Google Chrome 61 Beta Brings Web Share API, WebUSB, Payment Request API and More

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Aug 16, 2017
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After rolling out Chrome 60 for Mac, Windows, and Linux, alongside Android, version 61 of Chrome is now starting to roll out to the beta channel.

Chrome team has been working on the integration of Payment Request API into Chrome for quite some time now. In May 2017, Google officially integrated this API to enable purchases from third-party websites within Chrome. Companies are yet to adopt this new API system, but this system should soon be integrated to make payment checkouts easier. It looks like Google is bringing this feature to the desktop with Chrome 61 beta.

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Chrome 61:Web Share API

With the beta version, Chrome also gets significant new APIs that introduce better native app functionality to the system. These new APIs make content sharing on social networks easier. Earlier, developers had to add individual sharing button for different social media websites, which often lead to bloatware and security flaws.

Chrome 61 Beta

Besides, it also used to pose difficulty for the users by not letting them share with the services that they actually use. For Android, developers will have to use the new navigator.share API on Chrome that will open the native Android share dialog, which will enable sharing of text or links with other installed native apps on their phone. In the next release, this API will also get the ability to let users share media with installed web apps.

WebUSB API

Besides, Chrome 61 also brings support for the WebUSB API that enables web apps to interact with computer peripherals like keyboards, mouse, and printers. While high-level web platform APIs already support most of these peripherals but specialized educational, scientific, or industrial USB peripherals lacked this support, and users had to install unsafe drivers and software with system-level privileges. With WebUSB API, Chrome now enables web apps to interact with peripherals on user’s consent. This lets users take full advantage of all the peripherals in a secure ecosystem without downloading external drivers.

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Automatic Full Screen

Regarding user experience, Chrome 61 brings automatic expansion ability for videos to go full screen on “rotate for content” which uses native controls. Furthermore, Chrome Custom Tab would now launch instead of the full browser when users navigate from installed web app to an external website. For enhanced security, Chrome 61 automatically exits full screen when JavaScript dialog opens.

Network Information API and Device RAM API

Other changes in the new version include Network Information API on the desktop, which lets websites obtain connection data of a device. Similarly, Device RAM API allows websites to monitor RAM usage to optimise the performance of web apps.

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