Google Chrome 86 is out with password changing improvements and security patches
Google released a new version of the company's Chrome web browser on September 6, 2020. The new stable version of the web browser is being rolled out gradually as usually. Desktop users who want the upgrade right away can run a manual check for the update by loading chrome://settings/help in the browser's address bar. Chrome should pick up the update and install it automatically; the version of the browser is revealed on the page as well.
Chrome 86.0.4240.75 is a security and feature update for the web browser. The new Chrome release patches 35 different security fixes, at least one rated as critical, the highest available severity rating.
Google implemented several features in the new stable version of the Chrome web browser that add or change functionality.
Chrome will, for example, attempt to upgrade images that are served over HTTP on HTTPS sites automatically by rewriting the URL to HTTPS. There is no fallback to HTTP if the image is not available via HTTPS, however; this means that some images may no longer display in the browser.
Another change improves user privacy in the browser by restricting access to the gamepad API. The API can be used to provide gamepad functionality, e.g. for web games, but sites may also use it to fingerprint and track users. The change mitigates the finger printing risk according to Google.
Chrome 86 is also the first stable version of the browser that supports a standard address for changing passwords. We reviewed the feature when it landed in development builds of Chrome 86 already. Sites may configure a specific URL for users to change passwords; the browser knows the URL because it uses a standard path, and may use it to make the changing of passwords, e.g. after a breach, more comfortable for users.
Another welcome change is the use of a back-forward cache which improves the loading of previously visited sites in the browser provided that the page is still cached. The change should make back and forward navigation events happen without delays.
The next stable version of Google Chrome, Chrome 87, will be released on November 17, 2020.Advertisement