Google is boosting Chrome with interactive features, and you can try them now

Google Chrome
(Image credit: BigTunaOnline / Shutterstock)

Web browsers are developing and evolving faster than ever, and this is certainly true of Google Chrome. The company has just released a new beta version the browser – Chrome Beta 89 – and it includes a number of keys updates to APIs that open up a host of exciting new features.

There are different things to look forward to depending whether you're using the mobile or desktop version of Chrome, but Android users on the beta program have gained a new way to interact with NFC tags. Desktop users have an easier way to share content to social media, and there's more too.

Google has enabled web NFC (Near Field Communications) by default, which means Android users can interact with displays and exhibitions at museums and galleries, sign into buildings, and more. Android devices running Chrome 89 can also write to NFC tags which has lots of possibilities.

For Windows and ChromeOS user, the latest beta sees the arrival of web sharing which will makes it much easier to share any interesting content you stumble across in the course of your online travels.

Thanks to the arrival of new APIs, Chrome 89 can communicate with devices such as 3D printers (via the Web Serial API) and gains support for a wider range of devices and game controllers because of the WebHID API.

Better beta

Another addition to the beta version of Chrome 89 is support for AV1-based AVIF image decoding on Android. This brings the mobile version of the browser in line with the desktop edition and dramatically reduces the bandwidth needed to load images on web pages.

If you're already a Chrome Beta user, you just need to update to the latest release by heading to the browser menu and selecting Help > About Google Chrome.

If you're yet to try the delights of pre-release software, you can grab the latest Chrome Beta now. the browser is available for 32- and 64-bit versions of Windows, macOS, Linux, Android and iOS.

Via Google

Sofia Elizabella Wyciślik-Wilson
Freelance writer

Sofia is a tech journalist who's been writing about software, hardware and the web for nearly 25 years – but still looks as youthful as ever! After years writing for magazines, her life moved online and remains fueled by technology, music and nature.

Having written for websites and magazines since 2000, producing a wide range of reviews, guides, tutorials, brochures, newsletters and more, she continues to write for diverse audiences, from computing newbies to advanced users and business clients. Always willing to try something new, she loves sharing new discoveries with others.

Sofia lives and breathes Windows, Android, iOS, macOS and just about anything with a power button, but her particular areas of interest include security, tweaking and privacy. Her other loves include walking, music, her two Malamutes and, of course, her wife and daughter.

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