Chrome OS users will be happy to note that the new Chrome OS version 66 is rolling out today, bringing with it a number of welcome changes. The headline features are media autoplay restrictions, password export and protection against Meltdown for all Chrome OS devices.
In Chrome 66, users can specify when media can autoplay, preventing garbage sites from autoplaying content you just don’t want to see. For example, by default, media can only auto-play when:
- Content is muted, or doesn’t feature audio
- Users have previously tapped or clicked on the site during the browsing session
- On the desktop, if the user has frequently chosen to play media on the site, according to the Media Engagement Index
There is a new Export passwords option under Manage passwords that allows users to download a list of stored credentials from their Google Account. A prompt asks users to confirm the download as the saved .csv file is in clear text and easily accessible. However, don’t jump for joy – this password list isn’t all that helpful. You can’t – for example – import it into Firefox or other browsers all that easily (though you can, if you’re minded, import it into LastPass and use that to achieve migration of your credentials to a different browser).
Importantly, all Chrome OS devices are now patched against the Meltdown CPU vulnerability, and instant tethering (which allows your Chromebook to get online more quickly with a compatible smartphone) now supports many more devices. Chrome’s built in camera can record video, users who want to zoom can zoom up to 20x now, and there’s Picture in Picture mode fore zooming in the image viewer. It’s the small things, after all.
For Chrome OS users making the most of Android, apps from the Play Store now support screen sharing, while there is now native printing support, and improvements to Maximized Window.
The full list of changes in Chrome OS 66 are below:
- Adding new keyboard shortcut to move windows from display-to-display
- New Chrome OS Keyboard Shortcut Helper
- External Display Settings enhancements
- Enable Video Recording in Chrome Camera App
- Overview window animation improvements
- Extending more devices support for Magic Tether
- Picture in Picture Magnification
- Ability to zoom up to 20x with Chrome OS magnifier
- Ability to adjust full screen mag zoom level through pinch gesture
- Screen sharing support for Android apps installed via the Google Play Store
- Add Google Play into first login Opt-in window
- Google Play GDPR support
- Google Play Maximized Window support improvements
- Automatically pass user credentials from Chrome OS login to network 802.1x authentication
- Native printing support extended to Google Play applications
- Add Sync notice during initial sign-in
Chrome OS 66 will be available to all devices over the next several days.