People who use the internet are pretty aware of the term Google Chrome. Yes, the popular internet browser is getting a big update. Earlier this week, Google rolled out the Chrome 90 with some significant changes (1).
The tech giant aims to improve the video conferencing experience, better PDF, XFA forms support, reduce data consumption, and more privacy and other features for easy task performance.
Simultaneously, it offers another major development, FLoC, Google’s new way to track users and show advertisements. However, the new feature is still under testing and has not been rolled out widely. However, that’s a topic for another time.
Today, let’s talk about what new Google Chrome 90 updates have for us that could change the way we use the internet (2).
Google Chrome 90: Improved Video Meetings and Better Experience Even With Mobile Hotspot
Google Chrome 90 comes with new codecs, which offer a better compression, improving the overall quality of video calls while consuming fewer data. One can expect to make good quality video calls even in low bandwidth, as less than 30kbps. Hence, even if one uses his mobile hotspot to connect laptops to the internet, one can expect to make better video calls.
Additionally, with AV1 encoder optimization for video calling platforms with WebRTC, one can also expect a smooth screen-sharing experience (3).
By Default HTTPS for Secure Internet Browsing
HTTPS Protocol is more efficient and secure. Hence, whichever website the user opens on Chrome 90, Google will open the website’s first HTTPS version by default. It means that when you open a website for the first time, Google Chrome 90 will automatically generate the HTTPS version.
Previously, Google used to process the less-secure HTTP version of a website and then forward the request to HTTPS. The improvement would make website loading significantly faster and would help people avoid less-secure HTTP and other online portals.
Better AR and Gaming Experiences
Google Chrome 90 is offering a new WebXR Depth-Sensing API, which will help better measure the distance between the user and the device on which the browser is running. It would lead to more accurate AR, Augmented Reality experiences and also improves gaming (4).
For instance, when a user searches for animals on Chrome, Google offers a live 3D animation of the animal to offer an AR experience. With the latest update, one can expect these AR animations to be more accurate.
Faster Loading Videos Even With Slow Internet Speed
The latest update offers a new Lite mode which reduces the effective bitrate of videos when users watch them on their smartphones. It would lead to faster loading times and better experience even on a low internet speed.
It’s Now Easier to Upload Files on Websites with Chrome 90
Google has made the clicking of the upload button retrograde with its new update. Instead of an upload button to post a file on a website, Google would allow users to simply copy-paste (command+c, command+v) files on Google Chrome 90.
Moreover, it would also allow users to access their clipboard to the website only when they hit command+v to paste. It means that the website won’t always have access to users’ clipboards, making it more private.
Phishing Websites Protection with Full URLs
Google will now allow users to hide complete URLs and only show the main website name.
For instance, instead of seeing a long URL such as ‘https://www.timesnext.com/category/trends/latest-startup-trends/4785768.cms’, one will only see ‘https://www.timesnext.com.’ Users can also disable it whenever they want to.
In most cases, phishing websites keep similar-looking URLs but have different domains. The new feature will showcase the main domain, making it easier for users to understand whether or not the particular web portal is genuine.
For instance, if a phishing website uses ‘https://www.ABCD123.com/timesnextcom/dfgjkj’ to mimic the actual TimesNext website, then the new feature will showcase the long URL as ‘ABCD.com.’ Hence, it would help users to identify the genuine website (5).
Google Chrome 90 to Block Prompts and Notifications
With the new feature, Google is trying to improve the experience around website prompts. Users will no longer get prompts such as ‘subscribe to us’ or ‘get newsletter’ and get stuck in the loop of canceling these prompts. Instead, there would be a bell icon at the end of the address bar. Users can click on the icon to see those prompts.
Google is Replacing Third-Party Cookies with FloC
FLoC, What is it? It stands for Federated Learning of Cohorts. Google is looking to replace third-party cookies with it for showing users relevant ads. Even though the concept of FLoC is complex, however, there are claims that the new tech offers better privacy for users. How?
Well, instead of advertisers making individual profiles for digital advertisements, FloC would create a group of users, at least 1,000 with the same interests. The advertisers would be able to showcase ads to these groups. Hence, instead of ads based on personal preferences, users will be part of larger anonymous groups and get ads accordingly.
Nonetheless, the industry is not appreciating the move because it would give Google more control over the digital advertising business, increasing its revenues while third-parties may take a hit (6). Again, that’s a story for another time.
Google is testing FLoC on Chrome 90 and is rolling out new settings inside Privacy and Security options. However, it has not been rolled out widely yet.
Better RAM and Power Management with Google Chrome 90
With the new update, users can expect fast processing as the web browser has improved its memory management. Moreover, Google Chrome 90 will consume less battery while browsing the internet and watching videos online.
Improved Experience with PDF Files
Google has claimed that Chrome 90 is set to offer better support for PDF XFA forms. There is a new sidebar that will help users navigate to specific pages. Additionally, there is a new two-page view and a presentation mode.
Google is rolling out its Tab Search feature for all users with the new update. It is one of Google’s attempts to improve tab management in the browser. Users can select the new arrow icon in the Chrome tab bar on the right of it to use the new search feature. If it is not yet unable on your browser, you can get access to it right away by setting chrome://flags/#enable-tab-search and enabling it (7).
Sharing Highlighted Text on Webpage
Google is also planning to launch a new feature for Chrome 90 that would allow users to create a link to a section of a website that they have highlighted previously.
The feature is currently only available for some users as an experiment. With ‘Copy link to highlight,’ users can share a URL for selected text highlighted for the recipient (8).
Chrome 90 for Developers
They have also released a cool video about it.
CSS Overflow Clip
The CSS overflow property regulates what happens to content that is too big to fit into a particular area. Since it is available starting Google Chrome 90, if one can specify and doesn’t have the version, it would fall back to overflow visible since it is the default value.
With the clip, it would be similar to the hidden one but does it differently. It won’t apply a scroll container to the box. Hence, it would result in better performance and experience when rendering the CSS into the document.
Moreover, when adding an overflow clip, one can access the property overflow-clip-margin. It would allow you to control how much content you would like to show after the parent is reached (9).
Declarative Shadow DOM
Shadow DOM controls the way the browser handles all the complex HTML elements behind the curtain. Before the Chrome 90 update, the only way to create a shadow DOM was with the JS. However, now, it is possible to create it with HTML, which one can use when doing SSR, Server Side Rendering.
Apart from these, there are other vital changes (10) such as rename of Feature Policy API to Permission Policy, removal of Content Security directive ‘plugin-types,’ and replacing issue count to the Console status bar.
How to Update Google Chrome on Computer?
According to steps mentioned on the official Google support website, updates happen in the background when a user closes and reopens their computer browsers. However, if your update is still pending, then here is how you can update your browser.
- Open the Google Chrome web browser on your computer
- Look at More or the three vertical dots at the top right corner of your browser
- Click Update Google Chrome
- If you can’t find the button, it means that you are on the latest version
- Click ‘Relaunch’
How to Update Google Chrome on Android Devices?
According to Google Support’s official website, the browser should automatically get updated according to the Play Store settings. However, if your app is not yet updated, you can follow the below steps:
- Open the Play Store app on your Android smartphone or tablet
- At the top left, tap the three horizontal line or Menu in My Apps and Games
- Find Chrome icon under ‘Updates’
- Tap update next to Chrome app
- If you are on Google Chrome version 76 or above, you can also check for updates within your Chrome browser
- For your android device, open the Chrome app
- At the top, tap three vertical dots or more. Update Chrome
- Restart the browser when prompted
How to Update Google Chrome on iPad or iPhone?
According to the settings on your iPhone or iPad, your Chrome app should automatically get updated. However, you can check if the update is pending. Here is how you can do it.
- Open the App Store on your iPhone or iPad
- Tap Profile at the top right
- Scroll down to ‘Available Updates,’ and look for Chrome
- If the browser is listed, tap update to initiate the installation
- If asked, enter your Apple ID password. The app will begin downloading and installing updates