What you need to know
- Google has released the latest version of Chrome to the public after months of beta testing.
- Chrome 99 brings with it a number of handy features, such as a download shortcut in the top toolbar, improved date pickers, built-in handwriting recognition for the web, and more.
- The rollout is occurring gradually, so the latest Chrome version may not be immediately available to everyone.
Google Chrome's latest version has started to arrive for all users, and it brings with it a slew of handy new capabilities (via Chrome Unboxed (opens in new tab)). One of these features, the downloads shortcut in the top toolbar, has been available on Microsoft Edge for quite some time.
Chrome 99 should be available now across various platforms, including the best Android phones (opens in new tab) and laptops, as Google began seeding the update on March 1, though some might still not see it yet.
The new version of the browser adds a new download shortcut to the toolbar in the top right corner.
Prior to this change, files would automatically appear in Chrome's bottom bar after downloading. Recent downloads will now appear in the top toolbar, as they do in Edge.
Chrome has also improved the date picker for web apps, complete with a few cool designs. The new system date picker is useful for forms, and it does not require any coding skills to fill in the required date. You can test it out by going to the demo site.
Google is also releasing a handwriting recognition feature built into Chrome. This feature was first seen in Chrome 91 (opens in new tab) and should be available to everyone soon.
The search giant is also removing Manifest v2 for ad blockers. Google unveiled the Manifest v3 API in 2020, which shrinks filter entries for extensions from 100,000 in the previous version to only 30,000 in the new one.
Manifest v2 is set to be retired from Chrome in June 2023, which could signal the end of ad blockers.
Jay Bonggolto always keeps a nose for news. He is a tech journalist based in the Philippines who has been writing about consumer tech for the past six years and has been using various Android phones since falling in love with Jelly Bean. When he's not writing, he likes to spend time outside, stealing scenes with his phone camera.
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