Google released Chrome 90 Stable to the public on April 14, 2021. The new version of Chrome is available for all supported operating systems. It includes new features, improvements, bug and security fixes.
Google’s Chrome Platform Status site lists April 13, 2021 as the release date, but Google pushed out a security update for Chrome 89 on that day and not Chrome 90.
Google rolls out updates over time to all devices running the browser. Users may select Menu > Help > About Google Chrome to check the installed version. Chrome will run a check for updates, and will install the update on the device.
The official blog post reveals that 37 different security issues have been fixed in Chrome 90 Stable. The highest severity rating is high, the second-highest after critical. Some of the vulnerabilities were used in the Pwn2Own 2021 hacking competition.
Chrome 90: major changes
Chrome 90 is a security and feature update. Here is a short overview of major changes in the browser version:
- Port 554 is blocked — Chrome won’t connect to HTTP, HTTPs or FTP servers on port 554 anymore. These connections will fail. Google explains that the blocking of the port is designed to mitigate NAT Slipstream 2.0 attacks.
- AV1 Encoder — Chrome 90 on the desktop ships with an AV1 decoder that is optimized for video conferencing with WebRTC. The use of AV1 promises better bandwidth utilization and improved visual quality.
- HTTPS is the default protocol when users enter domain names without protocol in the Chrome address bar. If you type ghacks.net, Chrome will try https://ghacks.net/ immediately. Previously, Chrome tried HTTP first. The new approach makes connections more secure and should improve the connection speed as well according to Google. Some forms of connections won’t go HTTPS first according to Google. These are: IP addresses, single label domains, and reserved hostnames such as localhost or test.
- Tab Search is being rolled out to all users. Tab Search is one of Google’s attempts to improve tab management in the browser. Select the new arrow icon in the Chrome tab bar (on the right of it) to use the new search feature. If it is not enabled yet on your device, set chrome://flags/#enable-tab-search to Enabled to get access to it right away.
Tab Search in Chrome:
Developers may point their browser to the Chrome Developers blog for an overview of developer-related changes.
Here is a short list of important changes:
- The Feature Policy API has been renamed to Permissions Policy.
- Remove Content Security Policy directive ‘plugin-types’
- New CSS flexbox debugging tools
- Moved issue count to the Console status bar
Now You: do you use Google Chrome or another browser?