Chrome 63 Beta Released with Changes to Chrome Home, a New Flags Page and More
A week after the release of the stable version of Chrome 62, Google has now released Chrome 63 beta, which comes with many developer-focused changes and some user-facing UI changes. The developer-focused changes include dynamic module imports, async iterators and generators, and a Device Memory API which enables developers to see the total RAM of a user’s device and tailor web content in accordance with hardware limitations.
There are also user-facing changes in this beta release. In Chrome for Android, the permission UI has been changed. Up till now, permission requests for special permissions have appeared in Chrome for Android as banners which can be dismissed at the bottom of the screen. According to Google, developers often show them without considering whether the user has the appropriate context to grant the permission. This results in “a distracting user experience, and users ignore or temporarily dismiss these permission prompts more than 90% of the time.”
Google stated that in Chrome 59, it had started to address this problem by temporarily blocking a permission if the user dismisses the request three times. Now, in Chrome 63, permission requests will be presented as modal dialogs which cannot be ignored.
According to the company, this change reduces the overall number of permission prompts by 50%. It also makes users “5 times more likely to accept or deny requests, rather than temporarily dismissing or repeatedly ignoring them.” To ensure users understand the permission request, Google says developers should present users with permission requests at an appropriate time, as it has found that users were 2.5 times more likely to grant permission to a site that asks for permissions with context.
Moving on, Chrome 63 includes changes to Chrome Home – Google’s term for Chrome’s new bottom address bar design, which Google has been developing for a while now. Google has continued to develop Chrome Home with a new Modern UI, which gave rounded corners to the address bar and other elements.
The modern UI for Chrome Home was released in Chrome 62, but it wasn’t enabled by default as Chrome Home itself still isn’t enabled by default. However, Android Police discovered some new flags in Chrome 63 that indicate the feature is nearly completed..
There is also a new “You’re using the new Chrome” message at the top of the overflow menu that opens a popup describing the new features, as well as a toggle to disable it.
Chrome 63 beta has a new design for the chrome://flags page. The Android version of the page doesn’t look like the desktop version any longer, with larger touch targets, more white space, and a search feature, which should eliminate the necessity to use ‘Find in Page’ for flags.
Acccording to 9to5Google, Chrome 63 is also adding site-wide audio muting with an option to mute audio for individual sites. This will be accessible in site settings; users can also choose ‘Allow’ or ‘Block’ by opening the permissions panel when tapping the green lock button. Finally, the new ‘display: minimal-ui’ capability will allow developers to build minimal UIs that lack action bars and other interface elements, much like Chrome Custom Tabs for Android.
Chrome 63 will arrive in the stable channel in the coming weeks.