Google Launches Chrome 66

Google Chrome 66

All new Chrome 66

Google has announced the promotion of the Chrome 66 browser to the stable versions. Chrome 66 is available for Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, and Android. The new version will roll out over the coming weeks. The updated Google Chrome browser (Chrome 66.0.3359.117) features media auto-play changes, the ability to export passwords and 62 security fixes.

According to the latest report, Chrome 66 will not trust website certificates issued by Symantec’s legacy PKI before June 2016, continuing the phased distrust outlined in their previous announcements.

One of the biggest features added in Chrome 66 is the auto-playing of media being switched off by default. For example, YouTube videos no longer automatically play when opened in a separate tab and browsing in another tab!

Rolling out with new features

Until now users have been able to mute all sound by default from a particular site, but not able to block the video from playing on that site. Third-party tools were available to look into the issue, but now Google has integrated enough control into Chrome 66 for the users to block this autoplay.

Autoplay will only be allowed when the media itself doesn’t include sound, or when the user has interest in the media. Factors that determine interest include:

  • If the user has frequently played the media on the site before when visiting from a desktop browser
  • If they have clicked on the screen while browsing on the site
  • Accessed or interacted the site through a mobile device

Aside from being a major irritation, auto play videos consume more data and can slow down the general browsing experience, which is particularly important when it comes to mobile devices.

Nevertheless, Chrome 66 also includes finely tuned controls that allow a user to permanently block autoplay videos on a particular website domain. This allows any user to block any website from playing audio on launch if they wish to.

Google Chrome 66 also includes a trial of Site Isolation to prepare for a broader upcoming launch. Also, Google said that Site Isolation improves the security of Chrome. This mitigates the risks posed by critical vulnerabilities like Spectre and Meltdown.

To conclude

Chrome browser dominates the web browser market, used by 58% of internet users across desktop and mobile platforms. Apple’s Safari leads a distant second with 15% of the market share, according to data from StatCounter. That means changes made within Chrome are likely to have a significant impact on how websites operate and their performance, especially when users have the leverage to control various browser settings!

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