GOOGLE HAS unleashed Chrome 71, the latest iteration of the world's biggest browser.
This new version is quite significant from a security standpoint, blocking as it does, all adverts on sites where even one of them doesn't comply with Google's code of conduct - specifically: "Ads or other elements that resemble chat apps, warnings, system dialogs, or other notifications that lead to an ad or landing page when clicked."
Also new is a warning screen that will intercept any attempt to sign you up to a paid subscription without making it abundantly clear for you, and doubtless be less than understanding towards those not complying. Plus extensions will now have to be installed via the Chrome Web Store - no third party (inline) installs.
Videos with sounds will now NOT Autoplay thanks to changes in the Web Audio API. There has been some resistance to this after it borked a lot of web-based apps and games in testing, but it does now seem to have the balance right.
To whit: "Web Audio will follow the rules of the autoplay policy already followed by other parts of Chrome able to produce sound. When an AudioContext is created, it will start as suspended if it wasn't allowed to play. Calling resume() will only start the AudioContext if it is allowed to play.
"Furthermore, a previously blocked AudioContext will automatically be resumed if start() is called on a connected node after the document is user activated."
Sounds suspiciously like an extract from the Brexit negotiations. But no. Basically, it means once you shut up a sound source, it should remember to keep it that way. There's more to it than that, but that's the gist.
Android users can see a new menu based around Google Duplex, which has quietly been rechristened Chrome Duet, to ensure maximum confusion with video messaging wasteland known as Google Duo.
It's not enabled by default - it's still a work in progress - but this is the first stable build that allows you to enable the changes in the flags menu.
There's lots of under the hood stuff, but as ever you can find out more in the Chromium blog. The news comes a day after a rumour began circulating that Microsoft will soon move its languishing Edge browser over to the Chromium codebase.
Chrome 71 is available from your usual portal of download/update now for Windows, Linux, Mac, Android and iOS. Chrome OS will arrive under separate cover, like the crazy maverick it is. μ
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