What you need to know

  • Chrome 76 is now available for Android, Mac, Windows, and Linux users.
  • The latest version of Chrome browser blocks Flash by default and makes it easier to bypass paywalls.
  • There are multiple Progressive Web Apps improvements as well.

Google has finally released the stable version of Chrome 76 for Android, Windows, Mac, Linux, and iOS platforms. The latest version of Chrome comes with several major improvements and new features. Adobe Flash is now blocked by default, which means you will need to head over to settings to use it. The other major highlight is that Chrome 76 makes it impossible for websites to tell if a user is in Incognito Mode.

Websites were previously able to detect if someone was using Incognito Mode thanks to the way Chrome implemented the FileSystem API, with the help of "detect private mode" scripts. Since Chrome 76 fixes the flaw, websites will no longer be able to force readers to sign up for a subscription after viewing a fixed number of free articles. Needless to say, this is likely to affect major news publications that put their content behind a paywall.

After you update to Chrome 76, you will notice that Adobe Flash is now turned off by default. If you wish to use Flash, you will need to manually enable to feature by going to chrome://settings/content/flash. Once you enable it, you will see the familiar "Ask first" option pop up when you visit a website with Flash content.

Additionally, the Dark Mode feature has been improved with the addition of prefers-color-scheme media query, which will allow websites to enable dark mode automatically to match the user's preferred mode. It is also going to be easier to install Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) on desktop, thanks to the new install button added to the address bar. On Android, Chrome will now check if a web app manifest has changed every day instead of every three days.

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