Google’s most recent stable version of Chrome, version 73, has some fun new features that make it worth talking about. Really, who ever talks about the newest version of a web browser?
Yet these features are unique and useful for just about anyone. While you’re at it, learn about some great Chrome features you should already be using.
Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to flip back and forth
between apps while having a video chat with someone, and the video stays
visible? That’s available in Chrome now. For non-Android devices, it still
requires clicking a button to make it happen, but for Android devices, it
This could really help when having a video chat with someone and you want to look at something else like a business report while maintaining the conversation. If that appeals to you, then you’ll want to also take a look at a few Chrome extensions to boost your productivity .
Google is working on making it automatic on all devices, so
keep an eye out for that in future versions.
Progressive Web Apps Work Everywhere
A Progressive Web App
(PWA) can be installed like a desktop app but it’s really running on the web.
This feature is now available for MacOS users, as it has been for Windows,
Chrome OS, and Linux.
Pete LePage, Developer Advocate with Google, explains, “A Progressive Web App is fast, and reliably so; always loading and performing at the same speed, regardless of network connection.” You can get a taste of PWAs with apps like Twitter Lite and Pinterest.
Chrome has had the DataSaver feature for awhile now. That’s how Google will compress web pages on their own servers so they can deliver the page to you in the good quality but a much lower file size.
That wasn’t always available for HTTPS traffic. Now it is. The claim being made by Google is that it could, “…reduce data use by up to 90% and load pages two times faster.”
Control Media with Your Media Keys
If your keyboard has keys for play, pause, rewind and other
media commands, those will now work with media in Chrome. It’s not working
perfectly just yet as not all media players support it. Expect that to happen
Dark Mode for macOS
Before Chrome v73 you had to install third-party themes to get dark mode on your browser. Google has it cooked in for macOS now and is working on it for Windows.
Dark mode is a nice feature for browsing at night. It’s much easier on the eyes for most people. Take a look at the side-by-side comparison below.
Google Acknowledges DuckDuckGo
Web browsers will often build-in access to search engines so that whatever you type in the address bar can become a search. Chrome has had Google, Microsoft’s Bing, and Yahoo!
Built in for a while now. In v73 they have included the secure search engine, DuckDuckGo. By setting DuckDuckGo as your default search engine, you can drastically reduce the amount of information Google collects about you. We recommend trying it out.
There are a host of other features in Chrome v73, but most of them work silently in the background to make things faster and safer. Or, the features are more for the web developer crowd to allow them to give you a better experience on the sites they make.
If you’re interested in reading more about these features, you can at developers.google.com and chromestatus.com.