It’s time for another fresh Chrome update. Google has released Chrome 111 on March 7, 2023, with several improvements and new features. The most notable updates include further improvements to the new Download UI, expanded Picture-in-Picture APIs, and smoother transitions for web apps.
Google has been working on the download UI since Chrome 99. The download bubble has replaced the big row for downloads at the bottom of the screen. In Chrome 111, the UI is further improved with a number to indicate how many things are being downloaded at once. This feature is a small but welcome touch. The download bubble is available via two Chrome flags: chrome://flags/#download-bubble and chrome://flags#download-bubble-v2.
Web apps are always a focus for Chrome updates. With Chrome 111, Google is bringing a new API to the browser to make it easier for developers to implement smooth transitions between pages. This update will go a long way toward making web apps feel like native apps. The new API aims to make it much easier to implement page transitions, which was already possible with other methods.
Another significant update is the ability to revoke permissions from forgotten websites. A lot of websites ask for various permissions when you visit them, such as location, notifications, clipboard, and camera. You’re only asked to grant access once, and then it’s allowed indefinitely. That’s not great for security, which is why Chrome 111 can automatically revoke those permissions, just like Android. This is part of Google’s goal of expanding what the “Safety Check” feature can do. It now includes more personalized recommendations and reminders, including the ability to revoke permissions for sites you haven’t visited in over two months.
Chrome OS 111 includes a brand-new keyboard shortcuts app that can be used to make your own shortcuts. This is a pretty awesome little feature since it’s not super easy to do this on other desktop operating systems. The keyboard shortcuts can be found at Settings > Device > Keyboard > View Keyboard Shortcuts. The shortcuts are pre-mapped, but they’ll eventually be programmable. Currently, clicking the shortcut allows you to edit it, but you can’t actually save the configuration yet.
Chrome 111 is testing a new Document Picture-in-Picture API that enables developers to open a PiP window that can be filled with any desired HTML content, not just videos. This new API builds upon the previous Picture-in-Picture API, which only permitted the use of an HTMLVideoElement in a PiP window. With this enhancement, web developers can provide an improved PiP experience to their users.
In addition to these updates, Chrome 111 has many other changes under the hood. The update adds window-management as an alias for window-placement permission and permission-policy strings, enables all features described in CSS Color Level 4, and adds previousslide and nextslide actions to the existing Media Session API, among other things.
To update Google Chrome, Chrome will automatically install the update on your device when it’s available. To immediately check for and install any available updates, click the three-dot menu icon and click Help > About Google Chrome. Overall, Chrome 111 is a great update with useful improvements and new features that will make the browsing experience better for users and developers alike.