Its main novelties are APIs to control devices and use NFC from the browser

A few hours ago, Google has released version 89 of Chrome for users of the 'stable' channel of your popular web browser; Here you can access the complete list of news.

The main novelties of this new version have to do with the implementation of new APIs that allow access to new technologies directly from the browser. Let's see the most outstanding ones:


We call 'human interface devices' (HIDs) to a whole series of peripherals that allow us to interact with the PC via USB, from keyboards, mice and gamepads to other less standardized ones, such as, for example, steering wheels or dance platforms. But what does all that have to do with a browser?

The specific logic of operation of less common (or too old) devices can be implemented using JavaScript even if the system drivers do not recognize them: they just need the WebHID API to be available. And, precisely, Chrome 89 is the first version of this browser that implements it.

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NFC is a somewhat more popular technology than the previous one: most modern mobiles implement it to allow small amounts of data to be transmitted between nearby devices, and it is widely used in processes such as mobile payments.

Wouldn't it be great if the use of this technology was available for web applications as well? That's what Google must have thought, and that's why The NFC Web API is enabled by default in the Android version of Chrome 89.

Web Serial API

Serial ports are bi-directional communication interfaces that allow you to send and receive data byte by byte. The Web Serial API allows giving a website access to them, making it easy to control devices such as microcontrollers or 3D printers from the browser, a very useful functionality in both educational and industrial environments. Well, this API is another of the novelties of Chrome 89.

Native AVIF support

But Chrome lives not only on APIs: another of the great novelties of this version is Support for decoding AVIF content natively. AVIF is a promising next-generation image format that reduces bandwidth consumption and supports HDR color.

To future

The next versions of Chrome, which are already on the Beta, Dev and Canary channels, begin to show signs of the news that we can find in future stable versions of the browser; from a face lift to management of multiple user profiles up to the new Commander tool for quick access to functions.

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