What’s in the latest Chrome update? | Apps News

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Google this week upgraded to version 70, following through on a promise made to disable automatic sign-in after users and privacy advocates complained about changes in the prior edition.

Chrome also sported patches for 23 security vulnerabilities as Google paid researchers $22,000 in bug bounties.

Chrome updates in the background, so in most cases users can simply relaunch the browser to install the latest version. To manually , select “About Google Chrome” from the Help menu under the vertical ellipsis at the upper right; the resulting tab either shows the browser has been updated or displays the download-and-upgrade process before presenting a “Relaunch” button. New-to-Chrome users can download it from this Google site.

The Mountain View, Calif. company updates Chrome every six to seven weeks. It last upgraded the browser on September 4.

Auto log-on backtrack

As of Chrome 69, signing into any Google service automatically also signed the user into Chrome. For example, logging into one’s Gmail account also logged into one’s Google account when Chrome opened. (That was the case whether a user had accessed Gmail using Chrome or another browser, like Firefox.)

Because logging into a Google account allowed syncing of data — including bookmarks and passwords — between machines, and because some users did not want their data transiting Google’s servers — ever — they strongly objected to the new model.

When the blowback blew, Google said it would add an option to disable the automatic sign-in to Chrome 70. But it did not retreat from the position that such would be on by default.

Chrome 70 did insert the option into Settings panel, called up when the user clicks the vertical ellipsis at the upper right and chooses “Settings” from the menu. After clicking the “Advanced” button on the Settings panel, the user can toggle the slider under “Privacy and security” marked with the phrase “Allow Chrome sign-in.” A relaunch of Chrome will be necessary.

With the slider toggled to the off position — moved to the left — the user can sign into a Google service, like Gmail, without also signing into Chrome.

PWA and more anti-HTTP warnings

On Chrome running in Windows, Google added support for desktop “Progressive Web Apps,” or PWAs, following the same move on Chrome OS with that operating system’s version 67.

PWAs are, as the name implies, web-based apps which have the look and feel of native-to-the-OS applications. Rather than run inside a Chrome frame, for example, they appear within the operating system’s standard windowing. In Windows 10, a PWA operates like any other application, including installing to the Start menu.

Google has pitched PWAs rather than Chrome-only apps — long available in its e-store — since it announced two years ago that it would drop them from the browser and point them toward Chrome OS-only.

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