Google Chrome

Following version 87’s release on Android, Mac, Windows, and Linux, the next release of Google’s browser is rolling out. Chrome 88 kicks off the new year with a flurry of changes.

After changing credentials for a website, Google prompts you to update that password the next time it gets entered. Chrome is now letting users manually “Edit password” from the central list on chrome://settings/passwords. Available from the overflow menu, this feature is rolling out with Chrome 88 on desktops and iOS — Android is following “soon.” If it’s not yet available after updating the browser, you can manually enable this feature with a flag:


Similarly, that page now lets you generate a list of accounts with weak credentials by tapping “Check passwords.” Google also says that Chrome’s Safety Check feature, which identifies breaches, is used 14 million times per week, and that there’s been a “37% reduction in compromised credentials stored” in the browser.

Chrome 88 is gradually rolling out a new “chip” UI for granting sites permissions. It will be less intrusive by residing in the address bar with an accompanying icon. Since it isn’t in the content area, users don’t have to close the prompt before being able to browse that page. In the example below, tapping “Use your location?” brings up “Allow”/”Block” pop-up.

Version 88 will stop supporting Mac OS X 10.10 Yosemite, with Chrome requiring 10.11+ moving forward.

When Chrome is screen sharing, notifications will not appear until after the session has ended or manual approval.

Back in November, Chrome 87 saw significant speed improvements and increased battery life by limiting timers in backgrounds tabs to once per minute. This change is available to all users in this release.

Last year, Google tested only displaying the registrable domain in the Omnibox to combat how long URLs that include the correct page name are often used to trick people into thinking they are on the desired/reputable site. For some users in Chrome 88, the address bar will show just a domain rather than the full URL. Google plans a full launch of this change in a future release. This truncation can be disabled with a right-click of the address bar and selecting “Always show full URLs.”



Chrome is looking to protect users against web forms that load over HTTPS but submit content using HTTP. Version 88, following a delay, shows an interstitial warning after users submit to pause the action until they hit “Send anyway.”

Chrome 88 will block macOS, Windows, Linux, and Chrome OS users from downloading unsafe image, audio, video, and text formats (like .png and .mp3) over HTTP on an HTTPS page. This “[file] can’t be downloaded securely” message is found in the downloads bar.

Developers can start submitting Manifest V3 extensions to the Chrome Web Store as Chrome 88 now features support for the latest format revision. This new platform is intended to be more secure, privacy-conscious, and improve performance. For more about the changes, read our explainer from last month.

Google is testing the ability for PWAs to sell digital goods and subscriptions through Play Billing as part of the new Digital Goods API. The origin trial is starting on Android before expanding to Chrome OS in the next release. Chrome is also testing the ability for websites to detect when users are idle. A messaging app, for example, could use this to determine if you’re away/not active on your computer and route notifications to a phone instead.

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About the Author

Abner Li

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