Google Chrome Beta 102 is out now, here’s all that’s new

There are a lot of features aimed at developers which help them to close the gap between web apps and native applications further.

Chrome 101 was just launched in stable earlier this week, and like a clockwork, Google has already released Chrome 102 for the beta channel. The release is jam-packed with features aimed primarily at developers, but that’s not a bad thing – instead, it’s only making web apps more powerful over the next few months and years, with Chrome providing tools to make them feel even more resident. Here are all the most interesting pieces we found in Chrome 102.

Online store information and reviews

First, here’s one of the few user-facing changes that Google is working on for this release. Google is experimenting with giving you more information about online stores you may have never visited before, making it easier for you to assess whether a store is legitimate or not, giving you quick access to Google reviews on the page info screen to the left of address bar. Originally seen in the Dev version of Chrome 102, this feature does not appear to be quite ready for launch yet and is probably tied to regional restrictions, but it should still be in active testing in this release. Do not be surprised if you run into it while using Chrome 102. It is possible that the feature is controlled via chrome: // flags / # page-info-about-this-site flag, although we have not been able to replicate it yet by turning this on.

Open files in web apps

After a long trial period that started with Chrome 92, Chrome 102 closes the gap between native applications and web apps even more. Installed web apps may declare that they are capable of opening certain files from your computer (such as a photo-editing web app for jpeg or Photoshop files), and may then appear in your system’s “Open with” dialog box. You no longer need to drag and drop files to web apps, at least when most developers support it.

CTRL + F may soon become even more powerful

Chrome 102 introduces a new HTML attribute called “Hidden = until-found.” This can be used for hidden text that may be hidden in a help or FAQ section. When the attribute is used, it is possible to find text in hidden site sections using site search (either in the three-dot menu or by using CTRL / CMD + F). Because this functionality is based on an HTML attribute, websites will need to support it specifically so that it may not appear on pages you visit right away.

Better single-page web apps

The Navigation API, first tested in Chrome 96, goes live for anyone with Chrome 102. Google says the API, formerly known as the App History API, introduces a robust method of intercepting and launching navigation, enabling to create less discerning single-page webapps. These apps are supposed to feel more original as they do not completely reload the web page when navigating to a new location, but instead rewrite the currently visible view, just like regular applications do. Slack, Gmail, Google Drive and other web apps like them come to mind.

With this new API it is could becomes easier to navigate back and forth in these applications using your browser’s navigation buttons, where these apps apparently previously relied on a less robust system.

Manage your slides directly from your video conferencing service

Video conferencing has become the norm over the last few years, but the web is still catching up to make things as hassle-free as possible. Google Chrome 102 launches a new feature that will make presentations much easier, allowing you to go to the next or previous slide from the meeting window instead of the presentation itself. This allows you to keep an eye on your peers while sharing another Chrome tab. If you’re curious about how this works, be sure to visit the demo site for this feature and test it out on Chrome 102. It will probably take some time before all browsers out there support this, so be prepared to wait little until this actually pops up in your favorite meeting platform.

You can see that quite a lot is happening in this release, and those are not the only things Google is working on at the moment. Be sure to check out our deep dives into all the new features the company is working on for Chrome, regularly updated with what’s happening.

Chrome 102 Beta is now rolling out to desktops and Android devices, but if you want to speed up the process of the latter, be sure to download it from APK Mirror.

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