Google released Chrome 99; here’s what’s new (APK download)

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Mostly developer-focused stuff this time around


Google is moving at an incredible pace when it comes to releasing versions of Chrome. Just a few weeks after the launch of Chrome 98, Chrome 99 has already arrived on the stable channel. There are a lot of changes happening under the hood for developers this time around, but only a few interesting things will have a visible impact on us ordinary people.

Chrome 99 lets you uninstall web apps through Windows OS settings

The new version of the browser will let you uninstall web apps through Windows OS settings, just like you could uninstall regular Win32 apps. This further narrows the gap between native apps and installed Progressive Web Apps, making it even harder to distinguish between the two and forcing us to wonder what the difference really is, at least for consumers.

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Chrome 99 introduces handwriting recognition API

Google wants to finalize an older experiment that it started in Chrome 91: a Integrated handwriting recognition API. This will make it easier for developers to build note-taking or drawing apps because they won’t need to rely on third-party integrations anymore. Many APIs already exist, but they are often system specific, so it is good to have a standard that works across different platforms. For now, the handwriting API is only available on the Chrome desktop.

Chrome 99 lets web apps use your system’s date picker


Chrome 99 date picker

Starting with Chrome 99, web apps can use your system’s date picker at their discretion using a new class, which might make the experience more enjoyable when you need to enter a date on your phone or computer. The advantage here is that, unlike a third-party widget from a website, you can rely on the familiar date picker you know from your operating system.

Google’s controversial Manifest V3 is about to take the place of Manifest V2

Google wants to change how content blockers (read: ad blockers) work in the browser. The company says it’s done to reduce the resources used by content blockers, but many developers suspect Google is pushing the change to make blockers less effective. Anyway, while browser extensions already released will be able to use the old method until next year, Google no longer allows brand new extension to use the so called Manifest V2 – they will have to rely on Manifest V3, which only allows smaller blocklists.

Chrome 99 lays the foundation for a new desktop download workflow

Your browser is the app you need to go to when you need to download files from the web, but Chrome has gone out of its way to bury quick access to all your downloads in the overflow menu at the top right in the pass. It looks like the company is planning to go with a similar design to Microsoft Edge in the future. A larger shortcut for downloads may soon move right next to the overflow menu to the right of the address bar. This hasn’t gone live by default yet, and while you could manually enable it in the beta with a lot of fiddling, the feature didn’t reach default state in Chrome 99.


Chrome download interface

Other Changes

  • Chrome 99 brings some improvements to international date formatting, making it easier for developers to localize content (and hopefully clear up some confusion around the old dd/mm/yy and mm/dd/ yy).
  • Google fixed a total of 28 security issues with this release, ensuring your safety while browsing the web.
  • Chrome 99 makes it easier for developers to implement dark and light modes, by providing the ability to change the background colors of a website based on a dark or light theme directly in the web application manifest herself.
  • For more developer-relevant details, check out Chrome’s YouTube channel (or the blog postif you prefer to see things written down):

Download Chrome 99

Chrome 99 is now rolling out to the Play Store. You can download it here, but it is also available at Mirror APK if you prefer.

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