directly. The Android and iOS browsers can be found in the Google Play and App Store e-markets, respectively.

Google updates Chrome about every six weeks; the previous upgrade was released Oct. 6.

Tabs at the top of the list

Google rarely trumpets a Chrome release with an accounting of new features and functionality, but it broke with precedent for Chrome 87, which it bragged about in a long post to the browser’s blog and another to the Chromium team’s blog.

“This month’s update represents the largest gain in Chrome performance in years, thanks to many under-the-hood improvements,” wrote Matt Waddell, director of product for Chrome, in the Nov. 17 post.

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