Google Releases Chrome 67 for Desktop

Posted on May 30, 2018 by Paul Thurrott in Cloud, Google with 17 Comments

Google Releases Chrome 67 for Desktop

If this was an installed PWA, the title bar could be colorized to match the app.

Google has released Chrome 67 on Windows, Mac, and Linux, adding better support for Progressive Web Apps (PWAs).

“The Chrome team is delighted to announce the promotion of Chrome 67 to the stable channel for Windows, Mac and Linux,” Google’s Krishna Govind notes in the announcement post. “This will roll out over the coming days/weeks.”

There are a number of small improvements in Chrome 67, including enhancements to a Site Isolation feature that “improves Chrome’s security and helps mitigate the risks posed by Spectre.” But the thing I’m most interested in here, of course, is Chrome’s new support for PWAs.

The goal here is for Chrome to now promote PWAs as apps that can be installed on the local PC. This is similar to how PWAs can (but don’t always) work in Chrome for Android: You’re literally given a pop-up that explains that you can install the app. Once the app is installed, it should present a native-ish look and feel, with no browser chrome, much like the experience you got when you created a web page shortcut in Chrome previously.

And … I’m not seeing this in Chrome 67 for Windows. (I tried Starbucks, Spotify, and Twitter.) That is, when I navigate to these sites, there’s no “install” prompt or whatever.

(Update: I’m not seeing an install pop-up in Chrome OS, either. But I do see an “Install” item in the Chrome menu on Chrome OS. This never appears in Windows.)

What I do see in Chrome 67 is a nice dull gray title bar/tab area, which is a huge improvement over the stark white look you got previously in Windows 10. Chrome already looked better on other systems, but now it looks good in Windows 10 too. So that’s nice.

I’ll keep trying on the PWA thing. If/when this works, it will be huge.

UPDATE: You still have to enable flags in chrome://flags/ as noted in the comments. So this isn’t quite final. But now I’m curious if this works on the Mac, where Chrome has never supported the create shortcut functionality. —Paul


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Comments (19)

19 responses to “Google Releases Chrome 67 for Desktop”

  1. chrisrut

    I've been cogitating on MS's failure to properly implement the "Tabs to Taskbar" feature... trying to come up with a rationale in which that would make some kind of sense. Best I came up with is a hypothesis that they're planning to move more of the "MS User Experience" into Edge, rather than taking pieces out of Edge to the device. Could Edge become the "virtual desktop" we take with us everywhere?

  2. Lukasmeier

    Enabling those flags offers me the option to install PWA on Windows in the menu.

  3. RobCannon

    I see the Install menu for the Twitter PWA. In fact, after I install it, when I navigate to that url, it activates the PWA App. Now, I can't figure out how to uninstall it, though.

    But, it brings up the new decision that will be debated endlessly. Do I install a PWA via the Windows Store or via Chrome?

  4. Richicoder

    To the comment about whether to install from Chrome or Microsoft Store, the answer seems obvious, at least to me: Microsoft Store.

    With Chrome, you just the (admittedly excellent and growing) web apis to work with. With the Microsoft Store you get that and all the power of UWP and a first class install and uninstall experience. Plus for IT a more obvious and trusted deployment and management solution.

    • Paul Thurrott

      In reply to Richicoder:

      Real-world-wise, the Chrome version is likely the better one for most. It's smaller since it doesn't have any of the weight of the UWP wrapper. And it should support the same native features as the Store app in Windows 10.

      • rameshthanikodi

        In reply to paul-thurrott:

        'weight' of the UWP wrapper? The UWP 'wrapper' is mostly Edge anyway, it is more or less comparable to the overhead of the chrome rendering engine.

        With UWP however, service workers from various PWAs will be managed and run by Windows, but service workers with Chrome PWAs will require that chrome constantly runs in the background. But I guess that doesn't count as 'weight' to you, because it's Chrome.

  5. Paul Thurrott

    OK here's how it works.

    Navigate to chrome://flags/

    Search for "PWA". Enable the Desktop PWA option. When you do, a new "Create shortcut" link appears in the Chrome menu for PWAs. That's not enough.

    Now search for "banner." Enable App Banners.


    Thanks guys.

  6. skane2600

    I can't respond directly to a Premium comment, but ..

    jimchamplin: "A Windows where the desktop is rendered by the browser?

    Wheeeeeere have I seen that before?"

    Exactly, Jim. Based on Paul's response it seems he's forgotten about Windows Active Desktop.

  7. skane2600

    It's kind of funny because for years we've tried to train people not to install anything on their PC that was unsolicited. So the well-trained PC user would probably click "Cancel"

  8. nerocui

    you forgot to mention one important feature. Chrome 67 now brings the support for Windows 10 precision track pad, so now scrolling and pinch to zoom is sooo much smoother.

  9. Ggvvvv

    while you are at you can enable the Refresh flag for TopUI and get the new look.

    There is also a flag in there now to enable window action center notifications instead of the custom chrome ones.

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