Chrome Chrome 73 now moves to the beta channel when the Stable Chrome 72 comes out. Although there are some nice improvements to Android, most of the new features in this release are for desktop platforms. No more noise, let's sink deep into Chrome Beta 73.
Quick Action Address
As already mentioned, Google has added a series of buttons to the Chrome address bar on Android. When you tap the bar, there are new buttons to copy, share and edit the current URL. This was hidden behind a flag but is enabled by default in Chrome Beta 73.
Left: Chrome 72; Right: Chrome 73
Copying the current address has always made several touches, so it's nice to see that an actual copy button is added to the interface.
Picture-in-Picture for Chrome on the desktop arrived last year, allowing videos to be played in their small window. Unlike Android, where just switching to another application triggers Picture-in-Picture mode, some user action is required on the desktop (such as clicking a button) on the desktop.
Google has already experimented with the way PiP will be automatically on the desktop and is available as a Chrome 73 test code. Once a site adds the autopictureinpicture attribute to a video element, it will automatically pop up when the page is hide. In other words, it works the same way the picture in the picture has always worked on Android. If you installed Chrome Beta 73 on your desktop, you can try a demo here.
In a linked note, an "Skip Ad" button is added to the "Picture In Picture" detail, as previously reported. If you have Chrome 73, there is a demo that you can try.
If you have a keyboard with media management keys, you will probably like Chrome 73 – pressing the play / pause key on the keyboard will now play / pause the active video. You may notice several errors because some custom video players are not designed to process playback changes without the user clicking on a button but should work well on most sites.
Sites will also be able to perform actions when pressing rewind / forward keys is done using the Media Session API (which was introduced to Chrome 57 for Android). For example, the Spotify web application can allow you to skip to the previous / next track using the keyboard. I look forward to sites that add support for this.
Another experimental feature in Chrome 73 is the ability to add a badge to a Progressive Web App installed. For example, Twitter's PWA may display an unread DM badge, or the video conversion web app may display a badge when it happens.
The exact badge presentation will vary depending on the operating system. The Google documentation says Android does not show a number, because Android supports point-only display.
As always, Chrome 73 includes changes for both users and developers. Here are some of the smaller features included in this update:
- Progressive web applications running from the desktop (or the Android Home screen) are automatically granted permission to automatically play video with sound.
- On Chromebook with Android 9 Pie when Android app
- Chrome no longer lets in frameshare download unless the user interacts with the frame.
- Style styles can now be dynamically constructed using new CSSStyleSheet methods.
- Now sites can quickly check to see if specific HDCP rules for DRM can be used.
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