On Tuesday, Google announced that the 59th version of its widely popular browser, Chrome is entering the beta channel. It has been made available on every major platform — Android, Chrome OS, Linux, Mac, and Windows. It brings along a handful of new features but the most prominent would have to be the automatic upgradation to the 64-bit installation on Windows.
There’s the possibility that you might be using the 32-bit version of Google Chrome on Windows but it has always been suggested that the 64-bit version of the browser is way more secure. And it is not just that, the 64-bit version is even faster and stable than the 32-bit desktop version.
The sole reason you might be running the 32-bit version of Chrome browser would be that your Windows desktop works on the same configuration. But, most PCs and laptops have been upgraded and are now compatible with 64-bit programs. Thus, Google has itself decided to port you over to the more secure installation automatically.
With Chrome version 58 released today, Google has announced that Windows users with a 64-bit operating system installation and 4GB or more RAM will automatically be switched to the more secure installation. This update will not immediately affect all Chrome users on Windows because you’ll be required to enable auto-updates for the same.
The 32-bit version will still continue to be available from the downloads section on Chrome’s website. The change has been described in the blog post as under:
In order to improve stability, performance, and security, users who are currently on the 32-bit version of Chrome, and 64-bit Windows with 4GB or more of memory and auto-update enabled will be automatically migrated to 64-bit Chrome during this update.
As for the upcoming release, Chrome 59 tags along some minor changes that further enhance the user experience for Mac users. The notification system for the browser on the MacOS has not been consistent with the rich notification system introduced by Apple as it was using its own activity system. But, users wanted a streamlined and intuitive experience.
Thus, the browser has switched over to the native notification system on macOS — via the Notifications API or chrome.notifications. This means the notification will no longer appear in the form of white cards with quick access controls. Developers using the same on MacOS can access this migration guide to bake intuitive Mac-style notifications into their websites or extensions.
This beta version also brings along native support for animated PNGs — which is a new format but quite similar to normal GIFs. This new file format is known as APNGs and packs support for both 24-bit images and 8-bit transparency.
One last feature which has also been added to the beta releases is Headless Chromium — but it intended specifically for developers. It allows them to run the browser from a command line window, which allows them to start automated testing — also for environments where no UI is needed. This feature is currently absent from the Windows release, download Chrome 59 beta right here.