Google Chrome v64, which is due to be released in January, will not auto-play ads and videos with sound. Instead, Chrome will only play advertisements and videos that do not have sound or include sound if the user specifically opted for sound on auto-play videos.
“This will allow autoplay to occur when users want media to play, and respect users’ wishes when they don’t,” the search giant says in a blog post.
No auto-play from Chrome v64
Google is clearly aware of what types of features might be on users’ lists of most-hated features. In Chrome version 63, users will get the option to disable audio completely for particular sites. The version will go live in October.
“This site muting option will persist between browsing sessions, allowing users to customize when and where audio will play,” the company says.
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To tackle the issue of auto-play ads, Google has laid down the following timeline, notes VentureBeat. Starting this month, the Mountain View, California-based search engine has started collecting Media Engagement Index (MEI) data in Chrome 62 Canary and Dev. Thereafter, the Stable channel for Chrome v63 will add the option to mute sound on specific sites in October. In December, the company’s upcoming auto-play policies will be available in the Chrome v64 Beta, and in January, the new auto-play policies will be available in the Stable Chrome v64 channel.
Explaining its decision, Google says that although auto-play on a video “can make it faster and easier to consume on the web,” unexpected media playback is also “one of the most frequent user concerns” because it “can use data, consume power, and make unwanted noise while browsing.” Google also believes that shutting down the feature will “unify the desktop and mobile web behavior, making web media development more predictable across platforms and browsers.”
The features to fight auto-play will be in both the desktop and mobile versions of Chrome.
Making browsing experience better and secure
These are not the only things that Google has done or is doing to enhance the browsing experience. In June, the ads that do not comply with Google’s quality standards were blocked. Offenders included pop-ups, videos with sound, sticky banners that refuse to close unless the user clicks on them, and so on.
In addition, Google has recently been trying to make the browsing experience secure for its users. The upcoming Chrome 63 will also have a feature to prevent man-in-the-middle attacks. Usually, MitM attacks are carried out by a third party and infect the person’s computer or local network. With such an attack, a hacker gets control of all the user’s connections and everything that user sees through them. With such data, miscreants can easily scam the user or track their conversations.
In Chrome v63, Google will add an interstitial warning telling users about the HTTPS interception. For now, the warning is being flashed in Chrome’s developer and Canary versions with some improvements. If someone is trying to intercept the user’s traffic, Chrome will throw multiple SSL errors at once to alert the user. The new security feature will track both malware and legit apps, meaning that it will start giving error messages even if your antivirus software and firewall are working properly.