New Chrome beta offers auto-translation and better privacy

Google Chrome

Google has released a new beta version of its Chrome web browser, featuring enhanced privacy controls and automatic website translation.

The latest beta release gives users increased control over their privacy settings, on top of the existing incognito mode, which optimises settings on the computer in question so as not to leave a trace of websites visited or any downloaded files.

Users can now individually set up rules for how the browser handles cookies, images, JavaScript, plug-ins and pop-ups on a site-by-site basis. For example, a variety of different levels of permission can be set up, ranging from most trusted websites that are given full permission to save cookies and access plug-ins and the like through to untrusted sites that ask permission for everything.

Integration with Adobe Flash Player has also been improved thanks to the addition of a link to the the Adobe Flash Player Settings Manager, where users can view and control the local objects that Flash stores on their computer.

Perhaps the most interesting feature of the new beta, however, is its instant machine translation of webpages without the need for any browser extensions or plug-ins. When the language used by the site you're viewing differs from Chrome's default language setting, the browser will display a prompt asking if you'd like the page to be translated for you. You can also set Chrome to translate from certain languages by default without requiring permission.

"We hope that the development of online translation tools like this one will help make all the world's information universally accessible in an easy, frictionless way," Wieland Holfelder, Google's engineering director in Munich, wrote in a blog post. "Imagine reading a diversity of foreign language news sources in your mother tongue, or easily conducting online commerce across borders and languages."

Users already on the beta channel of Chrome will be updated automatically, according to Google. Alternatively, the beta can also be downloaded directly, though Google says it hopes to bring the new features to all Chrome users in the weeks to come.

"We're innovating quickly with Chrome, and continue to work towards our three central principles: speed, security and simplicity," Holfelder added. "With the new release, we also give users even more choice and control over their own privacy while surfing the web. The translate feature will hopefully open up the web for people to discover new, compelling content no matter what language it's written in."