Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome are the two most widely used browsers currently on the market, in front of IE, Safari and Edge. Both browsers have become the standard as they are regularly updated, offer great features and are easy to use.
Google turned 20 this week, and Chrome celebrates its 10th anniversary with a new design, some new colours and icons to both its desktop and mobile versions.
The first thing you'll notice when opening your updated version of Chrome is how everything is round. From your tabs to the address bar, the rounded edges give a fresh new look to the Chrome browser. This also includes updated icons and a slightly different colour palette. The menu and prompts have been cleaned up and simplified. In the address bar, Chrome now drops the HTTP/HTTPS protocol designator, making the bar much cleaner. The bar, or Omnibox as Google calls it, now shows answers from Google as you type in a question. Results like information on celebrities, sports and weather will show up in the Omnibox.
Google has also made additions to the autofill function in Chrome. For one, it is more accurate in filling in information like usernames, passwords, credit card numbers and stores the data into your Google Account. Chrome now also has an improved password manager and will auto-generate and suggest strong passwords when you sign-up on a new website. The password manager will work on both desktop and mobile when logged into your Google Account.
All of these changes are available NOW across the range of PC, Mac, Linux and mobile, with Apple's iOS getting special treatment as Googles moves the Chrome toolbar to the bottom to make items easier to reach.
We are left to wonder if this is the look Google will be sticking with for another ten years of Chrome.
Rahul Roy-Chowdhury, Google’s vice president of product management, said, “A decade later, it’s still the tool people use to access all of the websites and applications that help them do what they want to do. As Chrome heads into the next ten years, we want to expand that window—so you can see more and do more.”
Firefox is also releasing an update with privacy on its mind. Future versions of Firefox will automatically block tracking code by third parties, advertisers, and any others that are not the website publishers. While this feature is not meant to block ads, it may be a positive consequence as many ads include tracking code. Apple's Safari included a similar update recently where it blocked specific trackers; but unlike the feature in Safari, Firefox also blocks slow-loading trackers, like video ads embedded into web pages. Blocking slow-loading trackers primarily means better performance when browsing the internet. With this push on privacy, Firefox will be attempting to block advertisers from fingerprinting users.
While all these security features are helpful, websites and developers are sure to find a way around them.
In other Firefox news, they announced a tool called Privacy Monitor which lets users check if their email address has been spotted on Troy Hunt's Have I been Pwned - a database of breached data.
If you are not using Firefox 63 the update hasn't been released yet, but it will update automatically to the latest version. If you want to check, in the menu under help -> about firefox, will let you know if your browser is up to date. How to update Firefox, Firefox release notes
For Chrome users, go to menu, Help -> about Chrome. The update with all its new features is available now. Updating Chrome.
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