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Google releases Chrome 54 with developer-focused API changes, YouTube flash embed rewrites to HTML 5

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Chrome is the most abundantly used web browser and Google is today releasing the 54th stable version of the same across all different platforms. This update brings along with it the usual bug fixes, developer-focused changes and improvements to how the browser handles YouTube video embeds floating around the interwebs. It will also introduce a set of new features, including offline content viewing, article suggestion on ‘New Tab’ page for the official Android release.

On the desktop, Chrome 54 will now start rewriting already embedded YouTube flash players to use new YouTube HTML5 embed style. While improving the performace and security of the platform, this is another step towards the impending demise of Flash. Google had previously announced that it will kill support for Flash content on Chrome by the end of this year. HTML 5 will be the official norm starting next month.

The latest stable update for Chrome also introduces support for BroadcastChannel API and custom V1 elements. The BroadcastChannel API is a new one-to-many messaging API between windows, tabs, iframes, web workers, and service workers that allows scripts to establish named channels to send messages between browsing contexts of the same origin. It is mainly aimed at improving the scope of communication between multiple tabs or windows open simultaneously to perform complex tasks.

While, the introduction of V1 custom tags allows developers to cut down on the excessive use of HTML for a minor task and define custom HTML tags as per their own ease and preference. The developers can define the new element’s API and behaviour using JavaScript. These components are built atop the language primitives for web standards. Google will carry forward support for V0 API until a significant amount of users have migrated to V1 specs in the coming months.

While on Android, you now have the option to download any webpage, music, picture or video and store it for offline viewing. You’ll be able to access all saved files from the morbid Downloads manager coupled with the browser, that lists the items in a timeline. To download any file/page, you’ll now notice the addition of a new download button to the overflow menu(three vertical dots) on the top right.

Google is now following pursuit to every other browser and introducing a revamped New Tabs page with smart article and website suggestions that might interest you. The suggestions are personalized and will improve over time as Chrome learns the type of content you prefer. This page will also surface your downloaded pages for easy access.

Chrome 54 for desktop has already started rolling out to Windows, Mac and Linux users. The Android update is expected to hit the Play Store in a couple days. You can checkout all other bug fixes and improvements in the latest stable update, right here.

A hands-on guy fascinated by new apps, technologies and enterprise products.

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