Following its crackdown on intrusive ads, the next version of Google Chrome is taking another step towards making the internet less annoying by no longer letting videos with sound play automatically. The overall goal is to reduce unpleasant surprises when sound starts blaring out unexpectedly.
Chrome 66 (now available in beta for desktop and mobile) will only let videos play if they don't have sound, if the sound is muted, or if you've previously clicked on the site during your current browsing session.
The browser will also factor in your behavior when deciding how to handle videos. The desktop version will play videos automatically if you've shown an interest in media on the site before, according to Google's Media Engagement Index. The mobile version will play videos if you've added the site to your home screen.
Google is also aiming to reduce browser crashes caused by third-party software, and will display warnings after such a crash occurs. You can find full details of this, plus other changes for developers, on the Chromium Blog.
The stable release of Chrome 66 is expected around April 17.