The Chrome team has announced quite a few things recently. From natively building Google Cast into Chrome, to phasing out Chrome apps – its been a busy couple of weeks. Now, Chrome browser version 53 has graduated to the stable channel, and the update is already rolling out to Windows, Mac, and Linux users.
The company has announced that the rollout will happen over the coming weeks. Chrome 53 brings the usual bugs and security fixes, but it also introduces Material Design for Windows users. The first to receive Material Design were Chrome OS users, followed by Mac users in April (with Chrome 52 stable channel), and now finally Windows users get the redesign. It comes with a dark theme for Incognito mode, a flatter design, distinct edges, and better icons. Those who don’t like the look can try Material Hybrid instead, or, just switch back to normal via chrome://flags.
If you already have Chrome installed and have not been prompted to install the update, go to Settings > About > Check for updates. Chrome 53 for Android and Chrome OS is scheduled to arrive soon as well. Based on the beta channel, Chrome 53 for Android is expected to bring a host of new features like autoplay for muted videos. However, Chrome will detect all those videos that autoplay with sound and pause them for the user to hit play manually. There’s also a new PaymentRequest API that is similar to autofill. Support for commerce sites has been rolled out, and other sites will get it soon.
As mentioned, Google is discontinuing Chrome apps for Windows, Mac, and Linux users by the end of the year. Only Chromebooks will support Chrome apps next year, as Google insists they play a ‘critical role’ in Chrome OS. Google has also announced that it will start to de-emphasise Flash in Chrome in favour of HTML5 from this month onwards.