Chrome 84 resumes the changes to SameSite cookies, which Google began back with Chrome 80. Google rolled back the feature a few months after introducing it to make sure it didn’t break online services and portals to stop working amid the lockdowns.
The change requires web developers to update websites’ SameSite cookie attribute, or Chrome will automatically adopt a more secure setting. The switch is something that could potentially break sites.
However, now that enough time has passed, it seems Google is ready to push forward with the change, which will prevent security issues caused by vulnerabilities with cookies. Hopefully, the extra time has allowed developers to get on board and update their SameSite cookie attributes.
Along with the SameSite cookie changes, Chrome 84 will block intrusive notifications and other permission requests from websites that bug users.
9to5Google notes that Chrome 84 will introduce a new resource management tool to a limited group ahead of a wider release expected in Chrome 85. The tool will detect when users cover a browser window with another window and suspend rendering work to conserve resources. The feature builds on Chrome’s tab freezing, which pauses everything in a tab except audio, video and recording if it’s been in the background for over five minutes.
Have you ever installed a new extension then found your search engine or New Tab page was different? Google will finally crack down on extensions that sneakily change these settings by confirming the change with users and offering an easy way to revert the change.
On mobile, Chrome 84 brings support for Web OTP, which will allow the browser to read two-factor authentication (2FA) codes texted to users and input them automatically.
Google also improved Chrome’s implementation of the Web Animations API, which means the browser can clean up and remove old animations to save memory and improve performance.
There’s a new Wake Lock API as well, which lets websites request to keep your screen on and your device unlocked.
On top of that, Chrome 84 will warn users on macOS, Linux, Windows and Chrome OS about downloading executable files over an HTTP connection on an HTTPS page. Executable files include .exe, .apk and more.
Finally, for the Progressive Web App (PWA) users out there, Chrome 84 allows creating app shortcuts on desktop and mobile. Users can access these shortcuts by pressing and holding on Android or by right-clicking on macOS and Windows.
All in all, Chrome 84 is a reasonably packed release with lots of new changes. It should be rolling out now to desktop and mobile users.