Chrome 57 is rolling out now to Mac, Windows, and Linux with a number of features and security fixes. For desktops, this release adds a new grid layout system that allows developers to better design for a variety of screen sizes. However, the majority of changes in this version are for Android and Chrome OS.
Aimed at improving responsive user interface design, CSS Grid Layout features a two-dimensional grid-based layout system. Elements within a grid can be named and specified to span multiple columns or rows. This added level of control makes supporting and maintaining designs on a variety of screen sizes easier.
There are also fixes for 36 security vulnerabilities. A related change adds a new badge in the URL bar that notifies users when they are on a secure Chrome page/settings or any other chrome:// site.
On Chrome devices, version 57 adds support for admins to install Android kiosk apps — in addition to existing Chrome ones— and kiosk application management. Specifically, Android apps from Google Play can now be pushed to locked down Chrome devices used as retail displays in stores.
The biggest changes in this version are coming to Android. Media notifications now have support for more controls thanks to the new Media Session API that allows sites to provide more metadata to the browser.
As such, notifications can features background artwork for device lock screens and other info, like title, artist, and album name. Actions like seeking or skipping are now also supported.
This version also provides Progressive Web Apps added to the homescreen the ability to appear in app drawers, as well as system settings. Like native apps, they will be able to receive incoming intents and access the normal Android notification management controls instead of Chrome’s.
Chrome 57 for desktop is rolling out now, with updates for Chrome on Android and Chrome OS coming soon.