Google Chrome version 108 arrived well over a month ago, and now it's time for Chrome 109 to be rolled out to consumers. Although Chrome releases are generally separated by a four-week gap, the break was longer this time around due to the holiday season. Regardless, Chrome 109 is now rolling out, it's a significant release because it's the last version of the browser to support Windows 7 and 8.1. Microsoft itself dropped support for both the operating systems quite recently.
Interestingly, the latest release of Chrome also packs Cookies Having Independent Partitioned State (CHIPS), which is Google's alternative to third-party cookies, something that it is deprecating within a couple of years. This implementation has an opt-in mechanism for developers to subscribe to the top-level site, which Google claims should enable "non-tracking-related" use-cases and won't be restricted to cross-site cookie blocking.
Another interesting feature in this release of Chrome is MathML, which is a better way to insert mathematical formulas in web page as it reduces complexity, and improves performance and consistency with the ability to embed notation in HTML and SVG. And yet another capability that may intrigue web authors is the enablement of the Origin Private File System (OPFS) component of the File System Access API on Android for faster performance when accessing files.
There are also some video conferencing improvements in tow, particularly related to the capturing of the correct window through a feature called Conditional Focus. Similarly, web developers can also leverage a mechanism to play window audio captured by a video conferencing app through the local speakers connected to the device. Additionally, there are a bunch of CSS enhancements listed below too:
- Auto range support for font descriptors inside @font-face rule
Snap border, outline and column-rule widths before layout to bring Chrome's Blink in line with WebKit (Safari) and Gecko (Firefox)
That's not all in terms of new features though. There is also support for bring-your-own-buffer (BYOB) readers for WebTransport to reduce unnecessary memory allocation and same-site cross-origin prerendering triggered by the speculation rules API for faster page rendering, and the addition of a field to indicate the HTTP response code when using PerfomanceResourceTiming.
There are several capabilities behind origin and developer trials (flags) too. You can have a look at them below:
Developer trial (behind a flag)
- Compute Pressure: Allows websites to respond to CPU utilization changes to improve performance
- CSS nesting: For improved modularity and maintainability of styling
X-Requested-With in WebView: This header is being discontinued
- Back/forward cache NotRestoredReason API: Lets developers know why a page is not being served from the BFcache
Lastly, the Event.path method is being discontinued because it is a non-standard API that is causing compatibility problems with other browsers.
Chrome 109 should be available for you now. If Chrome does not automatically update to version 109, head over to Help > About Google Chrome to trigger the update once it becomes available. Next up is Chrome 110 which will hit the Beta channel on January 12, followed by an "Early Stable" release on February 1 and Stable on February 7.
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