Chrome 70 Brings Sign-in, PWA Improvements for Desktop; Downloads Menu, New Search Widget for Android
Google has rolled out Chrome 70 for Windows, Linux, Mac, and Android users. The new version, as expected, brings some changes to the controversial new sign-in process, improves support for progressive web apps (PWAs) on Windows, and includes stricter HTTP warnings as well. Furthermore, Chrome 70 for Android brings a Material Theme-based search widget, a new Downloads menu, and fixes bugs and security patches. Chrome 70 on desktop has made some changes to the Settings panel to introduce a new ‘Allow Chrome sign-in’ option which can be enabled or disabled. When disabled, it will allow users to sign into Google sites like Gmail without the need to sign into Chrome. This comes after the new automatic sign-in process that arrived with Chrome 69 received a lot of negative feedback.
Furthermore, clearing cookies will delete all Google authentication cookies not used by the Chrome sync account, thereby logging you out of any secondary sites that use Google logins for signing in. PWAs on mobile have been there for a while, and Chrome 67 also introduced an install button for PWAs on desktop, but Chrome 70 brings improvement for Windows users. Google notes that they can be installed alongside other apps, work natively on the address bar, and feature responsive designs as well. Support for Mac and Linux is coming with version 72, and Google is also looking to bring link capturing, icon badging, and keyboard shortcuts in the future. Chrome 70 also pushes HTTPS adoption, by prompting users with a ‘not secure’ warning and a red icon, especially if they add passwords and other personal data on a HTTP page. The latest version also allows websites to access Touch ID on MacBook Pro and future macOS devices, as part of Web Authentication API. Chrome 70 also brings a new UI for WebAuthn and FIDO authenticators.
“Chrome 70 adds support for a third type of credential: Public Key Credential, which allows web applications to create and use, strong, cryptographically attested, and application-scoped credentials to strongly authenticate users,” Google notes on its developers blog. Chrome version 70.0.3538.67 can be downloaded by checking for an update manually in the Settings menu, or downloading it from the official page.
Chrome 70 for Android allows access to Android’s fingerprint to those websites that support it, via tweaks to the Web Authentication API. The search widget gets a new Material Theme design, and a new Downloads menu is added to see all the downloads from the web, and see where they are located on the computer. Google has also removed build numbers starting with Chrome 70 for Android and iOS to reduce attacks that are targeted to specific build numbers. It also brings support for the new video codec AV1, and you can download the latest version of Android from Google Play.