Chrome 83 is now rolling out to Windows, macOS, and Linux with Chrome OS 83 on the way next week. In light of the pandemic, Google paused development for a bit and when it resumed, an announcement was made that Chrome 82 would be removed and version 81 would simply update to 83 and encapsulate what amounts to 2 rounds of updates in one.
Much of what we’re seeing in Chrome 83 is behind the scenes stuff that aids in security and privacy, but there are a few big upgrades in the way of UI that we’ll look at as well. We’ll fire through the big parts and leave you to dig around for the small stuff from the update log if you feel so inclined later. For now, here’s the notable, new stuff in Chrome 83.
We’ve covered this feature already, but the gist is simple: tab groups allow you to easilty color-code your open tabs to give yourself a bit of visual coordination for multitasking. We’ve also talked about another upcoming feature that will only make this better in adding a collapsible option to your groups, but that isn’t shipping with Chrome 83. We hope to see it show up with Chrome 84 not too far down the road.
The new extensions menu, though around behind a flag for a long time is finally making its debut for less-adventurous users. Now, instead of seeing all your pinned extensions up in the top bar of Chrome, you’ll have a single puzzle piece button that will drop down and show all your extensions currently active. You can choose to click the pin icon next to any of these to pin them back up to the top bar, but the best part of this change is how much cleaner the upper portion of your browser looks, so I know I’m planning on keeping mine all tucked away in the menu.
New Universal Web Elements
Google and Microsoft worked together to update a ton of common HTML elements on the web we all use frequently. Things like progress bars, meters, range sliders, multi select boxes, and radio buttons now have a new, universal, upgraded look thanks to the effort. These updates are now part of the general user experience in Chrome 83 and will go a long way towards making many of the user interactions on the web a better-looking affair.
New Privacy & Security Settings
Moving away from the front-facing UI things that are new in 83, the settings menu for Privacy and Security has been reorganized. Up top are 4 clear sections that should help users:
- clear browser data
- clearing cookies
- checking site security
- run account security checkups
- manage permissions given to certain site
- …much more
Google will now also block 3rd-party cookies by default while you are in Incognito mode, giving users an even more private window to operate in when necessary. An “eye-shaped” icon will appear in the right side of the URL bar to show how many cookies have been blocked and allow you to turn on access for some necessary cookies in if needed. This is all optional in the new tab screen for Incognito tabs in the form of a switch if you’d rather not utilize the feature.
Enhanced Safe Browsing
In an effort to continue pushing safety, Enhanced Safe Browsing is also rolling out in Chrome 83, giving users another layer of protection while on the web. Basically, Safe Browsing is already active for most users and runs many of the URLs you visit through a filter for checks against sites with malware or scams. Enhanced Safe Browsing takes this a step further with a more proactive approach to protection from phishing, malware and other web-based threats. There is still the option to keep things as they are with standard Safe Browsing or to disable the feature all together if you choose.
As always, there are tons of even more discrete updates in Chrome 83. If you are interested in the deeper things contained in the update, you can check the Chrome 83 update log and get lost in tiny updates and fixes to your heart’s content. We’ll be keeping an eye out for Chrome OS 83 to drop around the same time next week and we look forward to all these goodies and maybe more to hit our Chromebooks when it happens.