Chrome 92 is launching today. Apart from the smaller interface experiments and the developer-focused novelties we previously covered, there are some improvements on the privacy front, regarding both features and performance enhancements.
First up, Chrome 92 simplifies site controls. When you tap the lock icon next to an address and enter the Permissions section, you’ll see that the individual entries have received toggles. That allows you to quickly spot which permissions are currently switched on or off, and you need only one tap to change your preferences. Previously, you had to select the permission in question and choose a state in an extra menu.
Left & Middle: Old site permissions. Right: New site permissions.
These updated site controls are starting to roll out in Chrome 92 for Android and will come to other platforms in the future releases. Some people have already received the toggles in Chrome 91, too. In case the new controls aren’t available for you on Android yet, you can activate them under chrome://flags/#actionable-content-settings. In an upcoming release, Google will also add the option to delete a particular website from your browsing history.
For desktops, Google is introducing Chrome Actions, which we previously covered as part of a Chrome OS update. The feature gives you a quick way to control certain Chrome features right from the address bar, where you can type in things like “clear cookies” or “manage passwords” to jump straight into the corresponding settings section. In Chrome 92, Google is adding three new commands: “manage security settings,” “manage sync,” and “safety check.” The latter lets you quickly examine the security of your passwords, extensions, and more.
The new Chrome release is also getting Site Isolation improvements and better phishing detection. Site Isolation was first introduced in 2018 due to the Spectre and Meltdown security flaws in Intel and ARM chips, and while it removes certain attack vectors, the downside it introduced was higher RAM usage. The company promises that “Site Isolation will now cover a broader range of sites, as well as extensions, and all of this comes with tweaks that improve Chrome’s speed.” In the phishing department, Google claims that “detection is now 50 times faster and drains less battery” thanks to advances in image processing.
You can check if Chrome 92 is offered on the Play Store for you already, but if you want to get your hands on it right away, get it over at APK Mirror. If you have trouble starting the app after going the latter route, make sure you’ve also got the corresponding Trichrome library installed.