web browsers, google chrome, microsoft

Chrome hit the big 100 in March 2022, but the celebration is over now. We’re back already with another release in April. Chrome 101 includes more improvements to the new download UI, saving Tab Groups, and the password manager. Let’s take a look.

New Download UI Still Improving

web browsers, google chrome, microsoft

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Chrome 99 started work on a new download UI that’s similar to the look of Microsoft Edge. The downloads are found in a small shortcut in the top toolbar rather than the big row at the bottom of the screen.

Chrome 101 is continuing to make improvements to this UI. It now shows progress bars when you’re downloading multiple items and you can right-click to see a context menu to “Show in Folder” and other shortcuts.

You can try this out right now by enabling the “Download Bubble” feature flag: chrome://flags/#download-bubble

Saving Tab Groups Gets Closer

web browsers, google chrome, microsoft

Google has been working on the ability to save Tab Groups for a while now with a flag showing up in Chrome 95. It appears the feature is very close to being ready as it’s finally functional in Chrome 101 Beta. Using the “Save Group” toggle now adds it to the bookmarks bar.

You still have to enable this feature with the feature flag: chrome://flags/#tab-groups-save

Password Manager Improvements

web browsers, google chrome, microsoft

Reddit

Chrome has a surprisingly robust Password Manager, but it still lacks some features you’d find in dedicated password managers. Soon, you’ll be able to do one of those things—adding notes to saved passwords.

This is simply a new “Note” field that appears when you edit a saved password. You can use this to add any context you might want, such as a security question answer. In addition, Google is working on the ability to manually add saved passwords without the automatic pop-up.

The notes feature is hidden behind a flag ( chrome://flags/#password-notes ) along with the ability to manually add passwords (chrome://flags/#add-passwords-in-settings).

What Else Is New?

Google now releases every version of Chrome every four weeks, which means big splashy features aren’t as frequent. There’s still a lot happening under the surface, though. You can read about many of these changes on Google’s developer site as well as on the Chromium blog. We’ll highlight a few changes here:

  • AudioContext.outputLatency property estimates the time between when the user agent requests a host system to play a buffer and when the first sample in the buffer is processed by the audio output device.
  • The font-palette CSS property allows selecting a palette from a color font.
  • The MediaCapabilities API has been extended to support WebRTC streams.
  • Developers can voluntarily revoke a permission to a USBDevice that was granted by a user with the USBDevice forget() method.
  • WebSQL in third-party contexts is now removed.

How to Update Google Chrome

Chrome will automatically install the update on your device when it’s available. To immediately check for and install any available updates, click the three-dot menu icon and click Help > About Google Chrome.

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