Google has temporarily rolled back Chrome’s blocking of auto-playing audio after getting numerous complaints from web developers about the new code breaking a large amount of web apps and games.
The feature was introduced last month with Chrome 66 after taking into account complaints from web-users about annoying auto-play ads that not only drain data and use up hardware resources, but often disrupt workflow and push more users towards ad-blocking software.
You asked and we listened. Chrome 66 has been updated to temporarily remove the auto play policy for Web-Audio
— sMyle (@MylesBorins) May 15, 2018
While it only intended to root out obnoxious auto-play ads, it ended up removing audio from interactive web projects that rely on specific commands, creating problems for many web developers and users alike, resulting in the company getting flooded with a ton of complaints about the new feature.
This is only a temporary rollback to give developers some more time to update their code before it’s re-introduced in October with Chrome 70. But for now at least, the company seems to have accepted that the new code did more harm than good, with Chrome’s project manager, John Pallett, saying that, “in this case we didn’t do a good job of communicating the impact of the new autoplay policy to developers”.
It’s worth noting that developers whose projects were seriously affected by these changes are still not happy with the recent developments. One such developer, Benji Kay, wasn’t impressed with Google’s temporary solution. According to him, “Simply delaying the enacting of this policy doesn’t solve any of the major concerns”.
He goes on to insinuate that Google is enacting these changes with an eye on its bottomline, and advises the company to at least not enable this policy by default, but rather, allow an user to activate it by going into Chrome’s settings.