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Google promised a December release for Chrome 55 and they delivered on that. True to their word, they included a fix for a memory hogging issue with the latest version of their web browser. Apart from that, version 55 also begins a new chapter with Chromes’ relationship with Adobe Flash Player: it’s now being disabled in favor of HTML5.

But now that Chrome 55 is officially released and is rolling out to desktops as well as Android and iOS devices, developers can now focus their attention on Chrome 56.

Scheduled to be released in February 2017, Chrome 56 is the next major version of Google’s much-loved web browser. With major releases come key changes. This particular version will make changes to security. Chrome has considered HTTP sites as non-secure but with this version, a site will be explicitly labeled as “Not Secure.”

Although this is a feature developed with version 56, it will start rolling out to users over the coming weeks. Version 56, in particular, will label HTTP sites that collect passwords and credit card information as “Not Secure.” In order to not be labeled non-secure, sites need to use HTTPS as well as follow security guidelines.

Apart from marking HTTP sites as “Not Secure,” Chrome 56 also has other features such as:

Web Bluetooth

Using the Web Bluetooth API, websites can interact with Bluetooth Low Energy devices starting with Chrome version 56. The API uses the GATT protocol which allows developers, with just a few lines of code in JavaScript, to connect Bluetooth devices to other devices such as LED displays and printers. Together with Physical Web beacons, nearby devices can also be discovered and controlled.

CSS position: sticky

With this version, Chrome is now able to support position: sticky which is one of the ways to position elements. Although this kind of position is relative, it eventually becomes fixes when a user hits a particular scroll position.

Other Improvements

There are a number of features that will be included with Chrome 56, and here’s a few of them:

  • Sites can take photos as well as configure camera settings using the Image Capture origin trial.
  • Notifications can now include images which will be set using the image property.
  • The default preload attribute for videos will be set to metadata on Chrome for Android when using cellular connections. This change involves a preview image along with time information.

Downloading and Installing Chrome 56

Version 56 is available on Chrome’s Beta Channel. You can download and install this version by going to Look for the Chrome Releases Channel where you’ll find different headings corresponding to the various platforms that Chrome can be run on.

Since Chrome 56 is in the beta stage, click on the link that says beta under your specific platform to download and install this version.

Google Chrome has truly made a mark in the web browsing world after only having been launched in 2008. Even better, it is available to download for free.