The first beta of Chrome 68 was released almost two months ago, and now the stable version is available across desktop and mobile platforms. This update includes the long-awaited blocker for redirecting ads, a new warning for HTTP pages, an improved download manager on Android, and more.
Blocking malicious redirects
All the way back in November, Google said Chrome would start blocking advertisements from breaking out of their frame and hijacking the parent page. These sorts of ads have become incredibly common over the past year, often redirecting the user to a phishing site or other dangerous location. Android Police even suffered from them at one point, even though we only use Google AdSense/AdX.
The blocker was supposed to go live for everyone in Chrome 64, but it was disabled at the last minute. Google wanted to ship it in Chrome 65, but it was delayed yet again. At long last, the blocker is finally enabled by default. You can see a demo of it here.
If you tap on the icon, you get a message that says 'Your connection to this site is not secure.'
Smaller install banners
Chrome occasionally shows an 'Add to home screen' popup on some sites. The messages can be handy, but they take up a large portion of the screen, which usually just annoys users. With Chrome 68, the install banner is shrinking.
Left:Chrome 67, Right: Chrome Beta 68
You'll also start to see the install banner much less. Right now, the bar will only appear once every three months (per web site), but that could be changed in the future. This is a holdover until apps start displaying their own install buttons, for which APIs are now available.
Improved download manager
On previous versions of Chrome for Android, the only indicators for download progress were a percentage and the time remaining. This has changed with Chrome 68 - now you get the time remaining, the size of the downloaded file, the total size, and a progress bar.
Left: Chrome 67; Right: Chrome 68
It's always nice to see real numbers instead of vague percentages, and this should be especially important to people on capped data connections.
Chrome 68 improves on this with the Payment Handler API, which allows web apps to function as the payment platform in place of Google Pay. For example, on sites that support the Payment Request API, you could check out with PayPal even if you don't have the PayPal app installed.
To try this out for yourself, go here to install 'BobPay' (an example payment handler), and then try checking on this demo page. BobPay shows up as a payment method, right alongside Google Pay. Now we just need more sites to adopt the Payment Request API.
Like always, Chrome 68 includes changes for both users and developers. Here are some smaller features that ship with this update.
Search suggestions now appear on the New Tab Page, at least on Chrome OS (thanks Abdulvahid!).
The APK is signed by Google and upgrades your existing app. The cryptographic signature guarantees that the file is safe to install and was not tampered with in any way. Rather than wait for Google to push this download to your devices, which can take days, download and install it just like any other APK.