If you update Google Chrome today, you’ll be able to witness a milestone in real time: the next step in the slow death of Flash.
Google Chrome 76 takes the process of eliminating Flash a step further: instead of simply blocking Flash objects, Flash simply isn’t allowed to load. You can still turn it on via the settings menu, though each site must explicitly be given permission to run Flash. By the end of 2020, Flash should be removed entirely by Chrome, according to the Chromium roadmap.
As VentureBeat notes, the arrival of Chrome 76 also brings with it two additional key features: a simpler installation of Progressive Web Apps, or PWAs; and a new way for Chrome to block a website’s ability to detect whether Chrome is in incognito mode. The latter feature may thwart websites wishing to detect whether a browser has visited the site before, a tactic used to prevent users from reading protected content without logging in or subscribing.
Progressive Web Apps, a web-based service designed to mimic the look and feel of a local app, are now easier to install, thanks to a button now available in the “omnibox” or address bar. To the user, PWAs appear fast and flexible, and easily updated without the need to visit an app store.