Google is currently releasing a stable version Chrome 109 for desktop and mobile as it adds new features. However, these features are dependent on third-party developers to implement them.
The the update gives developers (opens in a new tab) new tools to improve the interactivity between their software and the browser. Conditional focus (opens in a new tab) is added, which will allow the video conferencing app to decide if it wants to focus on a tab or window when screen sharing starts. If developers don’t want either, they can set the capture page as the main screen instead. In a similar way to how Zoom already does, the browser will also be able to mute audio in a video call so people don’t have to mute their microphone. The main difference is that Chrome’s sound suppression seems to work with all video conferencing apps as long as the developers have tweaked their software to support it.
In Chrome 109 on mobile devices, the browser now works with the experimental Secure Payment Confirmation (SPC) standard, allowing users to use their phone’s biometric screen unlock feature to verify payments. Instead of going through multiple sites to verify your identity, you can just use your fingerprint (opens in a new tab). This feature relies on banks, credit card issuers and payment platforms to implement SPC in their software, so it may take some time before it gains widespread support.
Other notable developer-oriented features, such as new CSS values, can be found on the site Chrome developer blog (opens in a new tab).
The Chrome 109 update package includes some first page changes (opens in a new tab) that will appeal to the everyday user. If the browser detects that you have downloaded something potentially malicious, it will offer a more detailed explanation as to why it stopped downloading. For example, a warning will clearly let you know if a file contains malware that can potentially steal information from your social media accounts. The “From the Web” feature that tells users about a specific website has been changed to “About This Site”, making its function more obvious.
17 security fixes (opens in a new tab) are present in Chrome 109, but most of them are not terrible. Most are patches for some poorly implemented components, such as the fullscreen API and permission prompts, for a smoother experience. It should also be mentioned that the so-called latest version of Chrome (opens in a new tab) for Windows 7 and 9.1 Going forward, there will be no more updates or security patches.
As for the rest of the features, they’re all experimental, which means their quality will be a bit questionable. The Material You theme is present in Chrome for desktop, allowing you to change the appearance of the browser on the New Tab page. However, it seems to be fully functional only on canary channel (opens in a new tab); a special version of Chrome where users can try experimental features. There is also a Save Tab Groups option to transfer tab groups from one version of Chrome (Windows, Mac or Linux) for use on other operating systems. You can try out these and other features for yourself by typing “chrome://flags” in your browser’s address bar after updating.
Google warns that trying experimental features may compromise the security of your browser. For this reason, we recommend checking The best antivirus software for 2023, so you can safely use the features without compromising security.