Google has highlighted six new features that will release M103 of its Chrome for iOS web browser. Perhaps aware of Apple’s reputation for tight security, the biggest changes relate to anti-malware credentials, but the changes include everything from translation to password autofill.
Google says it will “bring even more innovation to Chrome on iOS in the coming weeks”. But for now, here are the new features coming to your iPhone soon:
Improved secure browsing, a Chrome feature designed to thwart malware and phishing attacks, is coming to iOS for the first time. Alerts iPhone users to dangerous web pages and warns them if entered credentials have been compromised in a data breach.
You can set Google Password Manager as an autofill provider for creating and entering logins and passwords for websites. Google says this will also work for logins for other iOS apps.
Online DiscoveryGoogle says it makes it “easier to browse content, start a new search, or easily return to your most visited sites.” There are no further details on that, or even a screenshot so you can see what it looks like.
You can browse websites in your preferred languagethanks to the translation made possible by machine learning on the device.
Chrome actions: There are prewritten actions for a range of common functions, such as “Clear browsing data” or “Set Chrome as default browser”. Start typing the action name, or something similar to the action name, in the address bar and Chrome will present it as a quick access command. Google says Chrome can also predict when an action might be helpful.
Redesign of the three-dot menu† Google hasn’t offered screenshots of the new design, but says it will “make it easier to find features you’re looking for”. The vertical order of actions has been adjusted to put frequently used actions at the top of the list, and certain actions have been highlighted to make them easier to spot. 9to5Google describes the new menu as “a colorful carousel that provides quick access to bookmarks, history, reading list, passwords, downloads, recent tabs, and settings.”
Historically, it has been difficult for makers of competing browsers to capture a significant chunk of the iPhone user base, given the preferential treatment Apple has given its proprietary Safari software. Safari is preinstalled and set as the default browser by default; Chrome and the like require multiple user steps to reach the same state. (Read how to set Chrome as the default on your iPhone in our tutorial.)
Before the launch of iOS 14 in 2020, iPhone owners could do nothing but set Safari as the default browser, no matter how hard they tried. Apple has made some progress in this area, and competition regulators around the world will be watching closely to make sure it doesn’t slacken.
Google told us today that the version of M103 with the new features “will be available to users in the coming days”. An earlier version of M103 was rolled out earlier this week — Chrome for iOS 103.0.5060.54 hit the App Store on June 21 — but that update doesn’t yet include the features listed above.