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Chrome

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Chrome Duplex UI updated with bottom bar that mirrors top toolbar options

Google Chrome's Canary build offers "bleeding edge" features so they can be tested ahead of possible graduation to the more stable versions of the app. Recently, Google has been experimenting with the traditional top-positioned toolbar in response to ever taller Android handsets, first by moving the whole thing to the bottom (Chrome Home), and then by replacing that with a swiping up gesture to access to the new tab page (Chrome Duplex).

The latest evolution of this test — controlled by the #enable-chrome-duplex flag in chrome://flags — introduces a brand new bottom toolbar that exactly mirrors the options at the top of the screen.

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Tip: Get a shortcut to Bookmarks and Downloads on every new Chrome tab page

Yesterday, I shared with you a Chrome flag that lets you minimize the Articles for you recommendations on Chrome's new tab page. But there is a whole world of Chrome flags worth discovering, and one of them is very useful but might be unknown to you: an option to show quick shortcuts to your bookmarks and downloads. This should ease the pain of losing that handy Chrome bottom tab the team tested last year.

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Tip: You can collapse the 'Articles for you' recommendations in Chrome's new tab page

Chrome's new tab page has been showing article recommendations it thinks are interesting to you for quite a while now. Some users find them useless and full of clickbait links, others see some good articles in the mix. If you feel like your new tab page is cluttered by them and you want to clean it up without completely disabling the recommendations, there's a Chrome flag to do just that.

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Chrome Beta 68 shrinks install banners, allows third-party web apps to handle online purchases, and more [APK Download]

The first beta release of Chrome 68 is here, not long after the public release of Chrome 67. This version includes the new Payment Handler API, some new developments with Chrome's redirecting ad blocker, changes to web app install banners, and more.

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[Update: Fixed, improved] New tabs on Chrome will soon be customizable with wallpapers

Chrome's new tab page has been plain white for as long as I can remember, with users seeking more customization opting for various other solutions. However, it seems like Google has finally seen the light, having added a "Customize background" button in the latest version of Chrome Canary on desktop. Too bad it isn't functional yet.

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Chrome 68 will make annoying 'Add to Home screen' banners less conspicuous

Since the version 42 beta, Chrome for Android has included a pop-up banner allowing you to add a website shortcut (or Progressive Web App) to the home screen of your phone for easier access. While useful, the banner is unfortunately rather obtrusive, taking up too much space on the screen and getting in the way of the content you're trying to view. Thankfully, Chrome's developers have a solution to this problem.

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Chrome 67 brings Progressive Web Apps to the desktop, adds experimental WebXR API for VR/AR content, and more [APK Download]

Almost a full month after the beta version was released, Chrome 67 is now available on Android and desktop platforms. This version includes the long-awaited desktop Progressive Web App support, as well as a new experimental tab switcher and several new APIs for developers.

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Chrome outlines further changes to security indicators for HTTP/HTTPS sites

Earlier this year, the team behind Chrome stated that all HTTP pages will be marked as 'Not secure' later on this year, in a bid to encourage even more site owners to move to the more secure HTTPS standard. We now know a little bit more about planned changes to Chrome's security indicators, including how HTTPS pages will be shown as default pages going forward.

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Google partially rolls back Chrome 66's autoplay changes

With the release of Chrome 66 late last month, Google introduced new autoplay restrictions on both mobile and desktop Chrome. Sites could only start video and audio automatically if they had a high score on Chrome's 'Media Engagement Index,' which takes into account how often the user clicks on the site and watches media.

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[Update: Google rolls back some changes] Chrome's new autoplay requirements are breaking online games

For years, autoplaying video and audio on the web has been a constant source of frustration for users. Restrictions on autoplaying content have been in mobile browsers for years, partially due to the processing limitations of early smartphones, and partially to conserve mobile data usage. With the release of Chrome 66 late last month, Google introduced new autoplay restrictions on both mobile and desktop Chrome.

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