With the latest beta release of Chrome, web applications can now directly access a local system’s camera and microphone. The new functionality has appeared with the publication of Chrome 21 inChrome‘s Beta Channel for testing. Traditionally, accessing the camera and microphone is done using an additional plugin such as Flash.
On the same day as releasing the beta of Chrome 21, Google also published version22.0.1201.0 to the web browser’s Dev Channel. The most notable change affects Mac users: Chrome 22 now requires Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard or later, dropping support for Mac OS X 10.5.
The Chrome 21.0.1180.15 beta version and 22.0.1201.0 development version are available through the Chrome releases page for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux. Existing Beta or Dev Channel users will be automatically upgraded using the built-in update function. The current stable branch is Chrome 20 released at the end of June. Chrome is built from Chromium, the open source browser project run by Google.