GOOGLE HAS STARTED rolling out Chrome 64 to Windows, Linux and macOS users, enabling them to block autoplay videos for good.
As promised back in September, Chrome 64 finally sounds the death knell for autoplay. Following in the footsteps of Apple's Safari, the new-and-improved version browser with it a site-wide mute option for websites that frequently throw up video content with unwanted sounds, replacing Google's previous "mute tab" option.
"This site muting option will persist between browsing sessions, allowing users to customize when and where audio will play," Google said.
"These changes will give users greater control over media playing in their browser while making it easier for publishers to implement autoplay where it benefits the user."
To switch the feature on, click the green padlock in the address bar and hit "mute website", or head to Settings > Advanced > Privacy and Security > Content Settings > Sound, where you can list the websites for which you want to disable audio.
Google noted in September that Chrome will register you as being interested in autoplay videos if you click somewhere on the site during the browsing session, add a webpage to your phone's home screen, or when you frequently play media from a site on Chrome's desktop browser.
Going hand-in-hand with the "mute site" functionality is a toughened up pop-up blocker, which protects Chrome 64 users against sneaky tactics that lead users to unwanted content through redirects. For example, the new tool will crack down on shady 'close' buttons that do something other than close a page element.
Google will offer up feedback to offending websites through the Abusive Experiences Report in Google Search Console, giving them a chance to improve their user experience. If they don't, they will feel the wrath of the tech giant.
"Starting on February 15, in line with the Coalition's guidelines, Chrome will remove all ads from sites that have a 'failing' status in the Ad Experience Report for more than 30 days," Google said.
Chrome 64 also brings with it support for High Dynamic Range (HDR). To use it, however, you'll need to a PC running the latest version of Windows 10, along with an HDR-compatible monitor and GPU.
The new version of Chrome also brings protects Mac and Windows users against the Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities by disabling the SharedArrayBuffer feature. There are 52 other bug fixes bundled in too, which Google details over on its website. µ
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