There's a new version of Google's Chrome browser available in the beta channel. Chrome 12 beta includes a handful of upgrades and enhancements, such as "snazzier" graphics, hardware accelerated 3D CSS, security and privacy upgrades, improved screen reader support, and better Flash integration. Also new to Chrome 12, Google stripped the browser of its Gears plug-in as it shifts focus to HTML5.
Taking the place of Gears are several tweaks to the underlying code, including support for application caches, IndexedDB API (can take the place of the Gears Database API), HTML5 File API (similar to the Gears Blog functionality), and native geolocation, notifications, and webwork APIs.
"With all this now available in HTML5, it's finally time to say goodbye to Gears," Google said in a blog post. "There will be no new Gears releases, and newer browsers such as Firefox 4 and Internet Explorer 9 will not be supported. We will also be removing Gears from Chrome in Chrome 12."