What you need to know

  • Google Chrome 76 beta is now available to download.
  • The latest Chrome beta release makes it easier for users to get around paywalls and disables flash by default.
  • Dark Mode can now be enabled automatically by websites while installing PWAs on the desktop has become much simpler.

Just a week after rolling out the Chrome 75 beta, Google has now released released Chrome 76 beta for Android, Chrome OS, Linux, macOS, and Windows platforms. The latest Chrome beta brings several new features, such as allowing websites to enable the dark mode setting automatically, changes to the payments API, and improvements for Progressive Web Apps (PWAs). Along with the new features, Chrome 76 blocks Flash completely by default and makes it impossible for websites to detect if a user has the Incognito mode enabled using scripts.

Google decided to block all flash content in Chrome in late 2016, forcing users to manually enable it for individual websites. With Chrome 76 beta, Google is blocking Flash completely by default, which means you will no longer see a 'click to run' option unless you manually enable the "Ask first" option under flash settings.

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The latest Chrome release also fixes the FileSystem API implementation that had made it possible for websites to use scripts to detect if a user was using the Incognito Mode. While this makes it a lot easier for users to get around a website's paywall, it is definitely bad news for websites that allow users to access a fixed number of free articles before they pay a subscription fee.

Perhaps the most welcome change is the new prefers-color-scheme media query that will let websites or web apps to enable dark mode automatically depending on your system setting. Some changes have been made to the Payments API as well, which should help smaller e-commerce websites. Installing Progressive Web Apps on the desktop is now easier as Chrome 76 adds an install button to the omnibox, which means one can simply click on the button prompts to install any PWA.

The stable Chrome 76 version is set to be released on July 30.

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