Google Chrome 56 Brings 28 Percent Faster Page Reloads And HTTP Warnings For Windows, macOS, Linux

Google Chrome 56 is finally here. The latest web browser update addresses 51 bugs (over 20 of which were identified by external contributors) and introduces a slew of new features. This update is a welcome addition for Chrome’s 1 billion users on Windows, macOS, and Linux.

Google Chrome now issues a warning when websites that collect passwords or credit card numbers but do not utilize HTTPS. In the past, Chrome used a green label for secure websites, and a neutral icon for websites that did not use HTTPS. A red triangle will now serve as a warning. Firefox 51 did something similar earlier this week.

chrome icons

Page reloads are also now quite a bit faster. Users usually hit the reload button if their page is broken or the content is stale. Chrome was previously able to fix most broken pages, but its reload behavior did little for old content. The browser has implemented a “simplified reload behavior to only validate the main resource and continue with a regular page load.” Lower latency, power consumption, and data usage have resulted in 28% faster reloads and 60% less validation requests. The rumored throttle timers have likely also contributed to this increased pace.

Chrome 56 has also added Web Bluetooth API support on Android, Chrome OS, and macOS. Sites will now be able to directly interact with Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) devices using the Web Bluetooth API. 

There is also an an abundance of new features for developers. For example, The WebGL 2.0 API is enabled by default on desktop platforms, the WebVR API is available on Android as an origin trial, sites can use ImageBitmapRenderingContext to reduce memory consumption, and KeyboardEvent.isComposing() allows sites to determine if the user is typing. The cherry on top for many users? Adobe Flash will no longer be advertised in navigator.plugins unless the user interacts frequently with the site.

Users can wait for the browser’s update or download it directly from Chrome 57 is slated to come out in March.