It’s hard to ignore the many things that Google is building into its Chrome browser. Now one more thing is getting built in, to make things easier for the user, including the chore of updating when necessary.

An article from the gHacks site tells about the newest beta of Chrome, with the change that will surely make it into the stable line quickly. The problem of installing Adobe Flash right after a browser update, or of updating the Flash modules, to avoid the latest exploits, is now built into the developer version of Chrome.

Making the install and updates automatic will save a lot of grief and be a time saver for all who use the browser.

One of the first things that many users do after installing a web browser is to install Adobe Flash as it is needed to display many websites and most of the hosted videos on the Internet.

The Google Chrome developers have decided to include the Adobe Flash Player plugin into the latest dev version of the web browser “so that [users] don’t have to install it or worry about keeping it up-to-date”.

The Flash player plugin needs to be enabled with the startup parameters –enable-internal-flash and Google has announced plans to bring that functionality to all Google Chrome users as soon as possible.

What’s the benefit of integrating Adobe Flash into Google Chrome? The main advantage is that Flash is now integrated with the Google Chrome auto-update mechanism ensuring that the Flash plugin is always the latest version reducing security risks for users who do not update their plugins immediately when new versions are released.

But this also means that Flash is integrated in the Chrome browser and it is likely that the devs at one point will activate it automatically for all users.

This adds weight to the web browser, especially for users who prefer not to install Adobe Flash. It also means that Chrome users might be left with an insecure version of Flash for some time considering Adobe’s track record of security updates meaning auto-update is nice but not very useful if Adobe is not offering an update to a known security vulnerability immediately after it was discovered.

The latest dev version of Google Chrome includes a basic plugin manager as well that can be used to disable plugins from loading on all websites. There are still a few bugs to be sorted out:

On Windows, if you have Adobe Flash Player for Windows Firefox, Safari, or Opera installed, the Flash plug-in will still work in some cases even if you decline the license agreement (when using –enable-internal-flash) or disable the Flash plugin from about:plugins. We’re working on it.
If you disable (or enable) a plugin on about:plugins, your change does not take effect until you restart Google Chrome.
There is no bundled Adobe Flash Player plug-in for 64-bit Linux.

The latest dev version of Google Chrome can be downloaded from the Getting Involved page over at the Chromium project.

This is the kind of thing that Opera has been doing for years – making something new, that others quickly copy. I hope Opera and the rest quickly add this functionality, and I can’t wait for the next revision of Iron (which it is hard to understand the update schedule of, many things have been added to Chrome, but no Iron update is adding them).

By the way, for those who use Chrome, or Iron, the newest really helpful extension is one that checks the bookmarks for dead links, and works quickly, efficiently, and is not too quick on the trigger – it lets you know that the site is not there, but lets you decide if the link should be removed.

Bookmark Sentry is a great little app, it should have an analogue in every browser. I know there are other programs that perform this job, but this is lightweight, an very useful – truly a gem!

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