After months of testing, Google has finally released Chrome 88 to the stable channel. This update brings in some important changes, less intrusive permission requests, light and dark themes for ChromeOS, tab search, etc.
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Chrome 88 now has a more friendly interface as Google has introduced a new experimental feature to the stable release. The feature has reduced the size of any prompt and made it less intrusive on the screen.
Google has addressed a total of 36 security vulnerabilities, out of which 1 is critical and 9 are deemed to be of high importance. After updating Google Chrome, the build number will change to 88.0.4324.96.
You can download Chrome v88 from the download section below, or you can update the existing version of Chrome by clicking on Settings from the three dots in the top-right corner, expand help, and then click About Google Chrome. Then click Relaunch and Chrome will re-open the updated version.
- Complete release build: 88.0.4324.96
- Release date: Tuesday, January 19, 2021
- Compatibility: Windows 10, 8.1, 8, 7 (32-bit and 64-bit), Linux, Mac, iOS, and Android.
- Previous build: Chrome 87
- Bug fixes: 15. More information about security fixes can be found here.
Chrome 88 features
Let’s go through some of the features introduced in Chrome 88.
Improved dark theme
Although the dark theme has been around on Google Chrome for some time now, now Google has expanded the theme to its scroll bar, Bookmarks, History, New Tab page, etc. Up until Chrome 87, these things were rather greyish and did not entirely support the dark theme. However, it varies from website to website, depending on whether they support it.
To enable dark mode on ChromeOS, open the following URL:
To enable dark mode in Google Chrome, open the following URL and enable the option:
End of support for FTP websites
With Chrome 88, FTP URLs are no longer supported. According to Google, this feature has been depreciated since FTP is a legacy feature and has no support for encryptions. This leaves the packets in transit via FTP protocol open to modifications from attackers and could easily hack into your network.
Alternatively, secure protocols like FTPS and HTTPS are encouraged to be used to reduce the risk of a breach.
End of support for Adobe Flash Player
Since Adobe has already discontinued their Flash Player, it makes sense for Google to drop the support for the player in their product as well. Hence, Chrome 88 no longer supports Flash Player.
End of support for Mac OS X Yosemite
Since Apple dropped the support for X 10.10 Yosemite back in 2017, it makes sense to drop support for this OS by Google as well. Hence, Chrome 88 is not compatible with Mac OS X 10.10 Yosemite. Users will need to upgrade to OS X 10.11 El Capitan or later to use Chrome 88.
Minimal permission request popups
As opposed to the previous large popups that appeared at the top to ask for permissions, Chrome 88 now has smaller, less intrusive permission requests. This enhances the user experience by not blocking the context of the website or Chrome itself.
Now you can choose to take action by clicking on the permission chip that will appear to the left of the address bar in Chrome 88.
To enable permission chip, open the following URL and select enable.
Features in developer tools
Google Chrome has added new features to the developer tools with the new update. Here are some significant changes made:
- You can now upload extensions using manifest v3 to the Chrome Web Store.
aspect-ratioCSS property makes it easy to set the aspect ratio on any element.
- You can now use Play Billing in your Trusted Web Activity.
- All the videos from Chrome Dev Summit are up.
Read here for more detailed information on the new developer tools.
Chrome 88 for Android
Download Google Chrome 88
There are a few methods that can be used to update your Chrome browser to the latest version, including:
- Update using Google update
- Use the downloaded Chrome installer
- Using Ninite
- Download Chrome without using a browser
All these methods have been discussed on a separate page here:
You can use any method of your choice to download, install, and run the latest Chrome browser. Otherwise, simply download it using the links given below:
Download: Google Chrome web installer
Download: Google Chrome offline installer
Download: Google Chrome MSI Installer [Enterprise Edition]
Download: Google Chrome for macOS
Download: Google Chrome for Android
Download: Google Chrome for iOS
Download: Google Chrome Portable
The next version of Chrome, which is Chrome 89, is scheduled to be released on March 2, 2021. There are rumors that Chrome 89 will not be supported on old computers. By old computers, they mean computers having x86 architecture that does not support Streaming SIMD Extensions 3 (SSE2).
The developer tools are meant to be further expanded by adding new features, giving the developers a vast variety of options and choices. More information about Chrome 87 can be read here.
With Chrome 88, you can increase your computer’s security and move away from attacks through certain vulnerable programs and protocols. Hence, it is recommended that you update your Chrome browser at the earliest.