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Google Chrome 89 Enables Web Sharing on Desktop, Redesigned Discover Feed, and More

Google Chrome 89 update also includes stability and performance improvements.

Google Chrome 89 Enables Web Sharing on Desktop, Redesigned Discover Feed, and More

Photo Credit: Pexels

Google Chrome 89 removes support for older x86 processors

Highlights
  • Google Chrome 89 brings support for WebHID
  • It also brings customisable user profiles to Chrome browser
  • Google Chrome 89 also introduces Phone Hub for Chrome OS

Google Chrome 89 stable version is now rolling out for Android, Windows, Mac, and Linux platforms, the company has announced. The Chrome update brings features like customisable profiles and a work-in-progress Privacy Sandbox, along with a few features that have been in development for a long time such as native web sharing on desktop and Phone Hub for Chrome OS. These updates were previously seen on the beta version of the browser. Google says that Chrome 89 update will be rolled out for Android as well as for desktop in the coming weeks.

Google announced the stable release of Chrome 89 for Android as well as desktop via separate blog posts. Google says that Chrome 89 includes many stability and performance improvements as well as new features. While Google has not published detailed changelogs yet, we can take hints from the Chrome 89 beta release announcement that lists all the features coming with the new update.

One of the key features that Google Chrome 89 brings is customisable user profiles that we reported earlier. The feature allows users to customise their Google Chrome profiles within the browser using colours and backgrounds, which will make recognising and switching between different profiles a lot easier.

The second major feature is Web sharing on desktop (Windows and Chrome OS). This essentially means that users will now be able to share website links through a native sharing menu — just like it's on Chrome for Android. If a website supports the new Web sharing feature, pressing the Share button on the website will open a native sharing menu that will show all the apps installed on your device. This will allow you to not only share website links with the social media platforms integrated on the website, but with any app on your device that supports it. As noted by Android Police, developers will not have to add any code for the functionality to work on Windows and Chrome OS.

Google is reportedly also introducing Phone Hub for Chrome OS that allows you to connect your Android smartphone to your Chromebook. It will let you see your phone notifications on the desktop, control some features of your Android device from your computer, and sync Google Chrome tabs between the devices.

Furthermore, support for WebHID, the API that enables Web applications to interact with devices like VR controls, gamepads, and joysticks, has been fully implemented in Chrome 89. The latest update also brings WebNFC that allows websites to read and write NFC tags on supported Android devices. Additionally, Chrome 89 will no longer support older x86 processors because they won't meet the new requirements to run some features.

As per the Android Police report, some features such as Privacy Sandbox and a new Discover feed format (on Chrome for Android) were spotted on the Chrome 89 beta. Privacy Sandbox, still under-development, will allow advertisers to deliver relevant advertisements to people. Google says that the feature will help in sustaining the current advertising model without tracking users on an individual level. Furthermore, Chrome 89 users on Android may soon see changes to the Discover feed on the New Tab Page. Unlike the regular card-style display of relevant information, Chrome 89 displays the content separated by simple dividers. The title font is larger, and the description preview has been removed.


What will be the most exciting tech launch of 2021? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.

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Sourabh Kulesh is a Chief Sub Editor at Gadgets 360. He has worked in a national daily newspaper, a news agency, a magazine and now writing technology news online. He has knowledge on a wide gamut of topics related to cybersecurity, enterprise and consumer technology. Write to sourabhk@ndtv.com or get in touch on Twitter through his handle @KuleshSourabh. More
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