Today’s Chrome Beta channel release includes a slew of new developer features to help you make richer, faster and more compelling web content and apps, especially for mobile devices. Unless otherwise noted, changes described below apply to Chrome for Android, Windows, Mac, Linux, and Chrome OS.

DirectWrite on Windows

Chrome 37 adds support for DirectWrite, an API on Windows for clear, high-quality text rendering even on high DPI displays. Before DirectWrite, Chrome used the Graphics Device Interface (GDI) to render text. GDI dates back to the mid-80's and reflects the engineering tradeoffs of that time, particularly for slower, lower-resolution machines. The switch to DirectWrite has been a top user request for years, and required extensive re-architecting and streamlining of Chrome's font rendering engine.

Some users should begin seeing better-looking fonts and increased rendering performance as we roll out DirectWrite, with no changes required by web developers. Assuming everything goes smoothly, all users will experience the improvements by the Chrome 37 stable release.

Compare the below screenshots, taken with and without DirectWrite enabled.

New HTML element: <dialog>

In this release we're also adding support for the <dialog> HTML5 element, which enables developers to create styled dialog boxes in their web applications and control them via a JavaScript API. For more details, check out some code samples and see <dialog> in action. The <dialog> element is a better-designed alternative to showModalDialog(), which is now disabled as we recently announced.

Other updates in this release

  • The Web Cryptography JavaScript API is enabled by default starting in Chrome 37, allowing developers to perform cryptographic operations such as hashing, signature generation/verification, and encryption.
  • Subpixel font scaling is now supported, which enables smooth animations of text between font sizes.  
  • TouchEvent co-ordinates are now doubles instead of longs, enabling higher-fidelity touch interactions on high-DPI displays.
  • CSS cursor values "zoom-in" and "zoom-out" are now unprefixed.
  • The number of cores on a physical machine can now be accessed by navigator.hardwareConcurrency.
  • The user's preferred languages are now accessible by navigator.languages, and the languagechange event is fired when this is updated.
  • The CSS Shapes Module allows developers to define non-rectangular text wrapping boundaries around floated elements.
  • NPAPI deprecation continues according to our previously-announced plan with a harder-to-bypass blocking UI
  • The default monospace font on Windows is now Consolas instead of Courier New.
  • Cross-origin fonts are now blocked unless the response includes the appropriate CORS headers.
As always, visit for a complete overview of Chrome’s developer features,  and circle +Google Chrome Developers for more frequent updates!

Posted by Emil A Eklund, Software Engineer and Senior Blog DirectWriter