The 2019 Chrome Dev Summit kicks off today and Google is showcasing future technologies for the web. This includes killing, loading, and allowing more native experiences, while the browser is getting performance and memory improvements.
Google is launching a “new infrastructure that will allow you to distribute your web content across any format – email, FTP, or even USB.” These “Web Bundles” work without an internet connection and make offline sharing possible, as well as “lightning fast” delivery.
It is part of Chrome’s broader push to “make loading disappear.” Caching is an important part of this, with new APIs allowing developers to request background syncing so that relevant content is already available for users when they lose connection.
Another way to deliver fast experiences is through “Portals.” Previewed at I/O in May, Portals are embeddable content in other web pages that are pre-rendered and load immediately when tapped. Google shared an experience from Fandango that’s already in testing. Tapping a movie poster opens — with a slick animation — a details page that is fully loaded and accessible.
Google has also long been pursuing native-like experiences for web apps. Recent efforts include allowing sites to retrieve and automatically fill two-factor SMS codes, as well as access default contact apps and the file system. The former allows for easier sharing, while the latter makes possible web photo/video editors and IDEs.
Meanwhile, in the shorter term, Google is “investing in performance and memory improvements” for Chrome. For example, version 79 — currently in beta — freezes tabs that have been in the background for five minutes. There are exceptions for playing media, but this will conserve resources on desktop devices.
In terms of privacy, Chrome 79 is also experimenting with controlling third-party cookies directly from the Incognito New Tab Page given the higher expectation of security. Google is also working on redesigning cookie settings throughout.
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