Google Chrome 70 brings Web Authentication API, PWAs on Windows, AV1 decoder and more

Google has rolled out the Chrome 70 for Windows, Mac, and Linux. This update brings an option to disable linking Google site and Chrome sign-ins, Progressive Web Apps on Windows, the ability for users to restrict extensions’ access to a custom list of sites, an AV1 decoder, and much more.

Google with Chrome 69, tried to “simplify” how it handles Google site sign-ins by also signing you into Chrome with the same account. If you sign out, whether from Chrome or from any Google site, you’re signed out of both. This led to a massive outcry from Chrome users and this Chrome 70 is making some changes including an option that allows users to turn off linking web-based sign-in with browser-based sign-in.

If you disable this feature, signing into a Google site will not sign you into Chrome. An update to the user interfaces to better communicate a user’s sync state and instead of keeping the Google auth cookies to allow you to stay signed in after cookies are cleared, the browser will once again delete all cookies. While these are certainly an improvement, it still doesn’t solve the automatic sign-in concern.

The Chrome 70 now supports Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) on Windows. These apps can launch from the Start menu, and run like all other installed apps. Chrome 70 AV1 decoder which is a royalty-free codec developed by the Alliance for Open Media. AV1 improves compression efficiency by more than 30 percent over the codec VP9. Chrome 70 is not out for Android but available for iOS with bug fixes, sign polish for the redesign, updates to how Chrome launches other apps to improve reliability and security and fixes authentication issues caused by using out-of-date cookies.

As promised, Google is cracking down on extensions. Chrome 70 lets users restrict extension host access to a custom list of sites or to configure extensions to require a click for access to the current page. Chrome 70 also continues to show the warning message to HTTP sites. Chrome 70 also implements 23 security fixes. Chrome 70 implements the Shape Detection API which lets developers identify faces, barcodes, and text in images “without the use of a performance-killing library.

The Web Authentication API which was introduced in Chrome 70 beta now enables fingerprint login support for Web Authentication on Android and Mac. The update is already rolling out.