2 min read

Yesterday, Google released Chrome 76 beta with number of features which includes blocking Flash by default, a dark mode, and making it harder for sites to detect when you’re using Incognito Mode to get around paywalls.

Blocks Flash by default

The Chrome 76 beta by default blocks Flash in the browser. Users still have the option to switch back to the current “Ask first” option in [chrome://settings/content/flash]. Per this option, explicit permission is required for each site after every browser restart.

Changes to Payments API

Chrome 76 has released a fix in the FilesystemsAPI to address how websites are able to detect if you’re using Incognito to get around a paywall. FileSystem API is updated so that “detect private mode” scripts can no longer take advantage of that indicator. Chrome 76 Beta now also makes it easier to use the payments APIs for self-signed certificates on the local development environment.

 

Additionally, PaymentRequestEvent has a new method called changePaymentMethod() and the PaymentRequest object now supports an event handler called paymentmethodchange. You can use both to notify a merchant when the user changes payment instruments. The former returns a promise that resolves with a new PaymentRequest instance.

Improvements for Progressive Web Apps

Chrome 76 Beta makes it easier for users to install Progressive Web Apps on the desktop by adding an install button to the omnibox. On mobile, developers can now replace Chrome’s Add to Home Screen mini-infobar with their own prompt. PWAs will also check for updates more frequently starting with Chrome 76 – checking every day, instead of every three days.

New Dark mode

Chrome 76 Beta also adds the Dark Mode. Websites can now automatically enable dark modes and respect user preference by adding a little bit of extra code in the prefers-color-scheme media query.

Other improvements

  • Browsers prevent calls to abusable APIs (like popup, fullscreen, vibrate, etc.) unless the user activates the page through direct interactions. However, not all interactions trigger user activation. Going forward, the escape key is no longer treated as a user activation.
  • Chrome 76 beta introduces a new HTTP request header that sends additional metadata about a request’s provenance to the server to allow it to make security decisions.
  • Lazyload feature policy has been removed. This policy was intended to allow developers to selectively control the lazyload attribute on the iframe and img tags to provide more control over loading delay for embedded content and images on a per origin basis.

The stable release of Chrome 76 is tentatively scheduled for July 30th. You can read about additional changes on Google’s Chromium blog post.

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