Google Chrome 73 Released: Dark Mode, PWA Improvements, and more

A new version of the most popular web browser, Google Chrome, has been released. Google Chrome 73 is now available for Windows, Linux, Mac and Android. Sporting a minimalist design, Chrome features a very powerful fast web rendering engine "Blink" to make your browsing experience faster, safer, and easier.


Google Chrome Banner

Google Chrome is the most popular web browser which exists for all major platforms like Windows, Android and Linux. It comes with a powerful rendering engine which supports all modern web standards.

Tip: Get 8 Thumbnails on New Tab Page in Google Chrome

Chrome 73.0.3683.75 features Data Saver support for HTTPS pages on Android, Progressive Web Apps (PWA) improvements, new "Enhanced spell check" and “Safe browsing extended reporting” features, and media keys support, along with a number of security fixes and general improvements.

Dark mode

Google Chrome users are familiar with the dark theme of Incognito mode available in the browser. Many of them want to get this theme for the normal browsing mode of Chrome. Finally, a native dark mode option is available in Chrome on Windows.

Chrome 73 Dark Mode

The dark style can be applied to match the appropriate Personalization option in Windows 10. On macOS Mojave it will be applied automatically. When the user enables the dark theme for apps, Chrome enables its built-in dark theme automatically. When the light theme is enabled, the browser instantly switches to the default light theme too.

On Windows 10, you can force enable the Dark theme in Google Chrome as follows.

  1. Right-click on the Google Chrome desktop shortcut and select Properties from the context menu.
  2. Modify the Target text box value. Add the command line argument -force-dark-mode after the chrome.exe portion.Chrome 73 Force Dark Mode

New options and settings

In settings, you will find a new section, Sync and Google services that combines all the options related to data Google collects with the browser.

A couple of new options become available when the user is signed in to his or her Google Account. The options are Enhanced spell check and Safe browsing extended reporting.

Also, there is a new Make searches and browsing better option that allows the browser to collect URLs. It enables anonymized telemetry collection with information about opened URLs.

Picture-In-Picture (PIP) mode is extended to Progressive Web Apps (PWA)

Besides video streams, you can now open a PWA in PIP mode. This provides a convenient way to launch messengers, chats, and video conferences. Also, there are a number of new options that have entered testing in this version of the browser, including a "Skip Ad" button in Picture-in-Picture window.

There is a new Badging API that allows web apps to show a visual indicator in the taskbar or on the Home screen. This can be used to show a number of unread messages, or notify the user about some important event.

Hardware media keys support

Chrome now supports hardware media keys to play/pause content on supported services such as YouTube.  Developers can process extra buttons like Next/Previous via the Media Sessions API. This new feature is available on macOS and Windows, with Linux support coming in the near future.

Data Saver support for HTTPS pages on Android

The Data Saver feature of Chrome on Android helps helps by automatically optimizing web pages to make them load faster. When users are facing network or data constraints, Data Saver may reduce data use by up to 90% and load pages two times faster, and by making pages load faster, a larger fraction of pages actually finish loading on slow networks.

Data Saver HTTPS Android

To show users when a page has been optimized, Chrome now shows in the URL bar that a Lite version of the page is being displayed. Users can tap this indicator to see more information and to access an option to load the original version of the page. Chrome automatically disables Lite pages on a per-site or per-user basis when it detects that users frequently opt to load the original page.

When Chrome optimizes an HTTPS page, only the URL is shared with Google; other information – cookies, login information, and personalized page content – is not shared with Google.

Download Links

Web installer: Google Chrome Web 32-bit | Google Chrome 64-bit
MSI/Enterprise installer: Google Chrome MSI Installers for Windows

Note: The offline installer doesn't support the automatic update feature of Chrome. By installing it this way, you will be forced to always update your browser manually.

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Author: Sergey Tkachenko

Sergey Tkachenko is a software developer from Russia who started Winaero back in 2011. On this blog, Sergey is writing about everything connected to Microsoft, Windows and popular software. Follow him on Telegram, Twitter, and YouTube.

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