As October winds down, it’s time for another Chrome release. Version 107 of Google’s popular browser arrives on October 24, 2022 and includes more work on some internal features to make your web browsing more secure.
Continue with user agent shrink
Chrome’s 100th big release marked the beginning of Google’s plan to reduce information in user agent strings. This information tells websites what type of device and operating system you are using, but can also be used to create a profile about you.
That’s why Google stopped supporting unrestricted user agent strings in Chrome 100. It replaced them with a more secure “User Agent Client Suggestions API”. Google says that Chrome 107 is “Phase 5” in this plan:
Y (i.e. parts of the User-Agent string) are reduced to the token values relevant and will no longer be updated.
Preparing to deprecate Widevine CDM
Viewing content from streaming services in your browser is not as simple as you might think. To view DRM-enabled content, Chrome uses Widevine CDM (Content Decryption Module). It will soon be deprecated.
Chrome 107 is the first version of the browser to ship with the Widevine CDM replacement, which will be fully deprecated on December 6, 2022. If Netflix suddenly stops working in December, you’ll need to make sure to update Chrome.
Coming Soon: Privacy Indicators for Chromebooks
A recent trend in smartphones (started by Apple) is privacy indicators. These are little dots or icons that show you when your device is accessing the camera or microphone. Google is working to bring this to Chromebooks.
The feature: “will show a green icon in the status area and add a silent notification to the tray” when the camera or microphone is accessed. It’s expected to hit the Canary channel soon as a feature indicator, meaning it may be ready for Chrome OS 108.
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What else is new?
You may have noticed that Chrome 107 is especially light on big features. However, there is still a lot going on under the hood. You can read about many of these changes on Google’s developer site, as well as on the Chromium blog. We will highlight a few changes here:
- In CSS Grid, the
grid-template-rowsThe properties allow developers to define line names and keep track of the size of the grid’s columns and rows. Chrome 107 supports interpolation of these properties.
- Web applications that support screen sharing when calling
getDisplayMedia()will exclude the current tab from the list of tabs offered to the user.
- The option to have Chrome show a button to switch tabs while screen sharing will be moved to
- You can now customize keyboard shortcuts for your favorite commands in DevTools.
How to update Google Chrome
Chrome will automatically install the update on your device when it’s available. To immediately check for and install available updates, click the three-dot menu icon and click Help > About Google Chrome.
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