Last update of the year for Chrome, which reaches the version 79 on the Windows, MacOS, Linux, Chrome OS, Android and iOS platforms. The rollout has already started, but as always it may take a short wait (especially on mobile devices) before receiving the update. Among the innovations introduced, in addition to the inevitable list of bugfixes, many are intended for security.
Chrome 79: browser news
One of the most interesting concerns Password Checkup, feature until now available as an extension and now integrated directly into the browser. To access it, simply go to the "Settings", select "Password" and finally the relevant entry. If the option still does not appear, you can reach the functionality at the address passwords.google.com. What it does is analyze the access codes to platforms and services saved in your account to check if they are ineffective (too simple or easy to guess), used repeatedly or compromised by a data breach.
News also regarding the operation of the Safe Browsing API which warns those browsing when they are about to visit a site with potentially harmful pages or content. The system has long been based on a list of malicious sites downloaded and updated automatically every 30 minutes. Now the protection acts in real time if in the "Settings", in the "Synchronization and Google services" section, both "Safe browsing" and "Improve searches and browsing activities" are activated, accepting to send the addresses visited ( albeit anonymously) to the bigG servers.
There is also Predictive Phishing which, as you can already guess from the name, aims to protect the user and his information from one of the most widespread threats on the Net. Launched in 2017, the feature is now available to everyone, warning when they are about to insert their own access credentials in pages deemed suspicious.
Still, the Chrome 79 release takes a decisive blow to the so-called mixed content on sites with HTTPS: that is, it will block content such as images, audio, video or scripts provided via HTTPS.
Tab Freeze is instead a novelty that should help reduce the weight of the browser on system resources (it has always been considered very demanding in terms of RAM): the open and inactive cards for five minutes will be "emptied", thus freeing up the processor and memory otherwise uselessly occupied. To activate the feature it is necessary to act on the flag chrome: // flags / # proactive-tab-freeze.
That's not all: there is a restyling for the account management window and the system Back-forward Cache that saves what is present in the pages reachable through the "Back" and "Forward" buttons so as to speed up the loading (to be activated by flag chrome: // flags / # back-forward-cache).
As for the mobile editions of Chrome, the most interesting news concerns support a WebXR Device API on Android for virtual reality experiences and a new method for organizing favorites.