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The Chromebook journey has been about building a faster, simpler and more secure computer for everyone, and today we're excited to introduce a new Chromebook built for schools. Learn more about the Lenovo ThinkPad Chromebook from today's post on the enterprise blog.

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Using your voice to search on your computer or phone is handy, but there’s so much more you can do with voice commands. Imagine if you could dictate documents, have a freestyle rap battle, or control game characters with your browser using only your voice. With today’s Chrome Beta release, this future is closer than you think.

With the inclusion of the Web Speech API for developers, users can start enjoying new, interactive experiences with web apps, like in this demo where you can compose an email by speaking. With this new JavaScript API, developers can integrate speech recognition into their web apps. So, in the near future you’ll be able to talk apps into doing all sorts of things.

To make sure your Chrome installation isn’t being slowed down, today’s Chrome Beta will automatically disable some extensions on Windows that may have been added by third party programs without proper acknowledgement from users. The original intent was to give people an option to add useful extensions when installing applications, but unfortunately this feature has been widely abused by third parties who added extensions without user consent. A notification will appear with the option to re-enable the affected extensions.

Download Chrome Beta to give these latest enhancements a test drive. If you dig APIs more than chocolate cake you can get more details on the Web Speech API and this Chrome release over on the Chromium blog.

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Release early, release often. Today, we’re introducing Chrome Beta channel for phones and tablets on Android 4.0+. The Beta channel was launched in the early days of Chrome to test out new features and fix issues fast. Our newest Beta channel for phones and tablets now joins our Beta versions of Chrome for Mac, Windows, Linux and Chrome OS.

You can expect early access to new features (and bugs!), as well as a chance to provide feedback on what’s on the way. Just like our other Beta versions, the new features may be a little rough around the edges, but we’ll be pushing periodic updates so you can test out our latest work as soon as it’s ready. Even better, you can install the Beta alongside your current version of Chrome for Android.

Chrome for Android now benefits from all the speed, security and other improvements that have been landing on Chrome’s other platforms. For example, in today’s Beta update we have improved the Octane performance benchmark on average by 25-30%. In addition, this update includes interesting HTML5 features for developers such as CSS Filters. This is just one step of many towards bringing beautiful experiences to the mobile web.

Ready? Use it, abuse it, and tell us what you think. Our new Chrome Beta for Android is available now on Google Play (use the link, you won't find it in search)!

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With today’s Chrome Stable release, you’ll be booting up a faster browser. Feel free to kick back after the holidays and enjoy Chrome’s new year freshness through automatic updates.