Google Chrome 99 is now available, bringing a plethora of new and enhanced features. The most recent version of Google’s popular Chrome browser serves as a forerunner to the much-awaited Chrome 100.
Among Chrome 99’s significant features are origin trials, support for dark mode in web apps, and a handwriting recognition API. Additionally, this edition offers additional developer-oriented features.
As of February 3, 2022, these new capabilities are available in the most recent Chrome beta channel update. Android, Chrome OS, Linux, Windows, and macOS users can download this release.
While we wait for Chrome 100, here are some noteworthy features of Chrome 99.
What’s New in Chrome 99?
As reported in a recent Chromium blog article, Chrome 99 now includes or improves the following functionalities.
1. API for Handwriting Recognition
Google Chrome 99 includes a Handwriting Recognition API that allows for the recognition and conversion of handwriting (ink) to text. Chrome 99 will transform your handwriting to text in real time and on your device using this technology.
Chrome 99’s Handwriting Recognition API is also available offline, without the need for third-party libraries. It employs “online” or near-real-time recognition techniques rather than “off-line” methods based on Optical Character Recognition.
Chrome’s Handwriting API integrates with existing recognition services available on the majority of OS systems and across a wide variety of devices.
2. Progressive Web Apps Window Controls Overlay
The Window Controls are the controls located to the right and left of the title bar region, which includes the minimise, maximize, and close buttons. Additionally, they include the application’s title.
Chrome 99 enables the addition of custom content to the title bar space and the replacement of the title bar with a tiny overlay housing the window controls. This gives your Chrome browser the appearance and feel of an app.
This is accomplished by expanding the client area of an app to encompass the entire window, from the title bar area to the window controls on both sides.
3. Create a Shortcut
In previous versions of Chrome, downloaded items were typically shown side by side in a bar at the bottom of the browser. This is about to change with the release of Chrome 99.
Chrome 99, like Edge (which is also based on Chromium), will receive a dedicated download shortcut icon. It will appear during the download process and will vanish after the download is complete.
This feature is still being developed and will be included in the stable build once completed. Once rolled out, you may also pin the download shortcut to the upper toolbar.
4. Date Pickers in Chrome 99 web applications
Chrome 99 introduces new functionality that enables web pages to launch a browser picker for input items such as date, color, and data list without requiring special widgets or CSS hacks.
This could contribute to the improvement of web application interfaces by allowing developers to tailor the browser picker to function with specific devices.
You may play with numerous date pickers, including custom date pickers that you can upload and test, on this Glitch demo site. Simply click on the Show selection drop-down to preview.
5. Trials of the Origin
You may now simply enroll in Chrome’s Origin Trials program with Chrome 99. It enables you to evaluate new features and provide comments to the web standards community on their usability, practicability, and effectiveness.
Support for dark mode in online apps is one of the trials available if you sign up for the Origin Trials programme. It enables web applications to choose and use any color as the dark mode background.
If you’re a developer interested in participating, you can easily sign up for any of the available origin trials in Chrome via the Chrome Origin Trials dashboard.