The most popular internet browser–Google Chrome– is getting a major update. Google is rolling out Chrome version 90 with practical changes that is aimed at improving video conferencing experience and reducing data consumption along with better support for PDF XFA forms and more privacy features. Of course, there’s FLoC– Google’s new way to track users and show ads but the feature is still under testing and hasn’t been rolled out widely yet. Here’s how Google Chrome 90 will change internet browsing for you:
Quality of video meetings will improve and will consume less data
Video meetings have become an essential part of our daily lives and Google is improving the overall experience. Chrome 90 comes with new codecs offering better compression which improves quality of video calls and also consumes less data. You can expect to make good quality video calls in low bandwidth (as less as 30kbps). So, even if you use your mobile hotspot to connect your laptop to the internet, you can expect to make better video calls. Also, screen sharing will be smoother with AV1 encoder optimised for video calling platforms with WebRTC.
HTTPS is now there by default boosting website loading speeds and privacy
HTTPS protocol is safer and more efficient. So, whichever website you open on Chrome 90, Google will open the HTTPS version of the website first by default. When you open a website for the first time, Chrome 90 will automatically generate the HTTPS version. Earlier, Google used to process the less-secured HTTP version first and then forward the request to HTTPS. This makes website loading faster and also helps people avoid less-secured HTTP websites.
Expect better AR experience and gaming on Chrome 90 browser
There’s a new WebXR Depth Sensing API which helps in better measurement of the distance between you and the device on which Chrome is running. This will lead to more accurate AR experiences and also improves gaming. For example, when you search for animals on Chrome, Google offers a live 3D animation of the animal to offer an AR experience. You can expect these AR animations to be more accurate.
Videos will load faster on your mobile Chrome browser even on slow internet speeds
There’s a new Lite mode that reduces the effective bitrate of videos when you watch on mobile. This will lead to faster loading times and better experience on low data speeds.
You can copy-paste files instead of uploading them on websites
Insteading of clicking the upload button to post a file on a website, Google will allow users to simply copy and paste (Ctrl+c and Ctrl+v) files on Chrome 90. Google will allow access to your clipboard to the website only when you hit Ctrl+v to paste. This means the website will not have access to the clipboard always, making it more private.
Google is disabling full URLs to protect users from phishing websites
Google will now allow you to hide full URLs and just show the main website name. For example, instead of seeing a long URL like “https://www.gadgetsnow.com/slideshows/wi-fi-router-buying-guide-things-you-must-know-to-get-fast-internet-at-home/photolist/82019594.cms” you will just see “https://www.gadgetsnow.com” You can disable this whenever you want to. Usually phishing websites keep a similar looking URL but with different domains. With this feature, the main domain will be showcased making it easier for users to understand whether or not the website is genuine. For example, if a phishing website uses “http://www.ABCD123.com/gadgetsnowcom/hdasjhjfsa” to mimic the real GadgetsNow website then this feature will showcase the long URL as “ABCD123.com”, thus helping users to identify the original website.
Chrome 90 will block website prompts and notifications
Google is improving the experience around website prompts. You won’t get prompts like “Subscribe to us” or “get newsletter” and get stuck in the loop of cancelling them. Instead, there will be a bell icon at the end of the address bar. To see those prompts you will have to click on that icon.
Chrome 90 is testing new ad tech FLoC
FLoC stands for Federated Learning of Cohorts and it is soon going to replace third-party cookies for showing you relevant ads. Now the concept of FLoC is complex but what is new tech is claimed to offer is better privacy for users. How? So, instead of advertisers making individual profiles for digital ads, FLoC will create a group of users (at least 1000) having the same interests and advertisers will be able to showcase ads to these groups. So, instead of ads-based on individual preferences, you will be part of larger anonymous groups and get ads served accordingly. This move is unappreciated by the industry because this gives Google more control over digital advertising businesses, thus increasing Google’s revenues while third-parties may take a hit.
Google is testing FLoC on Chrome 90 and is rolling out new settings inside Privacy and Security options, but it hasn’t been widely rolled out yet.