Chrome v81 stable update brings Web NFC, enables WebXR by default, App badges and more

In February, Google released an update to Chrome Beta v81 that added a lot of API’s that could power new experiences in the future. These include Web NFC API, WebXR augumented reality API’s, etc. and Google has brought them over to the stable version in Chrome v81.

The first feature that can be enabled is the ability for web apps to be able to read and write to NFC tags. The example cases which Google provides are, at a museum, a tag could give more information about an exhibit or inventory management at a warehouse. Just like the beta version, the API is very simple to use and requires a little snippet of code.

With the update, Chrome has enabled the WebXR API’s by default instead of a flag. One of the API’s added is the Hit Test API that lets developers create immersive experiences for users, letting them place virtual objects in the real world using the camera.

An older feature that was present in Chrome beta is App badges that allowed web apps installed to your computer to show a badge next to their icon. This feature has now finally come to the stable version.

Other changes include:

  • Chrome now automatically upgrade HTTP images on HTTPS sites to HTTPS, to reduce mixed content warnings. If the image can’t be loaded over HTTPS, it will revert to the original URL.
  • TLS 1.3 security has been hardened in Chrome 81.
  • The new CSS image-orientation property allows images to be rotated with only CSS.
  • Web apps with media notifications can now work with Android 10’s notification seek bar.

You can install the new Chrome for Android v81 from the Play Store here.