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Chrome

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'Lazy loading' feature to speed up browsing now available in Chrome Canary

Web pages are becoming more and more complex, but browser vendors have been hard at work trying to offset that with performance and caching improvements. For example, Service Workers allow sites to cache certain data locally to speed up load times (or work offline entirely). 'Lazy loading' is another performance enhancement that has been in development, and now it has arrived in the Canary channel of Chrome.

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Chrome Beta 69 adds support for notched phones, becomes a media player for Android Go, and more [APK Download]

Chrome 68 hit stable two weeks ago with plenty of important changes, like marking HTTP pages as not secure. It took a little longer than normal, but Chrome 69 has now graduated to beta status. Everyone's favorite web browser has finally reached the sex number.

Going back on topic, this release has the usual mix of interface updates and new developer features. Without further ado, let's get into it.

Display cutout support

When Apple released the iPhone X last year, the company also introduced some Safari-specific CSS attributes to help websites work around the notched screen. Even though most sites look fine on the iPhone X without any modification, developers could use a certain meta tag with Apple's 'safe-area-inset' CSS properties to have greater control.

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Google Chrome now available on Daydream VR

Chrome has been able to view web VR content for some time now, but there has always been one problem - you couldn't launch Chrome from the Daydream launcher. In other words, you had to navigate to the desired page on your phone, then put your phone in a VR headset. That's not a great experience, and it leaves out standalone Daydream headsets (like the Lenovo Mirage Solo) entirely.

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Google Chrome starts suggesting more articles like the one you're reading

It's no secret that Google wants you to browse more and read more — this is a surefire way to see more ads from its network. Over the past months, we've seen suggested articles pop up everywhere in the Google Feed, Google News, Chrome's new tab page, and sometimes even when searching for something. You may remember a "People also view" sliding card that showed up when you were viewing a page from Google Search results. That card evolved over time into "View x related pages," and has now started showing up in Chrome as "More like this."

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Facebook is testing a proper Progressive Web App for its mobile website

There are times you want to install a native app on your device to get the full experience from a service or social media platform, and times where you just want to visit the mobile site every now and then and not bother with having the full app. Progressive Web Apps bridge the gap between the two situations, creating an app-like experience in the browser, and they've evolved so much in recent years that they're becoming viable alternatives to native apps. For instance, it's been over a year since I've installed a Twitter client on my phone, because Twitter Lite does the job for me.

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Chrome 68 marks HTTP pages as not secure, finally blocks redirecting ads, and more [APK Download]

The first beta of Chrome 68 was released almost two months ago, and now the stable version is available across desktop and mobile platforms. This update includes the long-awaited blocker for redirecting ads, a new warning for HTTP pages, an improved download manager on Android, and more.

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Chrome is experimenting with a 'Switch to this tab' button

If you've ever absentmindedly loaded a website that you already had open, don't worry - you're not alone. Google has long had a flag that could help with that, though it's now experimenting with an improved UI containing a 'Switch to this tab' button for it.

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[Update: More details] Chrome will display all HTTP sites as 'not secure' starting July 24

HTTPS adoption has surged over the past few years, mostly thanks to the availability of free SSL/TLS certificates from Let's Encrypt. Browser vendors have also been encouraging sites to switch to HTTPS, and Google said earlier this year that Chrome would eventually mark all HTTP-only sites as 'Not Secure.'

Chrome 68 is due to be released tomorrow (at least on desktop platforms), and it's the first release that will display a 'Not secure' message in the address bar on HTTP pages. Chrome already displays the message on HTTP sites with data entry fields, but starting tomorrow, all non-secure pages will be shamed.

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InBrief
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Migrating payment card info from Chrome to Google Pay might soon be possible

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[Update: Live] Chrome may soon add ability to import new tab backgrounds from Google Photos

Google added the option to customize Chrome's new tab page with a very familiar-looking selection of wallpapers last month. But if you thought Google was done working on the new tab page, you'd be wrong. About Chromebooks recently discovered a new change in Chromium Gerrit that'll allow users to import their new tab backgrounds from Google Photos as well.

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