Chrome 87 Beta Update Improves PDFs, Cookies & Connected Cameras

Chrome Logo acer 315 03 AH 2019
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Chrome 87 is still more than a month away for desktop and a week longer still for Chromebooks but a Beta Channel update may have just revealed some of the biggest incoming features. That's based on a recent report from Android Police, detailing at least two big changes.

The first big change will be the most noticeable for end users. That's because it's a complete redesign of the Chrome browser's PDF Viewer, even stepping away from other recently reported beta designs. Now, this may or may not release in Chrome 87 Stable when that rolls out. As of this writing, it's still tucked behind an experimental '#pdf-viewer-update' flag at the "chrome://flags" URL. But it should make the PDF Viewer much better if and when it arrives.

Prior to the incoming update, the PDF viewer has been a straightforward but not necessarily intuitive or feature-rich tool in Chrome. There are zoom-in and -out icons in the lower-right-hand-side of the UI. And along the top Google places print and download icons among others. Now, the tools for interacting with zoom and page view fall more in-line with a standalone reader. And those are all placed in an easy-to-see arrangement at the top.

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Google has also added a left-hand panel with different page views and navigation options tucked behind a three-bar icon.

What's the second big Chrome 87 Beta update?

The second big change is in the way Chrome will handle cookies. Namely, the company is rolling out a new Cookie Store API. That gives websites a JSON-formatted list of browser-stored cookies. And it'ss asynchronous too. That means that the rest of the code can continue operating while cookies are looked up. In addition to them being easier for the website to find, to begin with.

Moreover, the Cookie Store API gives cookie access to background processes. So service workers, and websites, should be able to add a lot more functionality for end-users with the change in place.

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When does this arrive?

Now, there are a few other changes happening with this version 87 beta update for Google Chrome too. But the only big one for end-users is the addition of a new API that lets Chrome do more with connected cameras. Mainly, to tilt and pan connected cameras.

As to when the changes will arrive, that's far less certain. As hinted above, all or none of the changes could arrive with Chrome 87 stable. That's slated to arrive on or around November 17. For Chromebook users, that'll arrive on or around December 1.