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Image credit: Thomas Trutschel/Photothek via Getty Images

Chrome quietly received a big 3D graphics boost

The browser now supports WebGL 2.0's advanced visuals.
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Thomas Trutschel/Photothek via Getty Images

Did you recently notice a boost to 3D web graphics while using Chrome? It's not just you. Google has revealed that Chrome 56 and later releases support the WebGL 2.0 standard. You should see faster performance, new texture types and visual effects (such as volume-based effects and tone mapping). And importantly, it's now on par with the same OpenGL ES 3 spec you see in newer mobile games -- it might now be possible to port your favorite phone title to Chrome without losing graphical detail.

You should see the upgrade in all desktop versions of the browser. Android, meanwhile, is "coming soon." This isn't a completely new development when Firefox and Opera also have WebGL 2.0 support. However, Chrome's considerably larger usage share (58.5 percent as of February, according to Net Market Share) makes this a big deal. It not only increases the chances that you can see this next-level 3D on the web, but gives creators a stronger incentive to take advantage of that extra visual prowess.

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