Google is now set to begin rolling out Chrome 74 for Android, delivering not only a few previously reported features but at least one unexpected new translations menu that will make using the mobile web around the world much easier.
There are two big user-facing enhancements users can expect from Chrome 74 on Android. The first is a newly revamped Data Saver mode, now called Lite Mode. Activated in exactly the same way as the previous version, users can turn on Lite Mode by tapping the three-dot overflow menu at the top-right-hand side of the UI.
The new Lite Mode doesn’t just reduce data usage, though. Instead, it shifts focus to both improving that and increasing the overall speed of the web. When turned on, Lite Mode will load up a very basic version of the page and it will learn when users have frequently requested a full version of the page in order to automatically load that later on.
Lite Mode will kick in automatically on any page that will take more than five seconds to load, pushing the URL through Google’s servers securely — without any personal data, cookies, or other privacy-infringing elements — for optimization before kicking that back to the user.
The big unexpected change in this update is the addition of a new translate menu in the above-mentioned overflow menu. Selecting the option brings forward a UI for translating the current page as well as options for non-default languages and for automatic translation of pages in the future. The UI falls in line with that found at the top of the desktop versions of Chrome but has been placed on a bottom bar UI.
Previously known features
Specifically, on mobile, Chrome 74 will more widely roll out a feature found in the previous update which brought URL editing shortcut icons and sharing icons to the Omnibox. That’s accessible from any page via a tap on the URL Omnibox.
Another alteration, brought over from the previous desktop update, is the separation of syncing and Google service options in the Settings menu as well as a newly refined Privacy subsection to make finding those settings less of a hassle.
New features that were included with desktop Chrome 74 and should appear on Google’s mobile OS include a wealth of security enhancements, in addition to related changes in how downloads and pop-ups occur. Namely, pop-ups can’t be called when a page is ‘unloaded’ anymore and downloads can’t be instantiated on a new page load without user input.
Finally, the app will no respect system-level accessibility settings related to animations on websites that support the feature. That means that users who have turned off animations for whatever reason in Android itself will no longer see animations in the web where applicable.
On to Chrome OS
The next version of Chrome to receive its update to version 74 will be Chrome OS and the biggest change targetting that variant is the addition of audio support for Linux apps. Changes that aren’t necessarily guaranteed but could also arrive include better camera optimizations, the ability to backup and restore features Linux containers, individualized virtual desktops. Google may also bring fixes for at least one Chrome OS-specific bug that leads to Hangouts causing latency.
Now that the update has landed elsewhere it will likely be a couple of weeks before the search giant announces the slow rollout and explicitly lists the features for Chrome OS, as has traditionally been the case for its desktop operating system.