Another month, another update for the Google Chrome browser. Late in November last year, Chrome 108 was pushed out. It brought forth several exciting features, namely a brand-spanking new energy-saver mode, better resizing for virtual keyboards, and other functionalities. Now, however, Chrome 109 is here, and it’s brought forth several new goodies.
2023 has kicked off to a good start as Google Chrome gets refined and polished for yet another time. This article will talk about everything new that Chrome 109 offers its users as it rolls out across the globe day in and day out. Before we get into the new functionalities, let’s ensure you know how to update your Chrome browser.
- So that you know: How to remove the Discover news feed from Google Chrome.
How to update Google Chrome
The Chrome browser benefits from the feature that it downloads updates on its own constantly. You don’t have to press a button to make that happen. However, due diligence is required as far as installing those downloaded updates is concerned.
That’s because Chrome needs to restart for the changes to be applied, and it will never restart without your permission. The browser will show you a prompt, signaling that Chrome needs to restart to update successfully, so it’s on you not to ignore those notifications.
For a detailed account on getting Google Chrome up to speed, here’s how to check the Google Chrome version and update it to the latest version. First, go to Chrome’s “Settings” and click on the “About Chrome” section. There, you’ll find an option to update the browser to the latest version if an update is available in the first place.
Best new features in Chrome 109
The following is our round-up of the most noteworthy Chrome 109 features that have managed to make the cut. Make sure to go through them all for the best results. On a side note, please be advised that you may not receive the Chrome 109 update immediately. There’s a whole roll-out procedure that has to be regarded here.
It ensures that people using Chrome worldwide receive the latest browser updates in due time. Therefore, if you don’t get a prompt for Chrome 109, wait a couple of days, and you’ll be all set.
- Recommended read: 10 tips for faster browsing with Google Chrome.
1. Proposition of a new payment protocol
Google is constantly looking for ways to streamline users’ working experience with the Chrome browser, and it’s apparently getting there. The latest word on making Chrome feel more and more convenient to operate on a day-to-day basis comes from the proposition of a new payment protocol termed Secure Payment Confirmation.
This methodology will enable users to process payments via biometric verification, such as using a fingerprint or entering a PIN code. The following is a demonstration of what Google is proposing at this moment in time.
Please note that the web mentioned above standard for processing payments isn’t yet approved and ready to use. It’s still required for banks and other payment handlers to give the green signal before the protocol can be established for public use.
In addition, the demo in the video above showcases the Android variant of the Chrome browser, where biometric verification options are widespread and readily available. Chrome 109 has brought this exciting prospect, but we’ll have to wait and see whether it will see the light of day.
2. The “About this page” feature gets a revamp
Google Chrome will go into more detail if you ask it to display information on a specific web page. Whenever you’re viewing a particular website, you can tap on the lock icon on the left side of the page’s URL to make more options appear on the screen. From there, it’s possible to click on the “About this page” button to proceed.
As soon as you do that, a panel on the side will manifest, detailing all there is on the internet about the website and page you’re on. This is a welcome addition to the Chrome browser that can undoubtedly pique the interest of anyone who wants to know more about the site they’re visiting.
3. Arrival of the “Material You” theme on Chrome for desktop
Material You is one of the most dynamic themes that have ever made landfall on the Android version of the Chrome web browser. It functions by adorning your Chrome theme colors to an automatically extracted color from your set wallpaper. The feature makes it easy for someone to switch up the outlook of their mobile’s Chrome.
However, the same feature is making its way to desktops, namely Windows, macOS, and ChromeOS. Upon selecting the “Material You” theme, users can adjust the color of their browser according to the wallpaper they pick for Google Chrome.
Sharing with us online, Redditor Leopeva64-2 posted the following on the popular social media platform. The post showcases the functional capacity of the Material You theme.
4. An upgrade for screen sharing when video calling
The screen-sharing facet of Chrome seems to have received its fair share of love recently, with the developers introducing multiple improvements on that front. Conditional Focus functionality will now be improved across Chrome 109, and its sole purpose is to improve how people host or join video conferences.
With the help of the Conditional Focusing tool, web apps utilized in Chrome will be capable enough to differentiate when its suitable to align focus on the web page that is being captured. If the AI determines that the latter is not the right way to proceed at the moment, the focus will remain on the capturing page instead.
Again, this won’t be visible right out of the gate. You will need to wait until Chrome 109 rolls out to your particular device before you can start observing the influence of Conditional Focusing on dedicated apps, such as Google Meet, Skype, or Zoom.
5. Extensive security patches
Although this is minor from an end-user perspective compared to some of the other mentions on the list, Chrome 109 has brought quite a hefty amount of security updates. It’s been reported here that 17 security fixes were brought to the table for the release of Chrome’s new iteration.
Out of the 17 fixes, only 2 made the cut for being termed as “high severity.” The rest were either medium or low in terms of their urgency. The bugs that have been fixed seem to be reported individually by researchers, as detailed in the aforementioned Chrome Releases link.
While these latest tweaks won’t be vastly apparent to users, it’s worth noting that the developers are hard at work, trying to create the best version of Chrome possible as each month passes by.
Chrome bids farewell to Windows 7, 8, and 8.1
It bears noticing that this was the last time Google Chrome received an update for Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 8.1. As reported by several publications worldwide and Microsoft itself in the past, all extended security updates for these operating system iterations have come to a close.
Moving forward, it’ll be imperative for Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 8.1 users to upgrade to the latest rendition in the Windows operating system line-up, which is Windows 11.
- Related read: How to run Windows 11 on a Chromebook.
Google Chrome is a web browser that seemingly needs no introduction in 2023. Its immense popularity can be considered through its user base alone, which has been reported to be as large as 2.65 billion. One of the reasons why Chrome has shot so much up in fame is because of how reliable and speedy it is, among other factors such as consistent updates.
In this write-up, we’ve talked about the most notable highlights that Chrome 109 has brought along with itself. In addition, we’re highly intrigued by the new payment protocol that Google has proposed, considering how convenient it can be in the long run. In the comments section ahead, let us know if you’re also looking forward to Chrome 109.
As always, Chrome Ready wishes you good luck!
- In case you missed it: CES 2023 – Here’s what’s in for Chromebooks and ChromeOS.