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Home / Technology / Chrome 88 provides better password protection and incognito screenshots as you download Flash (APK Download)

Chrome 88 provides better password protection and incognito screenshots as you download Flash (APK Download)



Another month, a new Chrome release: After the regular beta test period, Google has just started releasing version 88 of the browser, and there are quite a few improvements and significant changes on board. The release improves some password protection features and paves the way for more web apps in the Play Store, but it also says goodbye to FTP connections and puts the final nail in Flash Player’s coffin.

Password protection

As we already covered, Chrome 88 comes with a number of new password protection features. In addition to checking stored passwords for breaches, the browser will now also warn you when you want to save a password that is considered too weak to be secure. If you need to change the passwords you have already saved, a new button in the built-in password manager will now allow you to do so for the first supported services. On Android, biometric authentication for password autofill is scheduled to come soon.

Manifest V3 support

Chrome 88 is the first version that fully supports Google̵

7;s controversial new Manifesto V3. The key change in Manifest V3 is the discontinuation of the webRequest API in favor of the declarativeNetRequest API. Instead of letting extensions examine and filter every network request that comes to Chrome, which is not the most secure option in terms of privacy and security, the declarativeNetRequest API only allows extensions to give Chrome a filter list that the browser analyzes itself. Developers are not happy with the change because extensions can only use a maximum of 30,000 rules in Chrome 88, while some of the most common blocklists such as EasyList have more than 60,000 rules. Google has already promised to raise this number to 300,000 in Chrome 89, but it may still not be enough to run more than a few blocklists at a time.

Google will begin approving and sending the first extensions using the new manifesto after the release of Chrome 88. Right now, Google has not communicated the inevitable shutdown date for Manifest V2 and the webRequest API. Other Chromium-based browser manufacturers such as Vivaldi and Opera promised to continue supporting the older API.

Read more about Manifest V3 in our coverage here.

Play Store billing for web apps

Chrome 88 adds support for Play Store purchases in online apps as part of the Payment Request API. On Android, this allows websites to use the Google Play Billing Library. This is important for developers who want to monetize their online apps in the Play Store, as the policy prohibits in-app payments using other billing methods. Developers interested in implementing this can find more details here.

Flash and FTP settlement

It’s been around for years, and Chrome 88 is finally the first version of Chrome that removes all remnants of Flash Player. Earlier on the Internet, when HTML, Javascript and other networking tools were not as versatile as they are today, Flash Player was a fantastic plugin that enabled video playback, many browser games and more. But with the rise of certain Flash smaller phones (clears the throat iPhone) and more powerful network tools, Flash Player increasingly fell into disrepute for being a slow, resource-sweeping security risk. Adobe has also plugged in the tool and has already blocked Flash content from being played since January 12, 2021.

Similarly, all support for FTP has been removed from Chrome, after the termination of the feature in Chrome 80. FTP is still a widely used protocol for accessing and transferring files via the Internet, but browsers have always been poorly equipped for file browsing. There are much better client applications for FTP connections, such as Open Source FileZilla.

Screenshots in incognito

Screenshots in Incognito work as expected in Chrome 88.

For a long time, Chrome did not allow you to take screenshots while browsing Incognito to prevent you from storing certain potentially infringing content, but there are circumstances when you want to retain information from Incognito tabs. Chrome 88 is finally possible thanks to a new # incognito screenshot flag that brings back screenshot support to Incognito mode when enabled. It is not clear when the functionality will roll out to everyone by default.

Tab search

If you’re like me, you’ll have dozens of tabs open during a regular browsing session, and this is where tab search can come in handy. The feature has already been available in Chrome OS for a while, and is now finally jumping to other desktop operating systems with version 88. You need to enable it in Chrome: // flag under # enable-tab-search (copy and paste link address in the address field). After restarting your browser, you will find a new icon on the right side of the tab bar that you can click to see an overview of all your open tabs, including a search box. You can also drag it up via Ctrl + Shift + A.

Tab Search is limited to desktop versions of the browser at this time, and we do not know if Google will ever extend it to mobile.

Training videos

Google is working on adding tutorial videos to your browser. You can currently enable them via the #video-tutorials flag, but right now they only consist of placeholder videos from the Google Go app. They are visible as cards on the new tab page, between the most visited sites and the Discover feed.

The titles already suggest what content we can expect in the future: These are “How to use Chrome”, “How to download content for later,” How to search with Chrome, “” How to search with your voice, and “How to use incognito.” The videos is limited to Android, and Google will probably only activate the tutorials for everyone when the right content is available.

Other changes

Apart from these major tweaks to Chrome, there are a few minor changes:

  • Chrome has long supported dark themes, including Microsoft’s on Windows 10, but some quirks were never addressed on the desktop OS until now. Dark mode finally darkens the scroll bars in several places, such as Settings, History, Bookmarks, and other internal Web sites.
  • Chrome 88 drops support for macOS 10.10 Yosemite and now requires macOS 10.11 El Capitan or later.
  • Chrome has previously added left and right buttons to navigate through tabs, and a new #scrollable-tabstrip-buttons-flag is available that keeps the buttons visible at all times.

The scrollable tabstrip buttons have flags.

download

The APK is signed by Google and upgrades your existing app. The cryptographic signature guarantees that the file is safe to install and was not manipulated in any way. Instead of waiting for Google to send this download to your devices, which may take days, download and install it just like any other APK.

Google Chrome: Fast and secure
Google Chrome: Fast and secure

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