The latest version of Chrome for Android is rolling out this evening following last month’s 10th anniversary update. Chrome 70 features privacy changes, more Google Material Theme tweaks, and a Downloads menu, in addition to other security fixes and bug patches.
To improve privacy, Chrome 70 will no longer include the Android and iOS build number in the user-agent identification string visible to websites. Chrome for iOS follows Safari and freezes the build number at “15E148,” while it will be completely removed on Android. This change prevents exploit targeting, fingerprinting, and other abusive behaviors.
Sample user-agent string before the change: “Mozilla/5.0 (Linux; Android 8.1.0; Pixel Build/OPM4.171019.021.D1) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/61.0.3163.98 Mobile Safari/537.36”
The same string with build number removed: “Mozilla/5.0 (Linux; Android 8.1.0; Pixel) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/61.0.3163.98 Mobile Safari/537.36”
Chrome 70 allows websites to access an Android device’s fingerprint sensor as part of the Web Authentication API.
Often missed from the initial Google Material Theme redesigns are app widgets. Chrome 70 corrects this by updating the Chrome search widget with a new pill-shaped bar that matches the new Omnibox, replacing the previous squarish appearance.
In Settings, there is a new “Downloads” menu where users can see the location of stored files on a device, as well as an option to “Ask where to save files.”