The first major release of the Brave web browser is not far away anymore. The team moved the upcoming version 1.0 of the web browser from the developer channel to the beta channel yesterday. While there is still some work to be done to get things right, a release of Brave 1.0 Stable seems imminent.
Note that the Beta release is listed as version 0.55.10 and not 1.0 at this point in time. The developer version of Brave 1.0 was released on September 6, 2018.
Tip: Check out our review of the first released version of Brave from 2016.
First, the basics. Brave is offered in different versions. There is a stable version, a beta version, and a developer version that users can download. Beta and Dev versions of Brave are only available as downloads for Windows on the official company website.
Brave Beta users who used previous versions of the browser already can load chrome://settings/help in the browser's address bar or select Menu > About Brave to run checks for update. Updates that are found during the update scan are downloaded and installed automatically.
The first Brave 1.0 Beta release includes new and improved features when compared to the developer version that the team released three weeks ago.
One of the first thing that veteran Brave users may notice is that the team made several smaller changes to the browser's interface.
The Brave Shield icon, which is used to enable or disable the blocking of advertising and tracking elements, was moved into the address bar.
You find it at the rightmost location of the address bar in Brave 1.0 and can control settings for the active site using it.
The theme changed a bit as well and users may switch between the default light theme and a dark theme in the Brave settings.
Just load chrome://settings/ in the browser's address bar and select Light or Dark under Appearance > Brave Colors to switch between the two native themes.
Brave 1.0 features Widevine support on Mac and Windows (Linux coming) to play media that is protected by DRM.
Lastly, there is support for Tor in the browser's private browsing mode. You can check out our initial take on Brave's Tor integration here.
The beta version includes features of the Dev version and some of them have been improved further. The team notes on the official blog that it has improved the blocking of advertisement by moving it to the network thread.
The version supports the installation of extensions. Currently, extensions can be installed from the Chrome Web Store. Brave, the company, classifies extensions in the three levels "allowed and vetted", "allowed and not vetted", and "blocked. the blocked list is empty at this point in time but plans are underway to add unsafe extensions to it to protect users of the browser.
It seems likely that Brave 1.0 will be released in 2018 to the stable channel. On a personal note: I was initially very reserved in regards to Brave as it was set out to disrupt online advertising and thus how I finance this site. One of my main points of criticism was that users of Brave were rewarded with a higher percentage of revenue for browsing sites.
Now that I had time to think more about it, I think that Brave could become a successful solution. While it seems unlikely that it will turn the advertising world upside down, it is quite possible that it will generate enough traction to make it worthwhile for publishers, users and the Brave company.
You can read more about the started ads trial here.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.