Google Chrome will soon get a toolbar button for downloads, handwriting API, and more

Google is testing a number of improvements to its world's most popular web browser. In the current stable Chrome version, the Downloads option is buried in the main menu. To open it faster, it only offers you the Ctrl + J shortcut. Google wants to save you a couple of clicks by adding a new toolbar button.

Google wants to make the tab mute button easier to discover

Google is working on bringing a tab mute button to its browser, similar to how Microsoft Edge allows its users to disable the sound on a web page by clicking a speaker button on the tab strip. Currently, the mute button is available behind an experimental flag in the Canary channel, which is off by default. Google wants to improve feature discoverability in Chrome by adding a special banner. It will let users know that they can mute a tab with a single click.

Chrome 98 is out with 27 security fixes and new color font format support

Google Chrome 98 has reached the stable branch. It is mostly a security update rather than major feature release. However, it is notable for adding support for COLRv1 Color Gradient vector fonts. The latter addresses font scaling issues and allows producing much smaller font files.

Google is again testing Tab Muting in the Chrome browser

A few years ago, Google was about to add the tab muting feature to Chrome. The implementation was very simple. To mute a tab, you could click the speaker icon next to the tab's title. The option didn't come to the stable branch, perhaps due to the addition of Global Media Controls. But now, Tab Muting has returned to Chrome.

Google is about to replace its controversial FLoC with Topics

As you may remember, recently Google introduced a new user tracking technology called FLoC as a replacement for classic cookies. The technology has been criticized by major browser vendors. Still, Mozilla, Vivaldi, Brave, and other browsers aren't going to implement FloC. So Google is here with a different solution called Topics API.