Google has revealed performance, functionality and security improvements for Chrome on desktop and mobile. Let’s break them down.
08/01 Update: Google Chrome Quick Updates Continue TechDows spot that Chrome Canary has added the ability to share images by creating a QR code – a useful feature to save time and bandwidth. For Chrome Canary users, this works thanks to a new context menu option when right-clicking on an image: “create a QR code for this image”. You can then share this and the camera on iPhone and Android smartphones will be able to detect and open the image. This is not only a handy feature, but also a useful addition to privacy as it means that users can share images without those images being immediately visible to others. There is no timeline for its integration into stable versions of Chrome, but I wouldn’t expect it to take long.
Update 02/08: As Google continues to add a ton of new features to Chrome, it has also announced that a popular browser extension will be discontinued. Picked up by 9to5Google, Google is removing its Chrome Password Checkup tool, which was introduced in 2019 to detect breaches of your passport data by third parties. To do this, Google monitored data breaches on the web and also alerted you with a pop-up, if you are visiting a site with a compromised connection as well as if you are using the same password on another site. It was a popular feature, but the reason for its disappearance is healthy, because Google has quietly integrated this feature directly into Chrome.
An important catch-up feature first spotted by TechDows, Chrome adds a Read Later feature on Windows, Mac, Linux, and Chrome OS that lets users save webpages to – finally – read later by simply pressing a button. Currently reported in Chrome Canary, users can find it by typing chrome: // flags in the browser and search for “Read Later”.
Support for shared password
(Via MacRumors) Google now supports Chrome to share its passwords with different apps on iOS. Considering the separation of many iPhone owners with their data stored with Google or Apple iCloud, this will create a much more seamless experience for millions of Chrome users. To turn it on, go to Passwords & Accounts> Autofill Passwords> Chrome.
Minimize tabs / save energy
The beta version of Chrome now allows users to group all tabs into a group when you enable the following flag: chrome: // flags / # tab-groups-collapse. This allows you to quickly hide all tabs in a tab group to save space by clicking on the group name. Based on this, TechDows noticed that Google added another flag: “Freezing Collapse Freezing Tab Groups,” which will instantly allow users to save battery and memory by freezing all collapsed Chrome browser tabs. Clever.
Picked up by TheWindowsClub, Chrome will soon support smart contextual actions when using progressive web apps (PWAs). For example, if you install the Twitter PWA using Chrome Canary (developer’s version), the browser will automatically offer options for composing, checking notifications, sending direct messages, and exploring trends by right-clicking on the icon. It brings the kind of smart features that Android and iPhone owners have enjoyed for years when they long-press app icons.
Improved biometric security
Spotted by 9to5Mac, Google has announced the deployment of biometric support when paying by card on Android. Previously, users had to locate their card – even if it was previously registered – and enter their CVC number. Now Chrome will just use your phone’s fingerprint scanner / facial recognition technology, which allows you to skip this step. Expect this to roll out for laptops and desktops with biometric security in the future.
Combine all of these additions with Google’s new Reader to make Chrome more streamlined, along with Chrome OS’s renewed assault on Windows, and the browser war is escalating again.
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