Chrome 69 earlier this month introduced a Google Material Theme, smarter Omnibox, and a host of other new features for the browser’s 10th anniversary. In recent days, changes related to Account sign-in and clearing cookies were met with criticism. Google has now announced a handful of changes for Chrome 70 that should fix those issues.
With Chrome 69, Google aimed to make it clear whether or not a user was signed into any Google service in the browser; be it Gmail, YouTube, or Chrome itself. If logged in, Chrome would display your account profile avatar to the right of the address bar.
This was conflated by some this week to mean that any login into a Google service would automatically enable Chrome Sync, which stores browsing history, passwords, bookmarks and more in the cloud. Google reiterates that enabling sync requires “additional action” and is not done automatically.
To address any confusion, Chrome 70 will introduce an option to “turn off linking web-based sign-in with browser-based sign-in.” As such, signing into a Google service on the web will no longer sign users into Chrome.
Meanwhile, tapping the profile avatar in Chrome 70 will explicitly state a user’s current sign-in status: signed out, signed in but not syncing, and signed in and syncing.
According to Google, this avatar and other changes were introduced to address use cases where a single device is used by multiple users.
Over the years, we’ve received feedback from users on shared devices that they were confused about Chrome’s sign-in state. We think these UI changes help prevent users from inadvertently performing searches or navigating to websites that could be saved to a different user’s synced account.
The last change next month is in regards to how auth cookie are cleared. Currently, Google auth cookies are kept even if users ‘clear all’ in Settings. This is designed to let users stay signed into the browser, but moving forward all cookies will be cleared with users getting signed out as a result.
Chrome 70 will be released in mid-October for Mac, Windows, and Linux.