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Google Chrome hits 60 – what’s new?

Google Chrome
Sweet sixty: but what new features are on offer?

I remember the day they bought the Google Chrome browser home from the hospital… now it’s reached the ripe old age of version 60. Of course, browser versions aren’t what they once were. New versions only used to come out every year or two; now they’re slipped in under the cover of darkness. Most people haven’t got a Scooby-Do what version they’re running, and that’s probably no bad thing.

So has Google put anything special in this landmark release?

Well, if you’re an owner of a Fancy Dan MacBook Pro, the Mac version of Google Chrome now supports the Touch Bar, allowing you to switch tabs and flick back and forth from the touch panel.

If you’re running Chrome on your iPhone, the iOS version of the browser now lets you request the Desktop version of the site, which can be handy if a feature is stripped from the mobile version of the website you’re browsing. Pedants might point out this has been available for a while, but version 60 allows you to easily return back to the phone-friendly version by clicking Request Mobile Site from the options menu.

Android gets perhaps the most significant update, with a shift to a new JavaScript engine that will supposedly load pages more quickly and consume less memory. Chrome – once the slick usurper of the bloated Firefox and Internet Explorer – has gradually become more of a memory hog over the years, so it’s good to see Google trying to put some zip back into proceedings.

Otherwise, it’s a series of bug fixes. Not much of a way to mark version 60, is it?

(Want to check which version of Google Chrome you’re running? On Windows or a Mac, hit the three dots at the top right of Chrome, head down to Help and select “About Google Chrome”. This will probably prompt Chrome to check for a new version and update your browser to version 60, if you weren’t already on it.)

About the author

Barry Collins

Barry has scribbled about tech for almost 20 years for The Sunday Times, PC Pro, WebUser, Which? and many others. He was once Deputy Editor of Mail Online and remains in therapy to this day.

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