Google is releasing Chrome stable version 63 in the Play Store on a slow rollout starting today. The new version brings permission prompts to the center of the page, redesigns the chrome://flags page, lets users choose whether they want to use the new or old home bar style, and makes some changes to how autofill works in the address bar. Under the hood, this new version of Chrome changes how media is handled for better performance, allows more different types of certificate addons for web developers and publishers, and makes some changes to improve overall performance and solve crashes involving the password manager and certain navigation menus.
The biggest user-facing change here is with the permissions dialog. According to Google’s data, the old style that came up on the bottom of the page and included an X icon to temporarily dismiss it resulted in users ignoring permission notifications most of the time. The redesign puts them front and center, and even darkens the rest of the interface around them, mirroring the native Android permission dialog seen in most apps. The ability to change how the home bar is displayed is also a nice touch for those who may prefer the older style that stayed stuck to the top of the page until you scrolled away from it. The switch for that can be found in the chrome://flags page, but Google is also putting out a prompt that lets users choose on first launch. The changes to autofill, meanwhile, aren’t really user-facing, but are said to result in a better autofill experience.
On the performance side of things, a new function has arrived that will help those with older or weaker devices; sites can now detect how much RAM a user’s device has, which could allow webmasters to create a less resource-intensive version of their websites for devices with less RAM than a given amount. All of these changes are already live in the fresher channels, but for those who want to stick to the stable channel and only use Chrome features that have been well-tested, Chrome 63 will be rolling out worldwide over the next few weeks. Google did not give a specific timeline, but some users are already getting the update. If you don’t have the update yourself, you can try rebooting, or clearing the Play Store data in your settings. Most users should have it by the end of December.