The latest version of Google’s Chrome web browser is here and, as expected, it includes some security and privacy enhancements including patches to help protect you from the Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities and a feature that prevents scripts from unexpectedly redirecting you to a different website.
Previously if you noticed a website was playing sound that you didn’t want to hear, you could right-click on that browser tab and select the “mute tab” option to make it stop. But the next time you visited that web page you might hear auto-playing audio again.
Now “mute tab” has been replaced with “mute site,” and this time it sticks. The only way you’ll hear sound from that website again is if you actively unmute it.
Ads Settings (not strictly Chrome-related
In other Google takes-aim-at-annoying things news, the company has announced a few new options for getting rid of annoying ads.
First up is an option to mute “reminder ads,” which have a habit of following you around the web when you start shopping for something. For example, if you’ve ever found yourself shopping for a specific laptop, TV, or pair of socks online there’s a good chance that you’ve seen ads for that item when you visit other websites.
The idea is that you may have added something to your cart and then decided not to purchase them, and the ads remind you to complete the purchase… even if you’ve changed your mind or already bought that item somewhere else. Now you can mute those reminder ads on websites that use Google’s ad networks. Eventually you’ll be able to mute them in YouTube, Google search, and Gmail as well.
Google is also updating its Mute This Ad feature that lets you tell the company when you don’t want to see an ad because it’s irrelevant, inappropriate, covers the content you’re trying to read, or just something you’ve seen too many times.
Now when you mute an ad on one device, that preference should follow you to other devices (as long as you’re logged into Google). For instance, muting an ad on your phone should prevent it from showing up in your desktop browser, and vice versa.
Back to the browser, other changes in Chrome 64 include an improved popup blocker, some new APIs, and a bunch of bug fixes and other changes.
There’s also now support for HDR content if you’re using Chrome on a PC running the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update. You’ll also need discrete graphics and an HDR-compatible display.