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New in Chrome 61

  • Chrome 61 now supports JavaScript modules natively, unifying the way modular JavaScript can be written.
  • You can now use navigator.share to trigger the native Android share dialog.
  • The WebUSB API has landed, allowing web apps to access user permitted USB devices.
  • And there’s plenty more!

I’m Pete LePage. Let’s dive in and see what’s new for developers in Chrome 61!

JavaScript Modules

Chrome 61 adds native support for JavaScript modules via the <script type="module"> element. That makes it possible for Chrome to fetch granular dependencies in parallel, taking advantage of caching, avoiding duplications across the page and ensuring that script executes in the correct order.

<script type="module">
  import {addText} from './utils.js';
  addText('Modules are pretty cool.');
</script>

This standardized module system unifies the way modular JavaScript can be written and shipped to web browsers. In the future, the same system will be available in Node, making it easier for you to write and deploy isomorphic JavaScript.

You can learn more about modules and the aspects of JavaScript that are affected by modules from the links below.

Web Share API

If you want users to be easily able to share your content on their favorite social network, you need to integrate sharing buttons into your site for each social network. It adds bloat to your page, doesn’t always fit your UI nicely, and means you need to include code from a third party site.

The Web Share API, available today on Chrome for Android allows you to invoke the native sharing capabilities of the users device, allowing the user to easily share text or links with any of their installed native apps!

In a future release, this API will also be able to share to installed web apps. To use it, simply call navigator.share with the details of the page you want to share the system will handle the rest.

navigator.share({
  title: document.title, text: 'Hello',
  url: window.location.href
}).then(() => {
  console.log('Successful share');
});

Check out Paul’s WebShare API Update for full details and some best practices that you should be following.

WebUSB

USB Device Chooser screenshot

Most hardware peripherals such as keyboards, mice, printers, and gamepads are supported by high-level web platform APIs. But, using specialized educational, scientific, industrial or other USB devices in the browser has been hard, often requiring specialized drivers.

Chrome now supports the WebUSB API, allowing web apps to communicate with USB devices, after the user has provided their consent. To learn more about the security and privacy considerations and how they’re addressed, have a peek at the WebUSB spec.

Then, when you’re ready to dive in, take a look at Francois’ WebUSB post on updates.

And more!

  • You can now specify scrolling smoothness with the scroll-behavior CSS property.
  • CSS hex color values can now specify alpha transparency by adding digits to the end of the string.
  • You can access the relative positions of the screen content with the Visual Viewport API, exposing complex functionality like pinch-and-zoom in a more direct way.

These are just a few of the changes in Chrome 61 for developers.

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I’m Pete LePage, and as soon as Chrome 62 is released, I’ll be right here to tell you -- what’s new in Chrome!