The new Chrome is out: what changes

Aesthetic but also substantive novelties, goodbyes to historical components and more security: here's what changes with the new Chrome.

The first 2021 version of the Google Chrome browser, the 88, is finally here and available for Android, iOS, Windows, macOS, Linux and Chrome OS devices. Chrome 88 brings users new features under the hood as well as to the aesthetics, and it's the first version of the browser to say goodbye to Adobe Flash.

The very old, and very dangerous, Adobe technology for making multimedia content and publishing it on websites is thus permanently dead. And we won't miss it. But that to Flash is not the only farewell from Chrome 88 that, again for security reasons, also says goodbye to FTP and the old operating systems of Macs. The graphical novelties, instead, all focus on the dark mode: the dark mode is now more uniform, with small strokes of dark gray that make it more pleasant and restful for the eyes. Finally, with Chrome 88 Google experiments with a new way to warn users about what permissions sites ask for.

Google Chrome: what's new for security

In addition to the usual security patches that are always included in new versions of the browser, with the 88 Google has brought to an end the life cycle of Flash: already abandoned by the parent company Adobe on December 31, 2020 and already blocked by all browsers long before, now Flash disappears from the code of Chrome. The tombstone on this format, since Chrome has a market share of nearly 70%.

In the same way, from Chrome code disappears also the Legacy Browser Support, that is the support to sites and apps that still use Internet Explorer through an add-on. Again, the motivation is security: now the support is directly integrated into Chrome and, therefore, is much more secure.

With the new Chrome 88 you can no longer visit FTP URLs (File Transfer Protocol, a protocol for browsing files within a remote server). Now Chrome is only compatible with FTPS, which unlike the former has an encrypted and secure transmission channel.

Last goodbye: Chrome 88 doesn't run on older Macs running macOS X 10.10 Yosemite, dating back to 2014.

Google Chrome: the new permissions

It doesn't directly have to do with security (because basically nothing changes), but with the user interface and convenience of use, the new way in which Chrome 88 displays the permissions required by websites: instead of the previous big pop-up banner informing about the required permissions now small tags appear to the left of the website address.

The user can then click on the tags to revoke the permission at any time, or grant it if he or she previously denied it. Permissions granted are valid for each site, tab by tab. And, speaking of tabs, you can now search an open tab by enabling chrome://flags/#enable-tab-search.