The latest beta release of Google's Chrome shows the increasingly popular browser becoming more powerful by making the embedded Native Client (NaCl) framework on by default, the Web Audio API, and support for Mac OS X Lion features.

Native Client has been hailed as a step toward bringing Google's Chrome browser closer to the status of an operating system. Initially introduced as an experimental plugin, the NaCl is comparable to Microsoft's ActiveX -- basically, a way to get richer, faster, more powerful Web apps that epitomize a platform-independent cloud model (i.e., they'll run on Windows, Linux, Mac, etc.).

Specifically, the browser's runtime executes a binary of compiled C or C++ code (with more languages to come, according to Google's blog post), replacing the less secure and dependable JavaScript.

Google has acknowledged the infamous safety issues with such an approach, saying that Active X's "dependency on the user making prudent trust decisions is commonly exploited. ActiveX provides no guarantee that a trusted control is safe, and even when the control itself is not inherently malicious, defects in the control can be exploited, often permitting execution of arbitrary code."

 However, Google asserts that the sandbox approach characteristic to the Chrome project is only augmented with NaCl. "Native Client uses a double sandbox designed to protect resources on the user's system. This framework offers the safety of traditional web apps in addition to native performance benefits."

Critics have observed that NaCl is not likely to become a web standard like JavaScript, and Google itself released their other major new Chrome 14 feature -- the WebAudio API -- using JavaScript. This API allows for "advanced audio capabilities...audio effects such as room simulation and spatialization, allowing web developers to create even more interactive experiences and games."

The Web Audio API is a consequence of the increased audio potential of HTML5, and Google software engineer Chris Rogers is also the author of the W3C Audio Group Proposal submitted in May of last year, in which Rogers explains that HTML5's 'audio' element enables real-time audio streaming from web pages, while the Web Audio API "will be quite capable of supporting a large range of reasonably complex games and interactive applications, including musical ones."

Chrome 14 is the first version to encrypt all sync operations, so that your passwords, plug-ins, and bookmarks will be truly secure when synced. And those who use Chrome on a Mac will finally get the chance to access print preview and more multi-touch control features, as well as a number of less apparent fixes and optimizations for the OS. Window animations are now supported, for example, although fullscreen has yet to be implemented.

James Lee Phillips is a Senior Writer & Research Analyst for IBG.com. With offices in Dallas, Las Vegas, and New York, & London, IBG is quickly becoming the leading expert in Internet Marketing, Local Search, SEO, Website Development and Reputation Management. More information can be found at www.ibg.com. Dan Newlin is a former sheriff’s detective. He began practicing law with to help the injured. Attorney Dan Newlin and his team of professionals provided superior legal service for clients.