Google has highlighted six new features coming for the M103 release of its Chrome web browser for iOS. Perhaps mindful of Apple’s reputation for security, the biggest changes are to anti-malware credentials, but the changes encompass 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 soon to your iPhone:
Improved Safe Browsing, a Chrome feature designed to thwart malware and phishing attacks, is coming to iOS for the first time. This will alert iPhone users to dangerous web pages and notify them if the credentials entered have been compromised in a data breach.
You can adjust Google Password Manager as autofill provider to create and enter usernames and passwords for the website. Google says it will also work for logins to other iOS apps.
Online Discovery: Google says it’s “easier to browse content, start a new search, or easily return to your most frequently visited sites.” There aren’t any more details about it, or even a screenshot so you can see what it looks like.
You can browse websites in the language of your choicethrough translation powered by on-device machine learning.
Chrome Stocks: There are pre-written 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 suggest it as a quick access command. Google says Chrome will also be able to predict when an action might be useful.
Three-dot menu redesign. Google didn’t offer any screenshots of the new design, but says it “will make it easier to find the features you’re looking for.” The vertical order of actions has been adjusted to bring commonly used actions to the top of the list, and some actions are highlighted so they’re easier to spot. 9to5Google describes the new menu as having “a colorful carousel offering quick access to bookmarks, history, reading list, passwords, downloads, recent tabs and settings.”
Historically, it has been difficult for rival browser makers to capture a meaningful share of the iPhone user base, given the preferential treatment Apple has given its own Safari software. Safari is pre-installed and set as the default browser out of the box; Chrome and its ilk require multiple user steps to achieve the same status. (Learn how to make Chrome the default on your iPhone in our tutorial.)
Before the launch of iOS 14 in 2020, in fact, iPhone owners couldn’t set anything other than Safari as their 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 back down.
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 started rolling out earlier this week – Chrome for iOS 103.0.5060.54 hit the App Store on June 21 – but this update doesn’t yet include the features listed above.