Chrome 123 Update: Bringing an Android-Style Media Player to Desktop

POLAND - 2021/09/23: In this photo illustration a Google Chrome logo seen displayed on a smartphone. (Photo Illustration by Mateusz Slodkowski/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Google is maintaining its rapid release schedule for Chrome with the promotion of Chrome 123 to the beta channel. This follows the stable release of Chrome 122 last week. The stable release of Chrome 123 is scheduled for March 13, 2024. Initially, it will be available to a small percentage of users before reaching most people the following week. Chrome 123 is expected to bring some interesting features and potentially introduce new functionalities. Let’s explore what’s in store.

Chrome 123 Integrates PDF Reader with Android Chrome Update

The desktop version of Chrome has had an integrated PDF viewer for a long time, automatically opening PDF files from the web without needing to download them first. Now, Chrome for Android might also get a similar feature in Chrome 123.

Although the current flag chrome://flags/#android-open-pdf-inline may not be functional yet, once activated, it is expected to enable a PDF viewer. This viewer will allow you to open PDF files directly without the need to download them first and then view them in your phone’s default PDF reader. This potential feature could align with a new PDF viewer Android Jetpack library, making its way to Android 15 natively. This library would enable developers to integrate a PDF viewer directly into their apps.

Android-Style Media Player on Chrome Chrome Update

Google is gradually implementing its Material You design language, which was initially introduced with Android 12 in 2021. As part of the desktop update for its browser, Chrome 123 introduces a new media player that draws inspiration from the one found on Pixel phones. When audio is playing, users will see the familiar squiggly progress bar. Additionally, Google has reorganized the playback and casting buttons for a refreshed look.

Tab Group Sharing Coming to Chrome

In Chrome 123, there are indications that users may soon be able to share entire tab groups rather than just links. New flags within the browser suggest this upcoming feature. As part of this development, Google is striving to achieve feature consistency for tab groups between Android and desktop. This includes bringing uniformity in colors, allowing single-tab tab groups, and potentially introducing additional visual indicators that will be shared across both desktop and mobile platforms.

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Chrome 123 Takes Care of Unwanted Notifications on Android Chrome Update

In Chrome 123, Google is introducing a new feature that makes it easier to unsubscribe from notifications from a website. Accidentally subscribing to notifications can happen, and sometimes you realize later that you don’t want constant updates from a particular site. With this update, a new unsubscribe option for notifications will be available in Chrome, allowing users to eliminate unwanted notifications with a single click. This feature can be enabled using the chrome://flags#notification-one-tap-unsubscribe flag. Previously, users had to navigate through an options menu to deactivate notifications.

Switching Between Devices Becomes Seamless with Chrome

Google has revealed a new feature in Chrome 123 that aims to simplify the process of picking up where you left off. With the introduction of a “Resume tabs” option, the browser can display recent tabs from other devices directly on the new tab page. This functionality is available on desktops, Android, and iOS. Users have the option to turn off this feature if they do not find it suitable for their preferences.

How to Download Chrome 123 Beta

The new Chrome 123 will soon be available in the stable version. However, if you’re eager to try out these features in advance, you can install Chrome Beta. For desktop, you can get it from the Chrome website, and for your Android phone, it’s available on the Play Store. Installing Chrome Beta allows you to explore and experience these features before they make their way to the stable release.

It is worth noting that Beta software may include few bugs that may affect the performance of your device. Installing Beta means that you are aware of the risks involved and also know exactly what you are doing. It is always advisable to wait patiently for the final version in order to avoid unwanted problems with your devices.

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