Google is set to release Chrome 79 today, December 10, 2019. Expect lower CPU usage and better security. The latest version of Chrome can use the clipboard for Android phones.
Freeze tab saves CPU (and battery)
Chrome 79 introduced automatic tab freezing. You should never even notice this happening, but it will reduce Chrome’s CPU usage, especially when you have many tabs open. This lower CPU usage means your laptop battery will last longer.
With Auto Tab Freeze, Chrome automatically «freezes» the tabs you’ve had in the background for a while. A webpage opened in a tab won’t use your processor to sync, load ads, or perform other work. Chrome simply «pauses» the activity of the web page until you return to it.
The goal is for everything to «just work» without you knowing it. You will still be able to play music or other audio on the tab and disconnect. But if you don’t interact with the tab and leave it in the background for a while, Chrome won’t let you use too much CPU in the background.
CONNECTED:How Chrome «Tab Freezing» Saves CPU and Battery
The best password protection
Google has announced that it is also introducing «improved password protection» in Chrome 79. These won’t be available right away, but will «gradually» become available over the next few weeks as Google activates them.
Chrome will now warn you when your password is found in a database leak, provide real-time protection against phishing sites on your desktop, and warn you when you enter saved passwords into a suspected phishing site. You can learn more about how these changes work on the Google Security Blog.
DoH testing to improve security and privacy
DoH will make the Internet more secure and private by encrypting DNS queries sent between your system and your DNS server. They are not currently encrypted. When you connect to a website like example.com, anyone between you and the DNS server — perhaps your ISP or just the Wi-Fi hotspot you’re using — can see what you’re looking for example.com. or any other domain you visit.
With Chrome 79, Google says it will automatically enable DoH support for 1% of Chrome users if they are «using a DoH-compliant DNS provider.» These include Google Public DNS and Cloudflare 220.127.116.11.
You can go to chrome://flags/#dns-over-https to enable (or disable) DoH for the Chrome browser. Keep in mind that this will only work if you have a DoH enabled DNS server configured on your system.
DNS over HTTPS has somehow proven controversial — Comcast has already lobbied for it — but DoH isn’t just Google’s technology. Mozilla already supports it in Firefox, and Microsoft will build DoH directly into Windows 10 so every Windows app can benefit from it.
CONNECTED:How DNS over HTTPS (DoH) will improve online privacy
Sharing clipboard between computers and Android
If you have Chrome Sync enabled and use the same Google account on your Android phone, Chrome can now sync your clipboard between your computer and Android devices.
To use this feature, you’ll need Chrome 79 installed on both your computer and Android device. If you meet this requirement and are logged in with the same Google account on both, you can right-click on the web page and you will see the option «Copy to» in the menu. [Имя устройства Android]».
If Google disables this feature by default for some reason, visit the flags page to enable it. Enter chrome://flags in the Chrome omnibox (address bar) and press Enter. Search for «clipboard» using the search field on the page, and enable «Enable receiving device to handle shared clipboard function», «Enable shared clipboard function signals», and «Synchronize clipboard service».
Getting rid of old security protocols (TLS 1.0 and 1.1)
TLS 1.0 and TLS 1.1 are old security protocols used for HTTPS. As of Chrome 79 they are deprecated. When you connect to a website using this old encryption, you will see a warning that «your connection to this site is not completely secure» because «this site is using an outdated security configuration». This should give websites still using this legacy encryption. push for renewal.
Chrome 79 won’t block such sites from loading for now. Instead, Chrome will start blocking these connections in Chrome 81. Enterprise administrators can re-enable support for these protocols next year, but they will be completely removed from Chrome in January 2021.
Google is not alone: Mozilla, Microsoft and Apple are also dropping support for these protocols in Firefox, Edge and Safari. When you see that your browser is using HTTPS, you will know that it is using a modern security protocol.
This change will not happen immediately: it will happen on January 13, 2020, which will give site administrators additional time to update. Until then, Chrome 79 will continue to load TLS 1.0 and TLS 1.1 web pages. After this date, a «Not Secure» warning will appear.
RELATED:Why do Google Chrome sites say they are «not secure»?
Mixed Content Changes
Chrome is already blocking many kinds of «mixed content» on the web, and is gradually blocking more and more. Mixed content occurs when a developer creates a secure website served over encrypted HTTPS and then downloads assets such as scripts or images over an unencrypted HTTP connection. This is not safe: these assets are not protected. Someone can interfere with their work when changing a secure web page. It shouldn’t be possible
Chrome 79 changes the way mixed content works. For the most dangerous types of mixed content, such as scripts, Chrome will automatically block the content and report that the website is safe. To enable it, you need to click the icon to the left of the page address in the Chrome omnibox (address bar) and click Site Settings. At the bottom of the list of permissions, you need to set «Insecure». content» to «Allow» for this site. Chrome will then load this content and say that the website is «not secure».
You shouldn’t enable insecure content unless you have a good reason — maybe you really need to use an ancient business app at work, for example. Websites need to get rid of mixed content, and Chrome is giving them another push.
CONNECTED:What is «mixed content» and why is Chrome blocking it?
Virtual and Augmented Reality on the Web (WebXR)
Chrome 79 supports the WebXR API, designed for both virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR). This feature has been available in Chrome since Chrome 67, but it was unstable and only available when the flag was enabled.
On desktop, WebXR supports Oculus VR, OpenVR (used by SteamVR), and Windows Mixed Reality headsets. On Android, this works with Google Daydream and Cardboard. Developers can now deliver VR and AR experiences over the web.
CONNECTED:The state of VR headsets in 2019: what to buy?
Other interesting features
As always, Chrome has a lot of small changes and experimental features. Here are some of the more interesting ones:
Media playback controls, possibly : Google may soon enable global media playback controls by default. This feature, available behind the flag, gives you a handy Play/Pause button on the Chrome browser toolbar. No more hunting down the tab while playing audio! This was automatically enabled in the Chrome 79 beta on one of our PCs, but not on the other PC, suggesting that Google is only testing it for some people.
Close other tabs, already here : Google removed the «Close other tabs» option when it released Chrome 78. The feature returned to popular demand in Chrome 79, but it’s already back in the latest versions of Chrome 78 as well. You can right-click a tab and select «Close Other Tabs» to close all other open tabs in the window, even if you haven’t updated Chrome 78 to 79 yet.
Caching back and forth : There is an experimental feature in Chrome 79 that is disabled by default called «backtrack cache». Google warns against enabling this because it is unstable and may cause problems. However, Chrome developers are testing a cache that will make pressing the back and forth buttons even faster.
Bluetooth Web Scan : Chrome 79 makes the web platform more powerful by adding low power (BLE) device scanning to Chrome. If you give permission, the website may scan for nearby Bluetooth LE devices. This feature is disabled by default and will only be enabled if you enable the «Experimental Web Platform Features» flag.
That’s all for another release of Chrome. As usual, most people will not notice the change. But under the hood, Google is making important changes to security, privacy, and performance.
Google releases new stable versions of Chrome every six weeks. Expect Chrome 80 February 4, 2020.