Chrome 32 fights back against tab noise

Which of my two dozen browser tabs is that obnoxious sound coming from? The latest Chrome stable will tell you, while offering a lengthy list of other fixes.

Seth Rosenblatt Former Senior Writer / News
Senior writer Seth Rosenblatt covered Google and security for CNET News, with occasional forays into tech and pop culture. Formerly a CNET Reviews senior editor for software, he has written about nearly every category of software and app available.
Seth Rosenblatt
2 min read
Tabs in Chrome 32 Beta will notify you via icons when they're streaming audio. Google

Think of it as Google's annoying horsefly detector, where the irritating insect is one of your dozens of tabs streaming audio.

A new feature in Tuesday's update to Google Chrome brings to the masses a tab indicator to tell you when a site is streaming audio. The feature will add a speaker icon to tabs streaming audio, a red record button when a tab is using your Webcam, and a Google Cast icon when you're sending a tab to your Chromecast.

Google Chrome 32 brings to the fore other new features worth mentioning. It calls out potentially malicious downloads in a more visible way, so you know when the browser is blocking you from downloading something dangerous. To the Windows 8 Metro mode, it brings the Chrome OS desktop launcher, making it easier to see Chrome Apps. However, there are several known bugs in Windows 8 Metro, including problems with the keyboard, profile switching and support on legacy computers that don't have hardware acceleration. These problems do not affect the desktop mode.

Chrome 32 also offers an interesting option called Supervised Users, which allows the main Chrome account to offer sub-accounts. A supervised user can have his or her Web access restricted by site, and browsing activity can be monitored through a control panel.

Supervised users brings a helpful feature from Chrome OS to the main Chrome browser. Google

Chrome 32's security fixes included one fix that stops an unprompted sync with an attacker's Google account, and another one that prevents address bar spoofing in Chrome for Android.

Chrome 32 has an unresolved conflict with Symantec's Norton security software, including its toolbar.

Chrome's new interface for Windows 8's "Metro" mode also takes a cue from Chrome OS with its desktop launcher for Chrome Web Apps. Google