Google has released Google Chrome 76.0.3809.87 for Windows, Mac and Linux, and with it comes some changes.
Flash is disabled by default, sites will not be able to detect when users are using Incognito Mode, Progressive Web Apps will be easier to install, and sites will be able to change layout depending on whether you are using dark or light mode.
If the browser hasn’t updated automatically, users can update to Chrome 76 by going to Settings -> About Google Chrome. The browser will automatically look for the update and install it. For Android and iOS users, updates can be downloaded from the app stores.
What’s new in Google Chrome 76
- Flash is disabled by default
Google is sticking to the plan of slowly eliminating Flash, and this release is a big step. Starting with Google Chrome 76, Flash will have to be re-enabled on every site you visit and each time you visit. Enabled Flash will no longer be a remembered setting like in the previous Chrome versions. Google is expecting to completely eliminate Flash by the end of 2020.
- Incognito Mode will no longer be detected by sites
Google Chrome 76 comes with a fix that prevents websites from detecting Incognito Mode browsing. Previously, websites could check whether FileSystem API is available. If it wasn’t, websites could conclude that the visitor was using Incognito Mode. This will no longer be allowed. Incognito Mode may now allow people to bypass paywalls. Because Incognito Mode prevents sites from reading or writing cookies on your device, theoretically, publishers have no way of knowing how many free articles users have read.
- Sites will be able to detect whether the user is using light or dark mode
Websites will now be able to detect what layout the user is using by using CSS code. This will allow sites to switch layouts depending on what theme the users is using on their OS. If they detect that the user has dark mode enabled, the sites will switch to dark mode as well.
- Installing Progressive Web Apps will be easier
In order to make installing progressive web apps easier, Google has added an install button to the address bar. If the site meets the Progressive Web App installability criteria, an install button will be shown in the omnibox, indicating to the user that the site’s Progressive Web App is available.
- Users will not be shown ads when the Escape key is pressed
Certain shady websites would display a pop-up ad when users press the Escape key, which is both annoying and dangerous. Some malware campaigns have used this method to spread malicious software. With Chrome 76, Google has changed how the Escape key works and this should prevent shady sites from opening pop-ups.
Security vulnerabilities fixed
43 security vulnerabilities, including 5 severe ones have been fixed in Chrome 76. The list of security fixes can be found here. Here are the five security vulnerabilities classified as high:
- High CVE-2019-5850: Use-after-free in offline page fetcher. Reported by Brendon Tiszka on 2019-06-21;
- High CVE-2019-5860: Use-after-free in PDFium. Reported by Anonymous on 2019-04-26;
- High CVE-2019-5853: Memory corruption in regexp length check. Reported by yngwei(@yngweijw) of IIE Varas and sakura(@eternalsakura13) of Tecent Xuanwu Lab on 2019-06-19;
- High CVE-2019-5851: Use-after-poison in offline audio context. Reported by Zhe Jin（金哲），Luyao Liu(刘路遥) from Chengdu Security Response Center of Qihoo 360 Technology Co. Ltd on 2019-06-20;
- High CVE-2019-5859: res: URIs can load alternative browsers. Reported by James Lee (@Windowsrcer) of Kryptos Logic on 2019-05-03.