The release of Google Chrome 114 is underway, introducing a host of upgrades and enhancements, including a transparent navigation bar for Android and automatic captcha verification. This early stable release is gradually rolling out to devices and desktops, and users can anticipate a slew of improvements.
One significant feature of Chrome 114 for Android is the addition of a transparent navigation bar. This update comes a few years after Google introduced full gesture navigation on Android 10. With the activation of the chrome:flags#DrawEdgeToEdge flag, Chrome 114 now supports drawing behind the gesture area at the screen's bottom.
Addressing the frustration users often face with captchas, Chrome 114 brings auto-verify for captchas. This feature relies on the Private State Tokens API, allowing websites to verify if a user is human without necessitating captchas. The Auto-verify option is readily available under the browser's settings without the need to enable any flags.
Furthermore, Chrome can now identify typos in URL inputs, offering corrections to help users reach their intended destinations. For now, this feature is only available on desktop but is set to extend to mobile platforms in the coming months.
Chrome 114 is also switching to Google's own Root Store, a trusted certificate repository that verifies server security. With this move, Google aims to ensure consistent user experience across all operating systems. From Chrome 114, it will no longer be possible to turn off Chrome's Root Store on Windows and Mac, and this change will extend to Android, Linux, and ChromeOS with Chrome 120.
In terms of design, Chrome 114 brings elements of Material You to the desktop version. Users can see the ongoing redesign progress by enabling the chrome://flags/#chrome-refresh-2023 flag. The current version showcases new icons and an overhauled tab design in the top bar, alongside early glimpses of Material You theming in dark mode.
Google also plans to replace the HTTPS lock icon with a settings toggle icon, in a move to clarify the icon's function as a clickable button for site settings and information. This change responds to the increasing prevalence of HTTPS-encrypted websites and users' misunderstanding of the lock icon's meaning.
Chrome 114 also prioritizes the Google Password Manager, placing it at the forefront with its own entry in the overflow menu. This makes it easier for users to access their saved passwords. A richer password details view is also being introduced, enabling users to see the site's name, their username, their password, and add notes.
Lastly, Chrome 114 enhances the bookmarks feature on desktop, with an updated sidebar and process for adding a new bookmark. Chrome will automatically pull an informative image from the website being bookmarked, and if it’s a shopping item, users can enable price tracking.
Chrome 114 is gradually rolling out on the stable channel. Users can check the Play Store for updates or download the app for their computers from the Google Chrome website.