New in Chrome 70

In Chrome 70, we've added support for:

And there's plenty more!

I'm Pete LePage. Let's dive in and see what's new for developers in Chrome 70!

Want the full list of changes? Check out the Chromium source repository change list.

Desktop Progressive Web Apps on Windows & Linux

Users can now install Desktop Progressive Web Apps on Windows & Linux!

Once installed, they're launched from the Start menu, and run like all other installed apps, without an address bar or tabs. Service workers ensure that they're fast, and reliably, the app window experience makes them feel like any other installed app.

Getting started isn't any different than what you're already doing today. All of the work you've done for your existing Progressive Web App still applies! If your app meets the standard PWA criteria, Chrome will fire the beforeinstallprompt event. Save the event; then, add some UI (like an install app button) to tell the user your app can be installed. Then, when the user clicks the button, call prompt() on the saved event; Chrome will then show the prompt to the user. If they click add, Chrome will add your PWA to their start menu and desktop.

See my Desktop PWAs post for complete details.

Credential Management API: Public Key Credentials

The Credential Management API makes sign in super simple for users. It allows your site to interact with the browser's credential manager or federated account services like Google and Facebook to sign.

Chrome 70 adds support for a third type of credential: Public Key Credential, which allows web applications to create and use, strong, cryptographically attested, and application-scoped credentials to strongly authenticate users.

I'm pretty excited about it because it allows sites to use my fingerprint for 2-factor authentication. But, it also adds support for additional types of security keys and better security on the web.

Check the Credential Management API docs for more details or give it a try with the WebAuthn Demo and how you can get started!

Named workers

Workers are an easy way to move JavaScript off the main thread and into the background. This is critical to keeping your site interactive, because it means that the main thread won't lock up when it's running an expensive or complex JavaScript computation.

Without WebWorkers

Main thread
Lots of heavy JavaScript running, resulting in slow, janky experience.

With WebWorkers

Main thread
No heavy JavaScript running, resulting in fast, smooth experience.
Lots of heavy JavaScript running, doesn't affect main thread.

In Chrome 70, workers now have a name attribute, which is specified by an optional argument on the constructor.

const url = '/scripts/my-worker.js';
const wNYC = new Worker(url, {name: 'NewYork'});
const oSF = {name: 'SanFrancisco'};
const wSF = new Worker(url, oSF);

This lets you distinguish dedicated workers by name when you have multiple workers with the same URL. You can also print the name in the DevTools console, making it much easier to know which worker you're debugging!

Naming workers is already available in Firefox, Edge, and Safari. See the discussion on GitHub for more details.

And more!

These are just a few of the changes in Chrome 70 for developers, of course, there's plenty more.


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I'm Pete LePage, and as soon as Chrome 71 is released, I'll be right here to tell you -- what's new in Chrome!