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Home / Technology / Chrome 70 Adds AV1 Video Support, Improves PWAs on Windows and More [APK Download]

Chrome 70 Adds AV1 Video Support, Improves PWAs on Windows and More [APK Download]



Chrome 69 was a massive update as it offers a brand new user interface for desktop and mobile devices. Chrome 70 is not that radical, but it does include some important new features, like support for the AV1 video codec and TLS 1.3.

AV1 Support

Almost exactly 10 years ago, Google released its own video codec to compete with H.264, VP8. Although there is no major technological difference between the two formats, VP8 is royalty-free, while H.264 requires a license. Android supports VP8 natively since 2.3 Gingerbread, and any major browser (except Safari) can play videos encoded in VP8.

Google is now part of the Alliance for Open Media, a group of companies working to create a successor to VP8. VP9, called AV1. Facebook has tried AV1 with hundreds of popular videos and found that the format has "30% better compression than VP9 and achieved gains of 50.3%, 46.2% and 34.0%, compared to x264 main profile, x264 high profile and libvpx-vp9, respectively. "

Starting with Chrome 70, AV1 support is now enabled by default on desktop platforms and Android. While it will probably take a while for AV1 to reach some sort of widespread use, as no other browser currently supports it, this is definitely an important milestone.

Progressive Web Apps on Windows

While most of the support for Progressive Web Apps was on the phone, Google is not to mention desktop users. Chrome 67 added an install button to PWAs on the desktop, and Chrome 70 included several enhancements for Windows users.

Chrome on Windows now displays an "install app". Pop up on PWAs (after interacting with them for a while). If you accept, Chrome will create a start menu item for the app. As with the shortcuts you previously created, the browser interface is hidden when a Progressive Web App is open.

Google says this functionality should be available for Mac and Linux with Chrome 72.

Shape Detection API

There are already a few ways for web apps to read barcodes or recognize faces, mostly with the help of JavaScript machine learning libraries, but they can very slow down. To make this functionality more accessible and improve performance, Google Chrome adds its own form recognition feature.

The API for recognizing forms is in Chrome 70 as an "original trial," which means it's not yet widely used. The API can recognize three types of objects in images – faces, barcodes, and text. Currently, platform-to-platform compatibility varies because the host operating system requires the required object recognition capabilities. You can try a demo here.

TLS 1.3

Transport Layer Security, TLS for short, is the protocol with which data can be transmitted securely over the Internet. If you are on an HTTPS site, most likely the data will be sent over TLS. Chrome 70 includes support for TLS version 1.3, which was completed last month.

For a list of changes, click here, but to summarize, it improves both efficiency and safety. To make a secure connection, fewer round-trips are required, so the load times can be improved slightly (if the site you visit supports TLS 1.3). Here's a graphical representation of CloudFlare's change:

TLS 1.3 also drops support for some legacy features like SHA1 and MD5. Google has stated this on the Status page of the Chrome platform:

TLS 1.3 was a multi-year project that included contributions from the industry, academic research groups and other participants in the standardization process. We've experimented with previous drafts of the standard before, and now that we've reached the latest standard, we're ready to deliver it in Chrome.

Firefox v60 added support for TLS 1.3 (draft 23), released in May this year. CloudFlare has been using the standard since May.

Other features

As always, Chrome has 70 changes for users and developers. Here are some minor features that come with this update:

  • The Speech Synthesis API no longer works if the page has already interacted. This was often used by pop-ups for spam apps on mobile because it was not included in the new Chrome 66 autoplay policy.
  • The Touch ID in Macbook Pros can now be used as a login method for the Web Authentication API page is in full screen mode and displays a pop up, the page will now exit full screen mode.
  • AppCache stops working on non-HTTPS pages.
  • On Android devices, the operating system build number (for example, "NJH47F") no longer exists in the user agent string to prevent fingerprinting. Chrome on iOS freezes the build number at 15E148 instead of completely removing it to follow the implementation of Safari.
  • Opus audio is now supported in MP4, Ogg, and WebM container files.
  • WebUSB now uses dedicated worker contexts that should improve performance.
  • Web Bluetooth now works on Windows 10.
  • There is a new sync dialog on desktop platforms (Thanks, Edric).
  • Service employees can now be named.
  • The Credential Management API now supports public key credentials.
  • The original custom items, HTML imports, navigator.getGamepads, and Shadow DOM APIs are now obsolete.

APK Download

The APK is signed by Google and upgrades Your existing app The cryptographic signature guarantees that the file can be safely installed and has not been tampered with. Instead of waiting for Google to download this download to your devices, which can take days, you can download and install it like any other APK.

Version: 70.0.3538.64

  Google Chrome: Fast & Secure
  Google Chrome: Fast and Secure

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