Chrome 29 Beta brings WebRTC and Web Audio API to Android, Omnibox enhancements, VP9 desktop support – TechCrunch


Google today released the first beta of Chrome 29 for desktop and Android. Most of the major changes in this update happen to the Android platform, which now supports the Web Audio API for audio processing and synthesis, and WebRTC, the future real-time communication API.

On the desktop (Windows, Mac, and Linux), today’s update introduces an adjustment to Chrome’s omnibox suggestions, which now take into account the recency of visited websites. The desktop version now also supports Google’s VP9 codec for WebM video playback.

It should be noted that the Web Audio API will currently only work on ARM devices that support NEON optimizations, a way to execute certain instructions on ARM chips that was introduced in the ARM Cortex-A8 processor. To see the Web Audio API in action, take a look at this demo. This should work on the desktop, where Chrome has long supported at least some aspects of this API, as well as iOS and the new beta of Chrome for Android.

Firefox, it should be noted, just implemented this API in its Nightly release channel last week.

Screenshot 10/07/2013 at 6:01:59 p.m.WebRTC, which enables real-time communication using video and audio without the need for plugins, is now also available in the beta version of Android. Chrome for the desktop was one of the first browsers to support this protocol. The more browsers that implement it, of course, the more developers will be interested in this technology, and now we are getting to the point where WebRTC is gaining critical mass. Chrome and Firefox now support it, although Microsoft continues to hold up with Internet Explorer 11 not yet supporting it.

To try WebRTC, check out Google’s video chat demo here.

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