On August 25, 2020, Chrome 85 was released to the stable channel. Chrome’s most recent version claims to improve website loading times on your PC and use additional RAM on Android phones.
Let’s take a peek at what more is in store. Chrome will, as usual, install this update automatically. To check for it and install it right now, go to Chrome’s menu > Help > About Google Chrome.
Up to 10% Faster Page Loads
When constructing Google Chrome from the source code, Google touts a new “Profile Guided Optimization.” In a nutshell, this implies that “the most common jobs are prioritized and made faster,” according to Google.
This functionality is now available on Windows and Mac, and Google guarantees that it will improve browser performance. According to Google’s Chromium blog, “our testing routinely finds pages loading up to 10% faster at the median, and considerably bigger speed benefits when your CPU is overloaded with running numerous tabs or programs.”
Delayed: Background Tab Throttling to Save CPU
Update: This functionality was enabled in the Chrome 85 beta, but it appears that it will require some additional development time before being released in a stable form. It’s currently included in the Chrome 86 beta, according to Google.
Although having many open tabs is sometimes necessary for productivity, it does not help your device function well. Chrome 85 limits the number of accounts that can be open in the background, so they don’t eat up your CPU.
Background tabs in Chrome 85 are throttled to a maximum of 1% CPU consumption after five minutes or more of inactivity. In addition, the accounts are only permitted to “wake up” once every minute. This isn’t the first time Chrome has implemented CPU utilization limits for tabs.
Chrome for Android Is Now 64-Bit
Chrome 85 for Android is now 64-bit compatible. This is a long-awaited move, as Android has supported 64-bit apps for the past six years.
Chrome will be able to utilize the RAM on high-end phones better if it switches to 64-bit. It’s also possible that the 64-bit version will be slightly faster.
For the time being, Chrome for Android will only be available in 64-bit mode on Android 10.
Full URLs Will Soon Be Hidden By Default
Google has been attempting to hide whole URLs in the Chrome address bar for a long time. You won’t see the “https://www” before “howtogeek.com” unless you tap or click in the address bar if you’re viewing this in Chrome right now. Chrome 85 adds a few new feature flags to help with this goal.
Both settings hide the URL’s complete route. As a result, you only see “howtogeek.com/686555/whats-new-in-chrome-85-available-today/” instead of “howtogeek.com/686555/whats-new-in-chrome-85-available-today/.” The first flag hides the complete path until you hover over the address bar, while the second hide the full path until the website is interacted with.
Built-In Legacy Browser Support
Legacy Browser Support (LBS) has been available in the Chrome Web Store since 2013. This feature is currently included with Chrome 85.
LBS was created to allow IT administrators to open Microsoft Internet Explorer in Chrome for legacy apps and intranet sites written for that browser. LBS is now available for administrators in Chrome 85 (the add-on will not be deleted until Chrome 86).
Dropping a File in a Tab No Longer Opens It
If you’ve ever tried to drag and drop a file into a Chrome upload box, you know what happens if you miss the box: the file opens in a new tab, taking you away from the website. Chrome 85 corrects this inconvenient behavior.
Chrome 85 opens the file in a new tab instead of the current one by default. When a file is mistakenly dropped, this should reduce the chances of losing work or progress on a form. By dragging files to the tab at the top of the screen, you can still open them in the current tab.
Plenty of Developer Goodies
Chrome 85 doesn’t have a lot of obvious improvements, but it contains many developer-friendly features. On the Chromium and Web Developers blogs, Google has detailed many of the developer features. The following are a few of the more notable additions:
- Fetch upload streaming: While still producing content, web pages can begin delivering data. Both performance and memory utilization are improved as a result of this.
- Windows support for getInstalledRelatedApps(): Websites can tell if someone has the relevant native Windows software installed.
- Portals: For smooth navigation, a webpage can show another webpage as an inset.
- App shortcuts: App shortcuts have been added to Chrome 84 for Android and are now available on desktops.