Monday, 12 February 2018 13:12

Google rolls out Chrome 64 web browser with new ad-blocking features

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Google Inc. is making web browsing slightly less annoying for users with a host of new features.

Google Thursday released the latest version of Chrome to all Windows, Mac, and Linux machines. Chrome 64 comes with a stronger pop-up blocker, 53 security fixes and specifically fixes for the potential Spectre processor-based attacks.

The company starting rolling out Chrome’s anti-autoplay features in version 63 with the introduction of a feature that provides users with the option to disable autoplay videos on individual sites. Now with Chrome 64, Google expands these features with the ability to mute an entire site.

Google has also announced two new ad-blocking features to give users more control to mute the ads they see on Google, websites and in apps.

Here’s a look at the new features Google is rolling out:

Chrome 64

Mute an entire site

When you visit a site with annoying autoplay videos, Chrome 64 will now let you mute the entire site. Instead of users trying to find and mute the offending video, users can just right click on the relevant website’s tab and select to mute the entire site. If you later change your mind and want to hear the autoplay videos, you can follow the same process to unmute the site.

This feature replaces the previous “mute tab” option that was only temporary.

Stronger pop-up blocker

Chrome 64 also includes a stronger pop-up blocker that will protect users against sneaky redirects, such as third-party websites disguised as play buttons or transparent overlays on websites that capture all clicks and open new tabs or windows.

Although these redirects can be used maliciously to trick users, many redirects are unintentional, explains Ryan Schoen, a product manager at Google, when the upcoming feature was announced in November. “We’ve found that this redirect often comes from third-party content embedded in the page, and the page author didn’t intend the redirect to happen at all.”

Chrome 64 will now prevent these redirect tactics, whether intentionally abusive or not. While site owners can use the Abusive Experiences Report in Google Search Console to see if any of these tactics have been found on their own site. It will also offer advice on how their site can be improved.

Better ads

From Feb. 15, site owners will also need to ensure they comply with standards overseen by the Coalition for Better Ads.

“Starting on February 15, in line with the Coalition’s guidelines, Chrome will remove all ads from sites that have a ‘failing’ status in the Ad Experience Report for more than 30 days,” Google said. Site owners can “submit their site for re-review once the violations have been fixed.”

High-dynamic-range support for Windows users

Google is adding HDR support for Windows users in Chrome 64. Users will need a computer with the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, an HDR-compatible monitor, and a graphics card.

Security fixes

Finally, Chrome 64 also contains 53 security fixes, which include 24 bugs reported by third-party researchers.

It also includes some of Google’s fixes for the Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities. Like other browsers, Google is disabling the SharedArrayBuffer feature to mitigate against the attacks.

In Ad Settings, users have more control over what reminder ads they see. Image via Google

In Ad Settings, users have more control over what reminder ads they see. Image via Google

New additions to ‘Ads Settings’ and ‘Mute This Ad’

Mute reminder ads

While reminder ads, those ads that follow users around the web once they have visited a site, can be useful, they can also be very annoying, especially if you never intend to return to the relevant site. Google is rolling out a feature to assist with this.

Advertisers tend to start showing reminder ads within a month of visiting their site. Muting reminder ads with Google’s new feature will last for 90 days.

Muting, however, will only apply to non-Google websites that use Google ad services. For websites and apps that don’t use Google ad services, users will be unable to mute reminder ads.

To mute reminder ads, sign into your Google Account Ad Settings > under “Your reminder ads,” click the X next to the relevant advertiser that you want to mute.

More control with ‘Mute This Ad’

Google introduced the “Mute This Ad” feature back in 2012 and it is now used by millions of users. After receiving 5 billion pieces of feedback from users who mute ads because they aren’t relevant, Google has removed 1 million ads from their ad network.

The tool has been updated with two new features. The “Mute This Ad” tool will work across devices where you are signed into your Google Account. Mute an ad on your smartphone and it will automatically be muted on your laptop.

Google is also expanding “Mute This Ad” to be available in more places and will work across more apps and websites that partner with Google to show ads.

Source: This article was published siliconangle.com By COLLEN KRIEL

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