It’s been in the works for nearly a year and Google’s great ad-pocalypse is now upon us. On Thursday, the Chrome browser will begin to automatically filter out ads that don’t meet certain quality standards. Your browsing experience is about to change a little bit. Here’s what you need to know.
In April of last year, the news first broke that Google planned to integrate some form of ad-blocking into its browser that would be on by default. Since then we’ve seen a gradual rollout of the feature, beginning with the ability to mute autoplay videos with sound on the sites of your choosing. Now, Google going all-in with a set of criteria for what ads will be kosher in Chrome.
Along with its fellow ad giant Facebook, Google is a member of the Coalition for Better Ads, an industry group that has performed research on what forms of web advertising annoys people the most. It’s created a list of the 12 types of web experiences that should ideally be avoided by advertisers. Now Google is going to enforce that list with Chrome, which is used by over half of all people accessing the web with a browser.
Google’s Big Ad-Blocking Update Comes to Chrome Tomorrow: Here’s What We Know
Chrome: Google has released an update to its Hangouts extension that gives it a bit of a new look alongside some new functionality.
The new version of the extension puts the design in line with the Android and iOS apps. It also makes it so the extension works more like a standalone app. This means it’ll work when it’s closed, and you can pin Hangouts to your Dock or taskbar. If you used the now-defunct Hangouts app, the extension seems like a solid replacement. You can snag the update now.
Google’s Hangouts Extension Operates More Like Its Own App Now
Chrome is getting serious about websites that don’t use encryption. The next version of Chrome will include a new warning for unencrypted login sites, according to a post today on the Google Security Blog. Chrome 56, which is planned to launch in January, will mark HTTP login pages as “not secure” in a window next to the address bar. Unencrypted HTTP is particularly dangerous for login pages, as it could allow an attacker to intercept passwords as they travel across the network.
The post also lays out Chrome’s long term plan for discouraging unencrypted web connections. In the years to come, the team plans to warn Chrome users away from all sites served over unencrypted HTTP, beginning with Incognito mode “where users may have higher expectations of privacy.” Planned changes include labeling all HTTP pages with the red triangle warning symbol, currently only used for irregularities in HTTPS.
“Chrome currently indicates HTTP connections with a neutral indicator,” writes Emily Schechter of the Chrome Security team. “This doesn’t reflect the true lack of security for HTTP connections. When you load a website over HTTP, someone else on the network can look at or modify the site before it gets to you.” That weakness can be used to inject malware seamlessly into unencrypted web traffic, commonly known as an injection attack.
Chrome is stepping up its war on the unencrypted web
Google last week announced that it would minimize use of Adobe’s Flash Player in its Chrome Web browser by the end of the year by turning off its default status.
When Chrome encounters a Web page, it will report the presence of Flash Player only if a user has indicated that the domain should execute Flash or if the site is in one of the top 10 domains using Flash, said Anthony LaForge, technical program manager for Google Chrome.
When a Web surfer using Chrome encounters a site offering HTML5, the change in Google’s browser will make that the primary experience, he said.
“We will continue to ship Flash Player with Chrome, and if a site truly requires Flash, a prompt will appear at the top of the page when the user first visits that site, giving them the option of allowing it to run for that site,” LaForge said.
“While Flash historically has been critical for rich media on the Web, today in many cases HTML5 provides a more integrated media experience with faster load times and lower power consumption,” he added. “This change reflects the maturity of HTML5 and its ability to deliver an excellent user experience.”
Google to Dim Flash Player in Chrome Browser