Google seems to have established the 4-week update schedule that is now enjoyed by both the Chrome browser and ChromeOS. Like clockwork, the latest versions of Chrome for Desktop and Chrome for Android are now available and should be rolling out to most users in the coming days. While this release doesn’t have many new features, there are some significant additions and updates that will further improve the overall Chrome user experience and that’s just as important as shiny new features. Right? Here’s a quick look at what’s new in Chrome 103 for desktop and Android.
Local fonts for web apps
Web apps have come a long way and products like Designer.io offer a wide variety of fonts for users who create graphic designs. Unfortunately, using locally installed fonts has never been an option. Users were forced to use the pre-installed fonts or import them manually. The new Local Fonts API provides web access to fonts installed locally on a user’s device. Developers can learn how to use the API for calling local fonts in the Chrome Developer post here†
Notification Blocking powered by ML
Google has invested heavily in machine learning and applies the technology to many of its services for the benefit of the end user. Chrome is no exception and with version 103, Google wants to reduce the nuisance of unwanted notifications. as Michael flagged earlier this month, Chrome will use in-browser machine learning to predict when a website notification is likely to be rejected by the user. This interaction takes place entirely in the browser and no data needs to be passed on to Google’s servers.
Faster page loading speeds
Bundled in Chrome 103 is the 103 Early Hints response code. (The fact that this is version 103 of Chrome is purely coincidental.) Basically, the 103 Early Hints response code allows developers to improve Core Web Vitals, which are at the heart of page loading speed and it can create a website. or break. Hopefully this will improve the browsing experience across the board for most sites on the web.
Support for 103 Early Hints informative responses during top-level frame navigation. When a 103 response contains link headers, Chromium attempts to preload specified resources (including module preload) or pre-connect to specified origins before receiving the final response. This gives web developers a way to optimize Core Web Vitals like Largest Contentful Paint (LCP).
AVIF access for webshare
Chrome allows access to different file types through the shared sheet and now we can add the .avif image format to the list. This gives social media sites, graphic design web apps and many other websites the ability to use the newer file type which offers better compression than JPG, PNG and even WebP images.
That’s about it on the up front, but Chrome 103 is packed with new developer tools. You can find the full update here and hear what’s new in the overview video below. Remember, with Chrome 103 out in the wild, ChromeOS 103 isn’t far behind. Expect the ChromeOS update at the end of this week if everything goes according to plan.