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Moving toward Web standards reduces the inconvenience and security problems of browser plugins. But the new Hangouts software still uses Google's own Native Client plugin.
The newest Chrome for Windows is faster at some tasks, better at thwarting attacks, and renders fonts better. The 64-bit Chrome for Mac still is a work in progress, though.
Plug-ins like Silverlight and Google Earth will be harder to find in the Chrome Web Store as Google works to build a safer, faster Web browser.
Programmers who used plug-ins to invoke third-party software like password managers get a replacement technology built directly into Chrome 29.
Reliant on plug-ins like Silverlight, Unity, and Java? Make plans to move on or change browsers, because most plug-ins will be banned from Chrome in the next year.
With some fine-tuning in the way it sandboxes Flash, Google says that Chrome crashes have dropped significantly.
A powerful new Google+ photo app embodies a sticky situation facing Web developers: embrace the Native Client tech for high-performance Web apps and risk sites that only work for Chrome users.
Google releases the first developer version of its Native Client software to give Web apps the speed of native apps. It wants programmers to try it out, and Adobe looks interested.