Google Chrome receives update, users gain greater control

Chrome 64 beta adds stronger pop-up blocker, sitewide audio muting, Windows 10 HDR video

If you're using Chrome beta, this one is for you.

The beta version of Chrome 64 for desktop landed only a few days ago, discussed over on the Chromium Blog. and it introduces some significant changes, with possibly the biggest of these coming in the form of an improved pop-up blocker. There is a number of bug fixes, security updates as well as feature improvements included in the update and like the stable version, the OS will be rolling out over the next few days. Malicious auto-redirects will also have a tougher time sending you to a site that you never wanted to visit.

Next, in the URL bar at the top of the browser, there should be a lower-case "i" or green lock icon located to the left of the web address. Click on it and it should display a dropdown menu with details about the page. It hasn't always been smooth sailing, but you can't say they haven't tried.

In this menu you will find an option for "sound". By default, sound is set to be allowed. By ticking the "always block on this site" option, users can forget about further disturbances from the blocked websites.

The spotlight is mainly trained on the feature to mute autoplay videos.

This version also adds a new sitewide audio muting setting. Apparently, most Chrome users complained that some sites include links to third-party websites disguised as play buttons.

This is probably deliberate as these videos are very valuable for companies who are advertising.

Videos aren't muted by default across the board, you'll have to do that on a site-by-site basis through Chrome's Permission's bar.

Mounir Lamouri, a software engineer explained that audio will be played on autoplay videos when "the user has indicated an interest in the media" and "when users want media to play".

Google says that Chrome will prevent these "abusive experiences" with version 64, but its effectiveness remains to be seen: I suspect it could be mighty hard to stop this unwanted behavior happening in all cases.

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