Chrome 107 is landing today with HEVC decoding support, despite pushback from Mozilla

Google Chrome 106 arrived four weeks ago with lots of experimental features and deprecations, which means that it is time for the availability of the next major version of the browser. Chrome 107 seems to be a similar update in terms of the number of new supported APIs, but one interesting functionality this time around is support for High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC).

Chrome logo with a thumbs up on the left and Firefox logo with thumbs down on the right HEVC logo in

HEVC, also known as H.265, is a video compression format that is supported by many modern applications. Chrome 107 now supports it by default, which is interesting because of the viewpoints held by other browser vendors. Although Apple's Safari WebKit team supports HEVC too, Mozilla has historically been against it.

In discussions dating back to 2016, Mozilla can be seen emphasizing that it has no plans for HEVC because it is "patent encumbered". Although it has stated that it will focus on supporting AV1 instead, there has been pushback from developers and other members of the community with one comment on the same thread arguing that:

The request is not for Mozilla to provide HEVC video decoding in Firefox, which would require Mozilla to license HEVC. The request is to support (pass through) HEVC when the device supports it, as Safari and Chrome do. The device handles the video decoding, and as such, the device OEM is responsible for licensing all required HEVC patents. Device OEMs have been licensing and supporting HEVC for many years. As of 2018 the majority of mobile devices supported HEVC decoding.

Either way, it seems like Chrome will go ahead with supporting HEVC decoding by default, regardless of what Mozilla thinks.

Other smaller features enabled by default include improvements to the CSS grid-template properties interpolation to allow developers to achieve specific interactive effects, hints for display surfaces with the ability to exclude the current tab, and showing a button to switch display tabs during screen-sharing. Additionally, there is an ignoreCase option for URLPattern, better render-blocking support, and a "rel" attribute for form elements.

Switching gears to experimental features behind developer flags and Origin trials, we have the following:

Finally, in terms of deprecations, we just have the Expect-CT HTTP header that is getting the ax. It was a way for websites to migrate to Certificate Transparency (CT) enforcement. However, Google says that this is now required by default anyway and since no other browser vendor implemented this configuration, there will be no impact on current use-cases.

Chrome 107 will start rolling out in the later hours of today. If Chrome does not automatically update to version 107 for you throughout the course of the day, head over to Help > About Google Chrome to trigger the update once it becomes available. Next up is Chrome 108 which will hit the Beta channel on October 27, followed by a Stable release on November 29.

Report a problem with article
A green Windows 11 Logo
Next Article

Microsoft is working on Android 13 and more features for Windows Subsystem for Android

Stock image of the WhatsApp logo
Previous Article

WhatsApp down for many users worldwide, Meta working on a fix [Update]

Join the conversation!

Login or Sign Up to read and post a comment.

17 Comments - Add comment