Google Chrome 78 is now accessible for users of Windows, macOS, Linux, ChromeOS, Android, and iOS. The most recent variant of the web browser was released today, and it packs several impressive features and optimizations.
More precisely, the version 78 of Google Chrome comes with a new customization menu for the New Tab page, visual tips when navigating nearby tabs, forced dark mode on every website, support for the Password Checkup mechanism, and DNS-over-HTTPS trials. The newly released update also eliminates the old XSS Auditor security option.
Here are the most impressive features packed in the new update on detail.
New Customization Menu
The new update enables users to utilize a new customization menu, accessible from the New Tab page. This particular feature is an experimental one, and it can be activated by accessing the ‘ chrome://flags’ section and enabling two options named ‘NTP customization menu version 2,’ and ‘Chrome Colors menu.’
To enable this particular feature, simply visit: ‘ chrome://flags/#ntp-customization-menu-v,’ and ‘chrome://flags/#chrome-colors.’
Once turned on, a new menu will enable users to customize their Chrome web browser with brand new themes, manage the way shortcuts on the New Tab page look, and customize the New Tab page background wallpaper.
This is a feature that has been developed for a while, and Google originally announced it would be ready to roll in the last month’s Chrome 77 update. However, it wasn’t included in the last month’s update, but it is in the new one.
Tab Hover Cards
A rather minor detail users will also observe in the new version is the fact that when hovering a tab, the browser will show a tooltip with information on that particular tab. The feature is called ‘Tab Hover Cards,’ and came to be of help to those Chrome power users who open more than one tabs.
The hover card simplifies for users with multiple browser toolbars the process of locating the tab they are looking for at a given moment, rather than cycling through all the tabs at once.
To disable this feature or select another style for the hover cards, visit ‘chrome://flags/#tab-hover-cards.’
Forced Dark Mode
An impressive addition in Chrome 78 is the Forced Dark Mode feature. This option enables a dark mode setting on each website, even if the website supports a dark theme or not. It doesn’t, however, mess with websites’ source code, but utilizes color theory inversion to swap light user interfaces into the dark version.
To enable Forced Dark Mode, visit the following Chrome flag: ‘chrome://flags/#enable-force-dark.’
Password Checkup Tool
The new version of the web browser is the first Chrome variant that incorporates the Chrome Password Safety tool. The earlier-mentioned tool is a Google-developed extension that was included in the browser.
The previous extension enabled users to verify whether their passwords had been leaked in public data breaches or they are safe. Now, this feature is accessible within the browser itself, but it only functions if users are syncing Chrome-stored passwords to their Google account.
To enable the Password Checkup tool, users can access the following Chrome flag: ‘chrome://flags/#password-leak-detection.’.
Google intends to test its new DNS-over-HTTPS (DoH) protocol with the new Chrome 78. This trial functions by covering up DNS queries and responses inside typical HTTPS traffic.
What users must know is that Chrome’s DoH incorporation is not similar to that on Firefox. While Firefox natively sends all DoH requests to a Cloudflare server, Chrome is not modifying the local computer’s DNS settings. If the user’s locally-fixed DNS server supports DoH, Google Chrome will transmit DoH requests. If it doesn’t, it will transmit regular DNS requests.
Google explains more elaborately about this particular feature here.
Elimination of XSS Auditor
In the new version of Chrome, Google engineers have removed the old XSS Auditor, a security optimization that existed in Chrome since version 4, rolled out in 2009.
This feature has been Chrome’s genuine protection against cross-site scripting, a.k.a. XSS attacks. Even so, as the XSS Auditor aged and web standards developed, the tool became rather useless, so Google decided to eliminate it for good.
These are only a few changes in Chrome 78 we consider extremely impressive and worth mentioning. More of the features and options implemented with the new version of the web browser can be found on Google Chrome Developers’ YouTube channel.