New PDF viewer
The PDF viewer in Chrome has seen small improvements over the years, including annotations and form manipulation, but Chrome 87 has made more drastic changes in business. There is a new # pdf-viewer-update flag that enables a revised PDF viewer with long-awaited features.
Left: Old viewer; Law: New viewer
The updated viewer doesn’t look too different from the old one at first glance, but there are some key differences. There’s now a Pages Area that shows a list of pages so you can preview each page and navigate through them more easily. The existing chapter list, which used to be a drop-down menu, has been moved to the same section. If you don’t need to see the list, you can hide it by clicking the new hamburger button in the top left corner.
Two-sided mode in the new viewer
The PDF viewer can now also display two pages side by side, with a new option in the overflow menu. The floating action buttons for zooming and adjusting have also been moved to the top bar so they’re always visible instead of getting on and off as you move the mouse.
The new viewer should be enabled for everyone by default as soon as Chrome 87 exits beta. However, Google’s plans are subject to change. As before, the PDF display in Chrome for Android or iOS is not available, but only on desktop platforms.
Cookie Store API
Cookies are no longer the only way websites can store data locally, but they are still one of the most popular methods. Believe it or not, there is no method provided by the browser to access and edit certain cookies by name or value. Websites have to analyze the list of cookies themselves, sometimes using inefficient methods that slow code execution. Now, 26 years after the first browser with cookie support was released (Netscape 0.9), that is finally changing.
As always, this update contains changes for users and developers. Here are some minor changes in Chrome 87:
- Chrome is dropping support for the -webkit-font-size-delta CSS property, which is rarely used and has never been standardized for all browsers.
- A new flag forces servers that are hosted locally (127.0.0.1/localhost) or on an intranet to explicitly opt for connections from the public Internet. Google hopes this will “reduce the risks associated with inadvertent exposure of devices and servers on a customer’s internal network to the entire web.”
- With a new extension to the getUserMedia () API, Chrome can pan and tilt a connected camera, ideal for conference calls and other purposes.
- The new Steams API provides “ubiquitous, interoperable basics for creating, creating, and consuming streams” and is enabled by default in Chrome 87.
- The new WebXR Depth API enables easier computation of depth information for physics.
- Cross-origin isolation is now enabled by default, so sites can safely use advanced APIs if they decide to introduce new security restrictions.
- New CSS grid debugging options and an emulator for the web authentication API are available in the developer tools.
The APK is signed by Google and updates your existing app. The cryptographic signature guarantees that the file can be installed securely and has not been manipulated in any way. Instead of waiting for Google to push this download to your devices, which can take days, download and install it like any other APK.