Google has updated its Chrome browser to version 7 and patched 11 vulnerabilities at the same time.

The security update is the fourth since September 2, when Google first boosted Chrome 6 to the 'stable' release, the browser's most polished version.

Only one of the bugs patched in Chrome 7.0.517.43 was rated 'critical' in Google's four-step threat scoring system, with five labelled 'high'. Three others received the 'medium' label, while two were labelled 'low'.

Google paid out only $1,000 in bounties to two researchers who reported a pair of bugs, the least it's awarded since last June.

As usual, Google locked down its bug tracking database to hide technical details of the vulnerabilities. The company usually unlocks access to a flaw several weeks after a patch ships, to give users time to update before the information goes public.

Other browser makers, including Mozilla, do the same.

The single critical vulnerability was tersely explained as a "browser crash with form autofill". Chrome's developers added autofill only last August. The time-saving feature automatically enters the user's name, address, phone number, email address and credit card number in various website forms.

One website developer noted problems with Chrome's autofill last week, saying that the browser was crashing when users submitted a form on one client's site.

Last July, Google promised to pick up Chrome's development pace, saying then that it would bump up the browser to a new version every six weeks or so.

The company's made good on that with Chrome 7, which moved to the stable 'channel' - Google's term for its release editions - seven weeks after Chrome 6's debut.

Google touted other changes to Chrome that apply to developers - including full AppleScript support on the Mac and a revamped HTML5 parser - and said that version 7 also boasted fixes for "hundreds" of non-security bugs.

According to web metrics company Net Applications, Chrome accounted for 8 percent of all browsers used last month. At its current pace, Chrome will pass the 10 percent milestone by the end of the year.

Chrome 7 can be downloaded for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux from Google's website. Users already running the browser will be updated automatically.

See also: Google patches Google Chrome browser... again