Chrome, the most widely used desktop browser, has today bagged yet another update to launch its 55th iteration(yes! 55th!) across all major platforms – Mac, Windows, and Linux. With this release, the Chrome team is delivering most of the ‘promised’ changes, including killing support for Flash, reducing memory footprint and CSS automatic hyphenation to its browser offering.
The internet has been steadily bidding goodbye to Adobe Flash, and Chrome is leading the race by defaulting HTML5 on the majority of websites. In May, the company announced that it will slowly phase out Flash and give preference to more standard and lightweight technologies like HTML5.
It took the first step back in September when it blocked Flash-based page analytics and other background elements from being activated by default on Chrome 53. The user had to dispense the browser permission to access Flash from the pop-up notification it displayed at the top of the page each time.
The team took its next big step towards the change when it started rewriting embedded YouTube flash players to use the new YouTube HTML5 embed style. It had then stated that HTML5 will be the default norm starting next month – with the next month. And it has delivered. Flash is dead. This is Chrome’s first step towards defaulting HTML5 for the user.
Some sites, including those completely dependent on Flash or the top 10 sites on the web, are exempted from this humongous change in how the web will now work on Chrome. This change has been induced with the primary goal of improving security and reducing power consumption, which leads us to the next major improvement introduced in this update.
This website also brings with it numerous bug fixes, improvements, and new developer tools. The addition of CSS automatic hyphenation will enable the browser to hyphenate words while line-wrapping, thus adding to the visual consistency of content on the page. This is also dispatching pointer events to unify mouse, touch, and other controls. This update also marks web storage as persistent storage for your website, introduces native sharing capabilities with WebShare API.
Chrome 55 for desktop users is rolling out to users, starting today. The Android and Chrome OS update should be following shortly.