What’s New in Chrome 76, Available Now

Close-up of the Google Chrome logo.

Chrome 76 arrives on the stable channel today, July 30th. This latest version brings serious changes on the Web. Flash is now disabled by default and websites will not be able to detect if you are using incognito mode.

Flash is off by default

Google Chrome now blocks Adobe Flash by default on all websites. You can reactivate Flash, but you can only use Flash in click-to-play mode. You will also see a warning that Google Chrome will not support Flash Player after December 2020.

Adobe will also stop supporting Flash from 2021. So it's a smart move for Google. Until then, you can still use Flash, but Google makes it more annoying to encourage websites to upgrade and stay away from Flash.

Websites Can not Detect Incognito Mode

Sites may detect that you are in incognito mode by making a FIleSystem API request, which is disabled in incognito mode. Some websites use this trick to block visitors who are in private browsing mode, because private browsing is a common way to bypass paywalls on the web. But Google closes this loophole.

For example, some news sites such as The New York Times limit the number of articles you read and prevent you from reading in incognito mode so you do not have to work around this problem. Web sites will no longer be able to detect or block the incognito mode specifically.

Google agrees with websites offering a limited number of articles, but recommended the readers must connect. Incognito mode blocking is not an option and Google will not let it.

Some researchers have already found a way around the block, the game of cat and mouse is going well. But Google will continue to eliminate loopholes.

The Chrome Incognito mode has been detectable for years, thanks to the implementation of the FileSystem API. From Chrome 76, this is fixed.
I apologize for the "detect private mode" scripts. 💐 pic.twitter.com/3LWFXQyy7w

– Paul Irish (@paul_irish) June 11, 2019

Automatic dark mode arrives on websites

From Chrome 76, websites can detect if you have chosen dark mode on your operating system. If you have enabled dark mode, the site can automatically activate a dark mode theme for you. Web developers can take advantage of it with the "favorite color"Media query in CSS.

Web sites will need to enable this feature, but many sites have dark themes, including Youtube and TwitterYou can log in to this feature and automatically enable it for you rather than requiring you to press a switch.

Websites Can not Hijack Your Escape Key

Let's face it; you've never had a reason to use the escape key when interacting with a website. And realistically, you will never do it. If you wish, you can use the escape key to stop loading a site. The Esc key also allows you to close videos and dialogs in full screen.

Unfortunately, some malicious websites have hijacked the Escape key to force Chrome to display pop-ups, thus preventing it from functioning normally. It will not work anymore. The Esc button belongs to the browser.

Chrome will allow you to spy on your extensions

History tab of the Chrome extension activity log

Google is crack down on browser extensions and asking them to ask only how much data they need to operate. Some extensions follow your browsing habits without notifying you adequately. Thanks to a new logging pageyou will see what an extension does on your system. Knowledge is power.

For now, this feature is hidden behind a command line switch. Once enabled the –enable-extension-activity-logging flag, you can select any extension on the Extensions Settings page, click Details, and then View Activity Log to see what a extension.

Progressive Web applications are easier to install

Omnibox Google Chrome, displaying the Progressive Web Installer button.Google

Progressive Web Applications (PWA) are essentially Web sites transformed into a local application that you can use. If a site supports PWAs, they may be able to avoid creating a dedicated mobile app, saving time and development effort.

Until now, installing a PWA was too difficult. From Chrome 76, if a site supports PWAs, an install button appears on the right side of the Omnibox.

Chromebooks benefit from GPU acceleration for Linux applications

Installing the Linux dialog box for Chromebooks.

A little less than a year ago, Google has Linux applications on Chromebooks. These Linux applications did not have access to GPU acceleration, which meant graphics-hungry applications, such as games, did not work properly. Now, Chrome 76 aims to solve this problem with GPU acceleration.

This could mean that Steam for Linux would work well on an Intel Chromebook, freeing up a whole world of PC games.

RELATED: Linux applications are now available in Chrome OS stable, but what does it mean?

Notifications are easier to clear in Chrome OS

Clear all button for Chrome OS notifications

If you do not like clearing notifications in Chrome OS, you're not alone. The more notifications you have, the harder it is to get the Clear All button, which Google has hidden at the bottom of the list.

The latest update solves the problem in the best possible way by moving the Clear all button up. No more scrolling forever; just click and move on.

As usual, Chrome 76 also has a lot of changes for web developers, including improvements to the Web Payments API. Some web features have been removed or discouraged, and the development tools have new features.

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