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.
It is also worth mentioning that Chrome 98 enters the Extended Stable channel, which exists for Windows and Mac. It will become available in a few days.
What's new in Chrome 98
The release of Chrome 98.0.4758.82 doesn't include anything visible for an average user. There are 27 fixes, with 19 of them submitted by third-party researchers. All 19 researches were paid by Google with the money value from $1000 to $20000.
In Chrome 98, the COLRv1 Color Gradient Vector Fonts feature makes its debut in the stable branch. COLRv1 resolves scaling issues with large font sizes or/and high resolution displays. It also allows embedding SVG graphics into font files instead of bitmap resourses.
The latter allowed to reduce the Google's Noto emoji font size to about a fifth (from ~9MB down to just 1.85MB), while at the same time increasing rendering fidelity.
However, the new font format already draws some controversy from Apple, which said that it "reinvents the wheel", is complicated, roughly doubles the surface area for security attacks for vector-based color fonts, and also named a few more issues with the proposal.
The rest of the changes in the browser will be interested to web devs. CSS media query now allows detecting HDR screens, ClipboardItem objects now support Promises, and more. See the details here.
Updating to Chrome 98 is automated, at least on Windows. The browser will download and install its most recent release in the background. You can speed up the process by opening its menu and selecting Help > About Google Chrome. To install it manually, grab the installer from the official website.
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