What’s New in Chrome 88, Available Now 2021
Google released Chrome 88 to the permanent channel on January 19, 2021. The new browser version adds some great changes, including an updated dark theme for Windows 10 and that start of less intrusive permission indicates. Here are the highlights.
Better Dark Theme Support on Windows 10
Now Chrome has supported Windows 10’s system-wide dark theme for a while, and just Chrome 88 makes it a little better. Dark Theme now uses scroll bars on many of Chrome’s internal pages. That introduces Settings, Bookmarks, History, New Tab Page, and more. It’s not still present on websites that support dark themes.
No More FTP in Google Chrome
By Chrome 88, Google Chrome no longer supports FTP URLs—in different words, FTP:// addresses.
FTP support means a legacy feature that has no support for encrypted connections (no FTPS). An attacker could transform files you’re downloading in transit, unlike among encrypted HTTPS or FTPS, where this isn’t feasible. As Chrome and other browsers shift toward an always-encrypted web, dropping old protocols like this makes sense.
Google has been working on raising FTP from Chrome for a while, though it was yet available for some people—and a flag could allow it. Google’s usage data showed that significantly less people used FTP. Now, all FTP support is disabled. If you need to use FTP, you’ll want a separate FTP app.
Never More Support for Mac OS X Yosemite
Google is officially losing support for Mac OS X 10.10 Yosemite in Chrome 88. Mac users will require OS X 10.11 El Capitan or newer to use Chrome 88. The shouldn’t come as a shock since Apple hasn’t supported Yosemite since 2017.
Legacy Browser Add-on Gone for Good
Including Chrome 85, Google raised its Legacy Browser Support add-on as the functionality became baked in Chrome. Chrome 88 brings it a step further and disables all installed instances of the add-on.
LBS was created for IT admins to call up Microsoft Internet Explorer in Chrome for older apps written for that browser and intranet sites. Because it’s now built into Chrome, the add-on is unnecessary.
Less Intrusive Permission Requests
Chrome 88 is testing with a shorter and less intrusive way to ask for permissions. Instead of the pop-up covering the website content, a new “chip” seems to the URL’s left.
The chip first arrives with full text such as “Use Your Location?” After a few seconds, it minimizes to merely a small icon. Clicking the chip, which looks like a blue oval, makes up the permission prompt you’re utilized to viewing.
You can try out the new agreement “chips” right now by enabling the flag at chrome://flags/#permission-chip
Testing Light and Dark Themes to Chrome OS
Google is also testing defined light and dark themes for Chromebooks. The article can be toggled from the Quick Settings menu. Themes modify the Shelf, App Launcher, and Quick Settings panel. No everything is working 100% right now.
If you’d like to work this out on a Chrome OS system, the flag can be allowed at chrome://flags/#dark-light-mode. After you reboot, this Theme toggle will arrive in the Quick Settings.
Tab Search Comes to Desktop
Chrome 87 brought handy Tab Search features to Chromebooks. However, it wasn’t available on Windows, Mac, or Linux. Chrome 88 makes it to those platforms via a Chrome flag.
If it’s approved, you get a drop-down arrow in the top tab bar that shows all of your open tabs while selected. You can next use the integrated search bar to find the account you’re looking for. To view this feature in Chrome 88, enable the Tab Search flag at chrome://flags/#enable-tab-search.
Many of what’s new in all Chrome release is under the hood, and Chrome 88 is no exception. Google has outlined a lot of these changes on its developer website and the Chromium blog:
- Digital Goods API: Web apps published in the Google Play Store can now use Play Store billing only like native apps.
- WebXR: AR Lighting Estimation: For AR and VR content on Android, lighting estimation can help make models feel extra natural and like they “fit” better with the user’s environment.
- Anchor target=_blank implies rel=noopener by Default: To defend against “tab-napping” attacks, anchors that target _blank will behave as though rel is set to no opener.
- CSS aspect-ratio Property: This provides explicitly specifying an aspect ratio for any part to get similar behavior to a replaced function.
- Origin Isolation: Web apps can choose to increase a page’s safety in exchange for giving up access to specific APIs.
As forever, Chrome will automatically install the update when it’s available. To quickly check for and install any available updates, click the menu > Help > About Google Chrome.