The latest version of Google Chrome is rolling out today for Mac, Windows, and Linux. On desktops, Chrome 71 introduces a number of features that developers can take advantage of, while the browser will now block abusive ads from persistently offending sites.

In recent months, Google has been working to counter unwanted site redirects that result in bad and unsafe user experiences. However, the company’s efforts did not go far enough, with Chrome 71 now blocking ads on persistently offending sites.

Fake Messages

Ads or other elements that resemble chat apps, warnings, system dialogs, or other notifications that lead to an ad or landing page when clicked.

At target are websites that continue to display advertising that masquerades as fake system dialogs or ineffective ‘close’ buttons even after warnings from the Google Search Console’s Abusive Experiences Report. According to Google, this ad removal will affect a “small number of sites with persistent abusive experiences,” with scammers and phishing schemes often using these ads to steal personal information.

A related protection will display a billing warning screen before pages that don’t properly disclose how entered information will be used towards a paid subscription. Aimed at cutting down on unintended sign-ups and billing charges, Chrome will detect pages that don’t follow best practices on how to make clear that a transaction is about to occur.

Autoplay policies rolled out earlier this year — aimed at reducing videos with sound from automatically playing — will now be applied to the Web Audio API in Chrome 71. This follows several delays to reduce the impact on web games and applications.

Relative time formats — like “yesterday” and “42 seconds ago” — are often used over absolutes in today’s web apps. Several libraries provide localized versions of phrases for developers. However, this requires lists of customary words and phrases to be downloaded for each supported language, thus increasing a library’s bundle size and install time. Chrome 71 introduces the Intl.RelativeTimeFormat API that has the JavaScript engine handle this functionality.

Chrome 71 for desktops is available now, with Android and Chrome OS following in the coming weeks.

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Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: