Chrome 64 is rolling out to Mac, Windows, and Linux today with mitigations to reduce the impact of the Meltdown and Spectre CPU vulnerabilities. In addition to developer changes and other security fixes, there are a bevy of new features for users, including an improved pop-up blocker and sitewide audio muting.

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Mitigations in version 64 of Chrome to the V8 JavaScript engine protect against speculative side-channel attacks. Google notes a possible “performance penalty,” with additional mitigations and hardening measures coming in future releases.

An improved pop-up blocker in Chrome 64 prevents sites with abusive experiences — like links disguised as easily clicked play buttons and site controls, or transparent overlays — from opening new tabs or windows.

The browser is also cracking down on malicious auto-redirects from third-party content embedded into pages. Chrome will now block third-party iframes unless a user has directly interacted with it.

This version also adds a new sitewide audio muting setting as part of Google’s push for more consistent media autoplay behavior. Located in the permissions dropdown (tap the info icon or green lock in the URL bar), users will be able to set sound behavior on a site-by-site basis.

Meanwhile, this version also brings support for HDR video playback when Windows 10 is in HDR mode. It requires the Windows 10 Fall Creator Update, HDR-compatible graphics card, and display.

Chrome OS will get a number of new features, including a flag to easily enable a “Split view” feature for improved multitasking in tablet mode and an Android-like button combination (volume down + power key) to take screenshots on convertible. Lastly, in version 64, Android apps have been spotted as being able to run in the background.

Chrome 64 for desktops and Android is now available, with Chrome OS following shortly.


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