With every new update, Google appears to be readying Chrome for a future where few “real” apps exist.
If you’re an Android user, Google Chrome is probably your mobile browser of choice. And if it is, then this latest update might get you excited about a future where you don’t even have to worry about having an entire app installed to get to its best functionality. Many of Chrome 59’s new features seem to have been added with the goal of revving up the browser so that it’s both able to support and compatible with the purported future onslaught of web-based apps.
Android Police helped break down the various new pieces that make up Chrome 59. The update adds animated PNG support, which is actually a format utilized heavily by Apple’s iMessage; an image capture API, which gives websites more access to a device’s front- and rear-facing camera abilities, and improved security, like cutting off a known technique used by spammy websites that launch pop-ups on your mobile browser. Just say no to spam, kids.
Developers have access to a few new features within Chrome 59, too. They include the ability to implement the Installed Related Apps API, which refers to a very specific feature that essentially checks to see if you have an actual application installed, as well as a new “headless mode,” which hides the navigation bar and forces the webpage on display into fullscreen mode.
Many of Chrome 59’s new features clearly point to a future where instant and web-based mobile apps are the norm. Even the most minor feature additions, like the ability for a webpage to go full screen, seem to have been added in an effort to make webpages more dynamic by giving them more control over a device’s user interface — after all, full-size mobile apps already function in this manner. It makes sense if you consider Google’s investment in Instant Apps and progressive web apps.