Google Chrome 90 has just been released to the stable channel.
On the surface, there aren’t many UI updates or new features for us average people, but Google has installed a slew of enhancements under the hood that you’ll find over time. Copy-and-paste improvements, improved AR models, and support for a new codec that uses less bandwidth during video conferences are all included.
The new HTTPS default improves security and speed
Beginning with Chrome 90, the address bar would switch to HTTPS rather than HTTP, resulting in faster loading times and increased privacy.
If you type “example.com” into the URL bar and visit the site for the first time, Chrome will redirect you to the https:// site rather than the http:// site.
Chrome can fall back to HTTP if a website does not support HTTPS. However, as most websites already support HTTPS, this should be an uncommon phenomenon.
Copy-and-paste performance has been improved
You know how you can drag and drop files from your file manager onto a website, like when you want to send an email with a picture or a PDF attachment? Chrome is working on adding this feature to your clipboard as well.
When you copy (or Ctrl+c) a file in your file manager, you normally can’t just paste (or Ctrl+v) the file to a website in Chrome. This is due to the fact that the website does not have access to your file explorer’s route, which you’ve effectively copied there.
Chrome, on the other hand, wants to change that by allowing web apps to read and navigate the particular path in your clipboard (only once you send the paste command, of course).
This will effectively eliminate the need for drag-and-drop or those annoying file picker dialogs when adding files to a website. A similar feature is also available in Safari, but most websites are designed for Chrome and therefore rarely support features that aren’t available in it.
AR versions that are more appealing and accurate
Google is doubling down on Augmented Reality after a failed VR foray, and Chrome developers are working to improve the look of Augmented Reality on the platform.
They’re experimenting with an API that would produce realistic shadows and lighting effects on AR models made by web apps, similar to ARCore’s Environmental HDR.
Furthermore, Google is developing a Depth API that will enable users to access depth information about your surroundings, bridging the gap between local apps and the web.
These new features, when combined, could make models like those rendered in Google Search feel a lot more practical in the long run.
Gravity readings for web applications that are more accurate
Google is trying to make it easier for developers to access gravity sensor data in a similar vein. To guess gravity, web developers must currently rely on manually deriving readings from the accelerator sensor, which can be imprecise depending on the sensor’s accuracy.
Developers will be able to directly access the data using the new GravitySensor API. This could improve the accuracy of some motion-based web games or apps.
The function is concealed behind a flag in Chrome 90, so it’ll be a while before it’s stable, let alone widely adopted, but it’s still encouraging to see Google working on it.
Video conferencing bandwidth needs are reduced
Google is attempting to make video conferencing less demanding on your internet connection and hardware in the era of Zoom, Google Meet, and Microsoft Teams.
The AV1 encoder, which is designed for video conferencing apps that use the ubiquitous WebRTC standard, is now supported in Chrome 90 for desktops.
As services begin to use the codec, it will aid in better compression performance, resulting in lower bandwidth consumption and improved visual quality. And connections as slow as 30kbps should be able to support AV1.
Google is pushing for a quicker Chrome update cycle in the future, but we’ll still have to wait around six weeks for the next stable version of Chrome, Chrome 91. Before then, you should take a look at the few new features included in Chrome 90 (APK Mirror).
If you encounter an error when attempting to install Chrome from APK Mirror, make sure you first download the Trichrome Library and then try again.