Google has added more solid updates to its popular browser with the release of Chrome 87. In addition to the usual developer goodies, Chrome 87 includes a brand new PDF viewer, more performance updates, and new wallpapers for Chrome OS.
Google released Chrome 87 on November 17, 2020. The Chrome browser will automatically install the update or ask if you want to install it. To check this now, click Menu> Help> About Google Chrome.
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Redesigned PDF viewer
One of the most significant visual changes in Chrome 87 is PDFs. For the first time in a long time, the built-in PDF viewer has undergone a facelift.
The new PDF view includes a sidebar with a preview of all pages. The zoom buttons are now at the top of the screen, along with a rotate button and the “Fit to page” option. The menu also includes a new option to view pages side by side.
If you don’t see this new UI in Chrome 87, you can enable it with a flag on
Camera controls for video conferencing
Video conferencing has become incredibly important in 2020 and Chrome 87 is introducing some improved camera tools. If you’re using a camera that supports pan, tilt, and zoom, Chrome can now access those controls.
Instead of using software from the camera manufacturer, you can control the camera directly with Chrome. The video meeting website can only access the controls if you give the site permission.
Cookie Store API
Cookies are one of the most popular methods for websites to store data. However, it has always been difficult for websites to analyze this data. Chrome 87 introduces the “Cookie Store API” to solve that problem.
The Cookie Store API provides websites with a simple, clean JSON formatted list of stored cookies. Background processes can also access cookies with the new API. What this means for people who browse the web is better site performance.
Throttling tab… this time for real?
Tab throttling was originally planned for Chrome 85, then again for Chrome 86, and now it’s apparently included in Chrome 87. Will it finally stick this time? We will see.
Tab throttling limits tabs that are open in the background to a maximum of one percent CPU time after being inactive for five minutes or more.
Tabs can “wake up” once per minute while in the background. Site administrators can control this limitation with the IntensiveWakeUpThrottlingEnabled policy.
Chrome OS gets new wallpapers
Google is freshening things up a bit on Chrome OS with some new wallpapers. The backgrounds can be found in the new collections “Element”, “Made by Canvas” and “Collage” in the wallpaper picker. There are over 30 new wallpapers in total.
RELATED: How to change the background and theme on your Google Chromebook
Goodies for developers
As with any Chrome release, many of the new features in Chrome 87 are behind the scenes. Developers will use these tools to build new experiences. Google outlined a lot of it on the developer site and Chromium blog:
- New WebAuthn Tab: Developers can emulate authenticators and debug the Web Authentication API with the new WebAuthn tab.
- isInputPending (): Long-running scripts can sometimes block user input. To address this, Chrome 87 has added a method called
isInputPending(), accessible from
navigator.scheduling, which can be called from long running operations.
- Lighthouse 6.4: Lighthouse 6.4 is now running on the Lighthouse panel.