Google Chrome 104 is now available – here are all the new features

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Google Chrome has a new update that brings some feature changes as well as fixing over 20 security vulnerabilities. The update, Chrome version 104, has already started rolling out to Chrome users on Windows, Mac, and Linux and requires a browser refresh to activate.

This is the latest in a series of near-monthly updates for Chrome, which tend to be minor given their frequent cadence. The latest major update gave Google Chrome a powerful image search upgrade that leverages AI to power a new “search with Google Lens” feature. But the new Chrome 104 update, released on August 2, brings a host of notable changes. This includes comprehensive screen sharing tools, a faster page load experience, UI changes for Chromebooks, and security fixes.

Notably, this update fixes a number of security vulnerabilities in Chrome. Even if you don’t care about new features, you should update Chrome to the latest version to get all new security updates.

The “LazyEmbeds” experiment

Chrome is already one of the fastest browsers out there, but Google is trying to make web pages load faster with Chrome 104. Chrome will automatically load embedded content on pages, without the page asking for it. This is commonly known as “lazy loading” and although Chrome will only do this for embedded content if the page specifically allows it, it will now switch to autoloading.

Embedded content usually takes much longer to load on a page because it involves embedding requests and running scripts which in turn affect the performance of a web page. Hopefully Chrome 104 will significantly improve this. However, this so-called experience only affects 1% of Chrome 104 users at the moment, so don’t be surprised if Chrome on your PC doesn’t have it.

Region capture

With Chrome 104, Google introduced “Region capture (opens in a new tab)” – where you will now have the option to crop self-recorded video tracks and choose which part of your screen you want to save or share.

This can be used for video conferencing screen sharing where you can choose exactly which area of ​​the screen you want to project. Prior to this update, if you wanted to share only a specific part of your screen, you were limited to sharing browser tabs.

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(Image credit: Google)

Chromebook updates

Chromebooks are all set to get a refreshed look with Chrome OS 104 making its way to the best Chromebooks around.

Google revamped the Chrome OS interface and now adds a new app launcher. It looks a lot like the Windows Start menu, and it’s located in the lower corner of the screen.

There’s also a new Google Search bar and an Assistant shortcut now at the top. You can arrange and rearrange apps in the app launcher by right-clicking and sorting them by icon color or name.

Google is also revamping the system tray, that area of ​​the Chrome OS desktop that shows icons about battery and Wi-Fi status. Update to Chrome OS 104 and you should see the new calendar widget and the date displayed in the system tray.

Chromebooks will also receive “official” dark and light themes that users can automatically switch between. Previously, you could get “unofficial” light and dark themes, but only by activating a particular “feature flag”. Now, finally, like macOS and Windows, Chromebooks have full-fledged light and dark modes.

Security patches and other updates

There are 104 numerous security patches that Google is bringing with Chrome – 27 of them to be precise. Many of them are small patches that fix vulnerabilities in the operating system, so it’s a good idea to update your copy of Chrome as soon as possible.

Other new features in Chrome 104 include the ability to disable storing credit card information for later purchases in secure payment confirmation. There are many more development tools (opens in a new tab) which Google also launched with Chrome 104.

When and how to get the update?

Google Chrome 104 is a big update and has already started rolling out to everyone. It could take a few weeks before everyone gets the update, according to Google.

If you want to install the update manually, you can click on the menu button in Chrome (three dots in the upper right corner) and click on “Help” and then on “About Google Chrome”. From there, you should be able to start the update, but you’ll need to restart your browser to activate it. You can check your version number the same way to see if it has been updated to the latest version of Chrome 104: 104.0.5112.81.

Google may not have brought expensive features to Chrome 104 in this update, but it is already improving one of the best browsers.

Next: These are the best google chrome extensionsand Google Chrome 104 has a nasty bug that could let websites mess up your clipboard

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