Chrome 67 Beta Rolling Out, Includes Support For WebXR API

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Chrome beta version 67 is now available, and it includes several design changes and support for a number of new APIs. Among the new APIs that the beta version of the browser supports is the WebXR Device API, which replaces the older WebVR API. The WebXR Device API allows for the control of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) devices over the internet and it also enables developers to create a uniform VR and AR app experience across a variety of supported devices, which include head-mounted displays and mobile devices that are capable of positional tracking. Google mentioned on the Chromium blog that the WebXR Device API can be utilized by developers in use cases like games, data visualization, art, and immersive 2D, 3D, or 360-degree videos.

Aside from improved support for virtual reality applications, Chrome 67 beta also supports the Generic Sensor API. This API gathers information from a number of sensors, including the accelerometer, gyroscope, orientation sensors, and motion sensors. The data from these sensors are then handed over to the web applications. Google provided examples of how developers of web apps could use the information from the hardware sensors. For example, the data from the accelerometer can be used to move around in a 3D video, while the information from the gyroscope allows developers to create games like table-top mazes. Last but not the least, Chrome 67 beta also supports the new Web Authentication API, a software interface that allows people to authenticate with web applications using their smartphones, hardware keys, and devices that contain a Trusted Platform Module (TPM).

Chrome 67 beta also introduces a number of design changes to both the desktop and mobile versions of the browser. On the Chrome browser on Android OS, a Home button can be found to the left of the app’s Omnibar. Users have the ability to map the home button to any web page that they prefer through the browser’s settings, although this button is set to the New Tab page by default. Meanwhile, in the desktop version of the browser, a new Emoji shortcut can be accessed through the right-click menu, although at this point, users will have to activate this feature through an option in the Chrome flags menu.