Chrome

New privacy features in Chrome 83

Because of the scheduling problems resulting from the engineering team working from home, Chrome V82 was completely skipped but releases are starting to return to normal. Chrome 83 entered beta last month, and has now graduated from stable channel with a number of tow improvements.

One of the new changes relating to privacy that Google announced a few days ago was a new feature for Incognito Mode. When you open a new Incognito tab a setting to block third-party cookies appears at the bottom. In default it is switched on.

This specific feature is part of a server-side rollout, so if you’re already on Chrome 83 and you don’t have it, paste chrome://flags/#improved-cookie-controls into your address bar and click ‘Enabled’ on the highlighted dropdown menu.

Improved form controls

Microsoft has already merged a few improvements back to mainline Chrome from its Chromium-based Edge browser, and Chrome 83 includes a further change: updated form controls. Don’t just get all excited at once!

Design-wise, Chrome’s form controls (buttons, text fields, etc.) are everywhere. Some of them came from Safari / WebKit, some of them had gradients, some didn’t have gradients, etc. Microsoft and Google have collaborated to standardize the presence of form elements across all operating systems and the result is Chrome 83 shipping.

Besides the appearance, some form elements have also been reworked for better usability on touch screens. For example, the time picker now has large dropdown menus for selecting the hour and minute, instead of relying solely on keyboard input.

However, it doesn’t appear that the updated controls have made their way to Chrome for Android. While the Android browser already has better controls in some areas (e.g. the time picker opens the same time picker you get in the Clock app), the general design improvements would be nice to see on mobile.

More features

Chrome
  • The Security settings page has been redesigned, but only on desktop platforms.
  • Tab Groups should now be enabled for everyone. If you still don’t have them, switch the flag chrome://flags/#tab-groups to Enabled.
  • Extension buttons in the toolbar are now located in the new extensions drop-down menu. If you don’t see this change, enable the flag chrome://flags/#extensions-toolbar-menu.
  • The new @supports selector() feature makes it easier to check if a CSS feature is supported before it is used.
  • The Barcode Detection API is now enabled by default.
  • Downloads from sandboxed iframes are now blocked, preventing malicious ads and other embedded content from downloading files.
  • WebXR content (e.g. AR and VR content) can now display HTML on top of 3D rendered environments.
  • The new Performance.measureMemory() function estimates the memory usage of the current web page.

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