Google today announced the release of Chrome 32 beta for Windows, Mac, and Linux. New features include tab indicators, a new look for Windows 8 Metro mode, and automatic blocking of malware downloads.

The first feature is arguably the most exciting one as it finally ends the annoying search to figure out which tabs is producing sound. Furthermore, not only can you now scan for a speaker icon to quickly find that noisy tab, Chrome will also indicate which tabs are currently using your webcam or are being cast to your TV.

Here it is in action:

tab indicators Google debuts Chrome 32 beta with indicators for tabs making noise, using your webcam, or being cast to your TV

This feature has been a long-time coming; back in February we talked about Chrome getting audio indicators to show noisy tabs, as the feature was originally added to Chromium. Note that this should not be confused with YouTube’s Play icon feature on YouTube video pages that showed up in August.

The next feature, which Chromium first gained in October, is limited to Windows 8 users who browse Chrome in Metro mode. In short, it’s Chrome OS in Windows 8: you can manage multiple Chrome windows and launch Chrome Apps from an integrated app launcher.

win8 730x409 Google debuts Chrome 32 beta with indicators for tabs making noise, using your webcam, or being cast to your TV

Here’s how Google puts it: “If you use a Chromebook the change may look familiar — with a common interface we’ll be able to bring great experiences to both even more quickly!” Microsoft probably isn’t too pleased.

Here’s the full beta changelog:

  • Tab indicators for sound, webcam and casting.
  • A different look for Win8 Metro mode.
  • Automatically blocking malware files.
  • A number of new apps/extension APIs.
  • Lots of under the hood changes for stability and performance.

The third point refers to a change in the company’s Safe Browsing service, which warns users about malicious websites and malicious files. Added to the Chrome dev build late last month, Chrome Beta now has it too: Google’s browser will automatically block malware files, letting you know in a message at the bottom of your screen. You can “Dismiss” the message, and Google says you can circumvent the block but it will take more steps than before.

Chrome 32 is set to launch in January. We’ll let you know when it’s available for everyone.

Top Image Credit: T. Al Nakib