Google Launches Chrome 66 For Windows, Mac, Linux, Android And iOS

Google has announced the promotion of the Chrome 66 browser to the stable channel for Windows, Mac, Linux, Android and iOS. The updated Google Chrome browser is being rolled out over the next few weeks. Some of the new features in Chrome 66 include media auto-play changes, the ability to export passwords and several security fixes.

One of the biggest features added in Chrome 66 is the auto-playing of content being switched off by default. For example, I immediately noticed that YouTube videos no longer automatically played when I opened those links in new tabs and I switched to those tabs in the latest version of Chrome.

Google has been working on ways to provide better control over audio in its browser for a while now. Last year, Google Software Engineer Mounir Lamouri wrote that one of the most frequent user concerns is “unexpected media playback,” which consumes data and power along with causing unwanted noise while browsing. So back in January 2018, Google Chrome 64 added the ability to disable sound for specific sites by right-clicking on a tab and tapping on “Mute Site.”

Google also added an option to “Export Passwords.” This can be found under Settings > Advanced > Passwords and forms > Manage passwords > Saved Passwords menu:

Tapping on this option prompts users to input their computer password. After authorizing the download, the passwords you have saved on Chrome will be exported as a CSV file.

Google Chrome 66 for Android and iOS also supports the ability to export passwords. On Android and iOS, you can see this option by tapping on the overflow icon in the Passwords menu and a system Share sheet appears when you select it. Chrome will ask you to verify your identity through passcodes, facial recognition, fingerprint scan, etc. Here is what the feature looks like on iOS:

Export Passwords For iOS version of Chrome 66

From a developer standpoint, Chrome 66 has a new rendering context that streamlines the display of ImageBitmap objects by mitigating memory duplication. Chrome 66 also implements the CSS Typed Object Model (OM) Level 1 — which “reduces this burden on both the developer and browser by exposing CSS values as typed JavaScript objects rather than strings.” And there is a new asynchronous Clipboard API that provides a “promise-based means of reading from and writing to the clipboard.”

It’s also worth mentioning that Google Chrome 66 includes a small percentage trial of Site Isolation in order to prepare for a broader upcoming launch. Google said that Site Isolation improves the security of Chrome and mitigates the risks posed by side-channel attack techniques such as Spectre/Meltdown.

9to5Google pointed out that the “Chrome Home” bottom bar has been redesigned and replaced with the “Chrome Home Duplex” in the Android version of Chrome 66. And a new bottom toolbar can be slid up to open a New Tab.

At the Chrome Dev Summit in November 2016, Google revealed that Chrome hit 2 billion installs in active use across desktops and mobile devices. That figure should not be confused from the number of total users, which is somewhere north of 1 billion.

You can update to the latest version of Chrome by going to google.com/chrome. Or go to Settings > About Chrome to see if your version is up to date. And The full changelog of Chrome 66 can be found on Google Git.