Just two days after the final beta build of Chrome 66 was released to the Chrome OS Beta Channel, that final build has now made its way to the Chrome OS Stable Channel as the official build. The build is the same as the final beta, 66.0.3359.137 (Platform version: 10452.74.0) and it is available for most machines. As is often the case with the first build in the Stable Channel, this build is not available for devices that are running Android apps. There will be a second build, likely next week, which will be available for those Chromebooks.
My Pixelbook remains at Chrome 65 this morning as an example.
While there are a few new features in this new build, the focus is on improvements of existing features. There is also a focus on security, as you would expect, with patches for the Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities in this build too.
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The Essential Phone has a new update rolling out that owners will want to install as soon as it is available for their device. The update is build NMJ88C and it brings fixes for both the Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities as well as the January Android Security Update patch. The update is small so you can download it via your mobile data connection but WiFi is always recommended.
The update means that the Essential Phone will be one of the first phones outside of Google’s own devices to have the January security update.
For those that haven’t kept up, the Spectre and Meltdown security flaws were announced last week and are a fundamental issue with Intel, AMD and ARM processors. If exploited, these vulnerabilities would allow for sensitive data to be stolen from the phone via memory that is normally off limits to the kernel. It is a big deal and software developers like Google, Microsoft and Apple are having to address it quickly. Phone manufactures, like Essential, will need to build fixes into their particular Android builds too.
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