Your Chrome browser on Windows and Mac should be receiving an update shortly which adds some nice polish. Chrome 86 begins rolling out today. Just visit
More (three dots menu) > Help > About Google Chrome to check manually.
Reset compromised passwords easily
You can now click one button in your Google Password manager to be automatically redirected to the change password form for compromised websites. Chrome keeps an eye on all of your saved passwords for hacks and leaks and now, instead of googling that website and finding their login form and then changing your password, you can just do it all from the passwords screen in your Google account.
Background tab throttling
In the past, your browser tabs would continue to suck up RAM and resources until you closed them. With Chrome 86, they will now be throttled to a max of 1% CPU usage after they’ve been inactive for 5 minutes. You can ‘wake up’ tabs and dedicate more RAM to them once you click on them. They will automatically be allowed to ‘wake up’ once per minute in the background to check for updates.
Warn users of insecure forms on secure pages
Instead of relying your browser’s padlock on the top left of the omnibox to tell you whether or not a form is considered unsafe to submit data through, OS 86 now gives you a big red warning below your form’s text field to make sure you’re aware. This works over HTTPS connections and the notice will say ‘This form is not secure. Autofill has been turned off’. If Autofill had been allowed to remain on over an insecure connection, that saved data could potentially be scraped.
Improved Focus Highlighting
If you use assistive technology to navigate your way around the web, there is something called a ‘focus indicator’ which will highlight the item you’re selecting as you do so. This makes it easier to see exactly where you’re at and make a decision on where to go next. This new update gives you an additional focus indicator over active elements called the ‘Quick Focus Highlight’. Most importantly, this indicator will be visible even if the page you’re trying to navigate on has disabled focus styles with CSS. Thanks, Chrome!
If you’re a developer, you can see what’s new in Chrome 86 DevTools. The new WebHID API makes it possible for device drivers to access old and uncommon human interface devices. Battery-Saving Meta Tags now allow sites to recommend battery saving and CPU usage measures to the user. Lastly, there’s a new Native File System API so that developers can build web apps like photo and video editors, text editors, IDEs and more that see a user’s local files and interact with them.
It’s great to see that the new OS update focuses heavily on the user’s experience and accessibility tools. I’m also encouraged by the new developer options which are a precursor to more future improvements to battery and CPU usage, especially for lower end devices. The fact that web apps are becoming more capable by the day is probably the thing that excites me most about today’s news.