Chrome version 66 is now out for Android and it brings various changes, improving the design as well as the functionality of the popular mobile browser. The update brings a feature to disable autoplay by default, new security enhancements, and better password management.

After recently adding the feature to mute audio across entire websites, Google is now changing how Chrome deals with auto-playing content to allow users control playback better. Now with the latest update to Chrome on Android, websites will not be able to autoplay content unless:

  • the content is actually muted or does not have any audio,
  • users have played the media previously during the same browsing session, or
  • users have added the website to Chrome’s Home Screen.

With this change, Google encourages web developers and admins to use muted videos instead of GIFs. This is because the search giant realizes the value of video engagement and wants to promote usage of more videos across the web.

Chrome on Android also borrows the “Export passwords” feature from desktop and iOS versions. Users can now export passwords saved in the browser to a .csv file by heading over to the Passwords settings within Settings.

Google had earlier launched a bottom “Chrome Home” bar for Oreo users similar to the Search app, and the feature has now been replaced by “Chrome Home Duplex” which might remind you of the recently leaked gesture-based navigation bar coming in Android P.

The Home Duplex is an experimental feature and can be swiped up to show bookmarks. Users can activate the feature by entering chrome://flags in the address bar. Google has also introduced another experimental feature called “Modern Design” which will allow users to get rounded bars and text fields instead of the box-like ones.

Chrome 66 For Android Released With Autoplay Blocking, Rounded Material Design
Duplex (left two) and Modern Design (right); Courtesy: 9to5Google

For developers, Google has introduced “Asynchronous Clipboard API” which is meant to add support for copying and pasting media and rich data formats. Additionally, “AudioWorklet API” will help reduce latency in audio on websites.

Although Google has rolled out the latest update, it might take a few weeks to reach all devices. Meanwhile, Chrome 66 is also available on Mac, Windows, and Linux.