Google launched Chrome 81 for Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, and iOS. Chrome 81 includes an Origin Trial of Web NFC for mobile, early Augmented Reality support, mixed images autoupgraded to HTTPS, TLS 1.0 and TLS 1.1 deprecated, and more developer features. You can update to the latest version now using Chrome’s built-in updater or download it directly from google.com/chrome.
Chrome 81 introduces the mobile web to Near Field Communications (NFC) in an Origin Trial.
Web NFC allows a web app to read and write to NFC tags. Google hopes the feature will be used to provide information about museum exhibits, augment a conference badge, perform inventory management, and so on.
Reading and writing to Web NFC are simple operations, though you will need a little instruction for constructing and interpreting payloads. If you’re a developer, check out Google’s webpage Interact with NFC devices on the web.
Google has been coaxing developers to avoid HTTP in a bid to get the web to HTTPS. While Chrome users spend over 90% of their browsing time on HTTPS, Google isn’t done yet.
In December, Chrome 79 introduced a setting (lock icon on HTTPS pages => Site Settings) to unblock mixed scripts, iframes, and other types of content that the browser blocks by default. In February, Chrome 80 began autoupgrading mixed audio and video resources in HTTPS sites by rewriting URLs to HTTPS without falling back to HTTP when secure content is not available. If they fail to load over HTTPS, Chrome will block them by default.
Now, Chrome 81 autoupgrades mixed images to HTTPS. If they fail to load over HTTPS, Chrome will block them by default.
Google ultimately wants to ensure HTTPS pages in Chrome can only load secure HTTPS subresources. If you’re a developer looking to clean up your mixed content, check out the Content Security Policy, Lighthouse, and this HTTPS guide.
Chrome 81 is also notable for anyone who manages a website, even if they don’t use Chrome at home or at work. Chrome 81 has deprecated Transport Layer Security (TLS) 1.0 and TLS 1.1.
Google Chrome 81 brings an Origin Trial of Web NFC for mobile, early Augmented Reality support, and mixed images autoupgraded to HTTPS.