As with any new Chrome update, Google brings a number of bugs fixes and with version 55 of Google Chrome, Google has stayed true to its promise of removing any dependence on Adobe Flash in favour of HTML5. The new update, which is available now for macOS, Windows and Linux makes a major step towards killing Flash permanently by now defaulting to HTML5 on the majority of websites. As well as this, the update also reduces the browser's memory footprint.
The new update is only the next step after Chrome initially started implementing Google's promise back in September with the blocking of any Flash-based analytics being activated by default. There are some exceptions to the new update, though, with websites that are among the top 10 biggest in the world, as well as ones that are completely Flash-dependent websites, giving them time to update while they still work. Once Google fully eliminates Flash support, though, these updates will cease to work completely, at least in Google Chrome, meaning they need to take this change seriously or they may risk a significant loss in traffic and, subsequently, revenue, as well as the fact that the sites will be significantly slower than competing HTML5-based ones, though they will likely still be available in certain browsers. Overall, it's not looking too good for Flash-based sites.
Aside from the switch over to HTML5, as mentioned previously, the new version of Chrome uses significantly less memory. In fact, the new version is over 50% lighter than the previous version, Chrome 54. As well as these changes, the new version includes the usual amount of various bug fixes, 36 security fixes, along with some improvements and even a number of new developer tools alongside the inclusion of CSS automatic hyphenation which allows words to be automatically hyphenated in order to improve the visual consistency of a page.
As mentioned above, the update is available now for macOS, Windows and Linux users, while the Chrome OS and Android versions will be released in the near future. Speaking of the Android update, the new version brings the ability for offline viewing of web pages, images and even videos, something that will surely help Chrome keep or increase its dominance in many developing markets, where internet connections are typically unreliable.