Google Releases Chrome 76

Posted on July 31, 2019 by Paul Thurrott in Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge with 15 Comments

Google has released Chrome 76, the latest version of its web browser, adding a new PWA install experience and other features.

“In Chrome 76, we’re making it easier for users to install Progressive Web Apps on the desktop, by adding an install button to the address bar, sometimes called the omnibox,” Google developer advocate Pete LePage writes in a post on the Google Developers blog. “If your site meets the Progressive Web App installability criteria, Chrome will show an install button in the omnibox indicating to the user that your PWA can be installed.”

This is a big improvement over the previous behavior, where the “installability” of a PWA was hidden inside the Chrome menu. (And, yes, this already works in pre-release versions of the Chromium-based Microsoft Edge, too.)

In addition to this major PWA update, Chrome 76 also adds:

No more Flash. Adobe Flash is now blocked by default, ahead of its 2020 end of life.

Improved Incognito mode. Google disabled a way that hackers were using to detect if you’re using Incognito mode.

More developer control over the PWA mini-infobar. On mobile, Chrome shows a mini-infobar the first time a user visits a PWA-based website. But developers told Google that they’d like to prevent the mini-infobar from appearing and provide their own install promotion instead. So this is now possible.

Dark mode. Chrome 76 now supports Dark mode in more operating systems, including Windows 10, macOS, Android Q, and iOS 13. And developers can now adjust the look and feel of their sites to match users’ preferred mode.

There’s probably more, but Google usually starts discussing some new Chrome features after a new version has been released.

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Comments (15)

15 responses to “Google Releases Chrome 76”

  1. Stooks

    PWA's I have yet to see anyone seriously use them.

    In other news some sights are saying the "stable" version of the new Edge has leaked (with issues) and its about to drop any day now. We are testing at work with the DEV version, and it we plan on ditching Chrome once the stable version is out.

    • hrlngrv

      In reply to Stooks:

      Semiserious question: works offline, so is it a PWA? Or is it more like a Chrome OS offline app? If the latter, what's the major distinction, that only Chrome could run it?

    • Paul Thurrott

      In reply to Stooks:

      Anyone serious? You mean beside Hulu, Pinterest, Twitter, and Starbucks? :)

      • Stooks

        In reply to paul-thurrott:

        As in users using them.

        Out of that list you have I only use Hulu and only on our Apple TV’s and my iPad.

        My wife uses Pinterest in a browser. She has no idea what a PWA is..... which is my point really.

        Starbucks on PC via a PWA?? Where people actually using some kind of app or going to the Starbucks web page on a PC so much that’s PWA was needed???

        • lvthunder

          In reply to Stooks:

          Your wife doesn't need to know what a PWA is. If she uses Chrome when she goes there a spot in the title will say install and if she clicks the button it will install and she can use that instead.

          Just because you don't use something doesn't mean it's not a good idea that other people find useful.

          • Stooks

            In reply to lvthunder:

            They are not a bad idea but they are nothing special or different/better enough to seriously move the needle. Joe Consumers have no idea what they are and on a PC will hardly ever use them.

            Outside of this site PWA's were a topic that lasted about 3 months before those other sites stopped talking about them. Paul is all in on PWA's and my point is that I do not see them making much headway especially with the average user.

    • ndragonawa

      In reply to Stooks:

      As someone who's tab-happy (I tend to open around 20-30 tabs per window) I use the PWA functionality for our management consoles (Citrix ADC, Windows Admin Center, etc.) to keep them separated.

      • Stooks

        In reply to Ndragonawa:

        I use Windows Admin Center a lot, and I did not know there was a PWA for it.

        I just did a Google and Bing search for it and found nothing other than some people in early January of this year asking for a PWA on the Windows Admin Center over on the new Microsoft tech community sight.

        A MS employee answered the question on 2-27-19 with...

        "There is no current plan on releasing Windows Admin Center as a PWA/electron/etc standalone app."

  2. dontbeevil

    Google disabled a way that hackers were using to detect if you’re using Incognito mode.*

    *sure sure sure

  3. skane2600

    Did Google ever close the loophole that allowed a change in the default search engine without the user's permission? Also there should never be a scenario allowed that prevents the user from controlling the browser. The ability for the user to close a tab should be absolute.

  4. Patrick3D

    For anyone confused by how to enable the new dark mode, it is designed to activate automatically if the OS is set to dark mode. To enable it manually add this to the end of the shortcut you use to launch it: -force-dark-mode

  5. Fuller1754

    The PWA install button shows up in Edge Chromium too.