Now that Chrome 72 has come out of a stable version, Chrome 73 has gone to the beta channel. Although Android has some useful improvements, most of the new features in this release are for desktop platforms. Let's take a deep diving in Chrome Beta 73.
Quick Action Addresses
As previously reported, Google added a string of buttons to the Chrome address bar for Android. When you click on the panel, there are new buttons for copying, sharing and editing the current URL. Previously, it was hidden behind the flag but turned on by default in Chrome Beta 73.
To the left: Chrome 72; To the right: Chrome 73
Copying the current address has always made a few clicks, so it's nice to see the actual copy button added to the interface.
Picture in the picture on the desktop
The "Picture in Picture" mode for Chrome on the desktop arrived last year, which allows you to play videos in your own tiny window. Unlike Android, where simply switching to another program launches Picture-in-Picture mode, on the desktop it requires a certain action of the user (for example, by pressing a button).
Google is now experimenting with how PiP will be automatic on the desktop and is available as a trial version of Chrome on Chrome 73. After the site adds an autopictureinpicture attribute to a video element, it will automatically be displayed. when the page is hidden. In other words, it works just like the image in the picture has always worked on Android. If you have Chrome Beta 73 installed on your desktop, you can try a demo version.
In the appropriate note, the "Skip Ad" button has been added to the image on the desktop as we previously reported. If you have Chrome 73, here you can try demo.
Keyboard keyboard controls
will now play / pause an active video. You may notice some errors because some user video players are not intended to handle playback changes if the user does not actually click the button, but on most sites it will work fine.
Sites will also be able to perform actions when the back / forward keys are pressed using the Media Session API (which was introduced in Chrome 57 for Android). For example, the Spotify web application may allow you to go to the previous / next song using the keyboard. I'm looking forward to sites that add support for this.
Badges on PWAs
Another experimental feature in Chrome 73 is the ability to add an icon to the established Progressive Web App. For example, PWA Twitter may display an icon for unread DM, or a web video conversion application may display an icon when it is done.
The exact representation of the icon depends on the operating system. The Google documentation says that Android will not display the number because Android supports only a point.
As always, Chrome 73 contains changes for both users and developers. Here are some of the smaller features included in this update:
- Progressive web applications running on the desktop (or on the main Android screen) automatically get permission to automatically play videos with sound.
- On Chromebook with Android 9 Pie
- Chrome no longer allows you to download files in intermediate frames if the user does not interact with the frame.
- Stylesheets can now be dynamically constructed using new CSSStyleSheet methods.
- Now sites can quickly check if it is possible to use special HDCP rules.
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