Sick of website notification spam? There’s good news: Chrome 84 has arrived, and it comes packed with new tools and features to make browsing the web a much safer and less annoying experience.
The new release, available to download now, tackles the all too common problem of websites that pester you with notification popups. This doesn’t apply to every website – only those that tend to abuse the feature (by trying to trick you into accepting notifications, using them to promote malware, for example).
According to Google, annoying notification prompts are one of Chrome users’ top complaints, and blocking the worst offenders will make your online life safer and more private.
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Chrome 84 will also keep you safe by warning you about mixed content downloads (which are initiated from an HTTPS site, but delivered over an insecure HTTP connection).
Back in February, it emerged that Google intends to eventually block mixed content downloads completely, and from Chrome 82 onwards, trying to download a file this way resulted in a warning appearing in the console (a developer tool accessible by tapping Ctrl+Shift+J in Windows, or Ctrl+Option+J in MacOS).
Now, those warnings are going to be much more visible for regular users, and if you attempt to download a file delivered this way, you’ll see an alert that allows you to either cancel it or proceed at your own risk.
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The other new additions to Chrome 84 are aimed at developers, and include a raft of new APIs to help build better web apps.
For example, it’s now possible for a web app to prevent a device’s screen from dimming or powering down (something that was previously only possible with a native Windows app). Web apps can also use the clipboard to correctly copy and paste data from native apps that use proprietary file formats (such as Word documents and PSD files from Photoshop).
If you don’t already have Chrome installed, you can download the latest version direct from Google. If you’re already using it, click the menu button at the top right, scroll down to ‘Settings’ and click ‘About Google Chrome’. The browser will scan for updates, and will display a ‘Relaunch’ button when it’s finished.
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Via ZDNet and BleepingComputer