With version 73 now available on Mac, Windows, Linux, and Android, the next beta release of Google’s browser is rolling out. Chrome 74 notably brings Dark Mode support to Windows, and can instruct websites to respect any OS-level user preference to reduce motion.
Android, iOS, macOS, and Windows all feature accessibility options to “Reduce motion” or “Remove animations.” This is designed to help users that get motion sickness when viewing transition animations, parallax scrolling, or zooming effects.
While many users enjoy such animations, some users dislike them because they feel distracted or slowed down from them. In the worst case, users may even suffer from motion sickness as if it were a real life experience, so for these users reducing animations is a medical necessity.
With the CSS prefers-reduced-motion media query, Chrome can now tell supported websites and experiences to honor a user’s OS-level set preference. It can also be beneficial for users that want less animations and a faster browsing experience. Like in third-party apps, site developers have to add support for this feature. They can create motion-reduced variants of pages or turn off specific animations.
After debuting earlier this month on Mac, Chrome will now respect the OS-wide setting in Windows. When the default app mode is set to Dark in the system Colors menu, the browser will automatically and seamlessly update. The theme is quickly applied to tabs, the Omnibox, bookmarks bar, New Tab page, and various menus.
Google this week announced a beta that lets G Suite users search Google Drive from the Omnibox. Results appear with a favicon that matches the file type or the Drive logo, with users able to refine queries by type: and owner: filters. The default search engine has to be set to Google, with this feature still in testing (though it works with version 69+ on any desktop platform).
On a similar front, the search box in Chrome OS 74 will now show recent queries and suggested apps when users click the field. In the past, text had to be entered before those suggestions would appear. You will also have the option to remove recent queries from that list.
Chrome 74 prevents pages that are being closed (or replaced) from opening a popup. Specifically, “pages may not use the window.open() API to open a new page during its unload.” The browser’s popup blocker already prevented this, but this behavior in now prohibited regardless of whether the blocker is enabled.
Version 70 last year began testing a Shape Detection API so that websites can identify faces, barcodes, and text in images. With Chrome 74, it is nearing a wider release by moving from Origin Trial to being available behind a flag.
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