Google has released version 12 of its browser. The update brings hundreds of bug fixes as well as many features that have been available on the Chrome beta and dev channels to users interested in using Chrome's latest builds. Chrome 12 also addresses 14 security vulnerabilities in the WebKit-based browser (a relatively low number compared to previous releases): five rated as High, six rated as Medium, and three rated as Low.

The new Chrome version adds features such as hardware accelerated 3D CSS, new Safe Browsing protection against downloading malicious files, and the ability to delete Flash cookies from inside Chrome (previously only manageable using an online settings application on Adobe's website). Google has also integrated Sync into the new settings pages, improved screen reader support, and added a new warning when hitting Command-Q on the Mac. You can now launch apps by name from the Omnibox but on the other hand, the search giant has removed Google Gears.

The latest stable build (12.0.742.91) is available now for Windows, Mac OS, and Linux. Those who currently have Chrome installed can use the built-in update function under the About Google Chrome menu item.

The release is light on new features because Google is not concerned about using version numbers to mark a significant development milestone. The search giant has promised to push out a new stable build every six weeks. Chrome 11 was actually released six weeks ago; Google is back on time with Chrome 12 after it slipped behind in its schedule for Chrome 11. Users don't mind these frequent releases: the browser is already used by 1 in 8 users.