Google’s Chrome web browser now counts 160 million users in 41 nations, the company announced during day two of Google I/O conference at San Francisco’s Moscone Center. That’s more than double the 70 million users of the web browser Google (s goog) reported at last year’s conference.
First released in beta to Microsoft XP (s msft) users in September 2008, the Chrome browser has averaged one update every six weeks over the last year, said SVP of Chrome, Sundar Pichai.
Before getting into the big news (Chromebooks), Google announced new Chrome API features for developers, including speech support capabilities. For users, the added speech recognition features will enhance programs like Google Translate. Users can now speak into the browser, and Chrome will translate their phrase into a selected language.
Speed was another big talking point for the morning. “Speed is the fundamental underpinning behind Chrome,” Pichai told the crowd. The company announced upgrades that will result in a 10-times performance increase for developers writing web programs. “But wait, there’s more,” Taylor said, announcing a 3-D feature for the Web GL platform.
Then a little birdy flew in to the conference center and stole the spotlight. The biggest news of the day went to Angry Birds, which announced it was finally coming to the web. And while users can access Angry Birds on any browser (even Internet Explorer) (s msft), the company has created special levels — otherwise known as “Chrome realm” — for Chrome browser users.
Angry Birds for the Web will also be cached for offline use. So when your mobile goes dead and you’re on an airplane, you can still be launching birds at green pigs.