Google Chrome stable lands on cloud 9

Google upgrades stable of Chrome browser to version 9, opening hardware accelerated 3D graphics, Google Instant in the Omnibar, and Chrome Web app store to all Chrome users.

Along with the major Android news from Mountain View, Calif., this week, Google has pushed version 9 of Chrome out of the beta nest. Available for Windows, Mac, and Linux, Chrome 9 stable marks the spread of WebGL support, debuts Google Instant in stable Chrome's search/location bar, and opens the Chrome Web Store for Chrome-based apps to all users.

WebGL support has been available to Chrome users in the dev and beta channels for some time now. What it means for people on the stable branch is that they will now be able to check out 3D animations that are getting a power boost from their computer's hardware without requiring additional software. Google has put together a series of demos to show off what WebGL does. You can also check them out in other browsers that support WebGL, such as Firefox 4 beta and Safari. Though Opera is part of the group that's developing WebGL, Opera 11 doesn't yet support it. Microsoft has no plans for incorporating WebGL into Internet Explorer 9.

Google Instant is the name given real-time updates that appear in your search results as you enter a query, changing on the fly. Changing "battle" to "battles" will see your search jump from war-related returns to Battlestar Galactica, depending on your browsing history. By making Instant available to all users from the location bar, Google is helping to ensure that users will begin seeing the location bar as a replacement for the search bar.

The Chrome Web Store applies to the smallest portion of Google users, though it's still an interesting feature that's now made its way to all Chrome users. Best suited for the Chrome OS, the Chrome Web Store app-ifies the work of Web site publishers that have turned their sites into site-specific, Chrome-only apps.

Of the nine security fixes that Google also announced in Chrome 9 stable, most notable was a "critical" fix that addressed an audio bug found by Reddit gamers playing Z-Type. The full changelog for Chrome 9 can be read here.