Chrome 76 released: what's new

Chrome 76 just switched to the fixed channel today, July 30. This latest version of Google's browser brings some major changes to the web. Flash is off by default and sites will not be able to crawl if you use incognito mode.

Yes the new Google Chrome now disables Adobe Flash by default on all sites. You can re-enable it, but you can only use it in click-to-play mode. Chrome also displays a warning that it will not support Flash Player after December of 2020.

Adobe will also stop supporting it Flash from 2021. So Google's move seems to make sense. Until then, you'll be able to use Flash, but Google has made it very difficult to encourage sites to upgrade and leave Flash (finally).

Websites will no longer be able to crawl incognito mode

Sites could crawl incognito mode by making a FIleSystem API request that is turned off in incognito mode. Some sites use this trick to exclude visitors in incognito mode, as this feature is a common way to bypass paywalls on the web. 

Google seems to have closed this gap.

For example, some news sites, such as the New York Times, limit the number of articles you can read and prevent you from using incognito browsing to "count" articles. Web pages will no longer be able to detect and block anonymous browsing.

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Google says the feature will not appeal to sites that offer a limited number of articles, but recommends requiring readers to sign in to their accounts. Incognito has been disabled and Google will not change it.

Some researchers have already found a way to bypass it, so playing cat and mouse is a good idea. Google will of course continue to fix the gaps.

Automatic Dark Mode on websites

With Chrome 76, sites will be able to crawl if you've selected Dark Mode on your operating system, and they'll be able to automatically enable a Dark Mode for you. Internet developers can use the attribute with the "prefers-color-scheme" media query in CSS.

Sites should enable this feature, but many sites offering dark themes - including YouTube and Twitter - could log on to this feature and automatically enable them for you instead of asking you to press a switch.

Websites will no longer be able to hijack the Escape Key

The Escape key can be used to stop loading a page, or to close a video and full-screen dialogs.

Unfortunately, some malicious websites disable the Escape Key to prevent you from closing pop-ups in Chrome. New version of Chrome fixes security vulnerability.

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Chrome won't let the extensions spy on you

Google appears to be removing permissions from browser extensions and requiring them to request only the data they need to work. Some extensions track your browsing habits without warning you. Thanks to a new log page, you'll be able to see what an extension does to your system.

Currently, this feature is hidden behind a command-line switch. After activating the flag (enable-extension-activity-logging), you will be able to select any extension from the Extensions Settings page, click on the details and then on the View Activity log to see what an extension does.

Progressive Web Apps easier to install

Progressive Web Apps (PWA) are essentially sites that have been converted to a local application that you can use. If a website uses PWAs, it doesn't need to develop a dedicated mobile app, saving time and money.

As usual the new Chrome 76 has brought many changes for them web developerssuch as Web Payments API enhancements. Some functions have been removed, and developer tools got new features.

Download the new browser.

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