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What's New In DevTools (Chrome 63)

Welcome back! New features coming to DevTools in Chrome 63 include:

Multi-client remote debugging support

If you've ever tried debugging an app from an IDE like VS Code or WebStorm, you've probably discovered that opening DevTools messes up your debug session. This issue also made it impossible to use DevTools to debug WebDriver tests.

As of Chrome 63, DevTools now supports multiple remote debugging clients by default, no configuration needed.

Multi-client remote debugging was the number 1 most-popular DevTools issue on crbug.com, and number 3 across the entire Chromium project. Multi-client support also opens up quite a few interesting opportunities for integrating other tools with DevTools, or using those tools in new ways. For example:

  • Protocol clients such as ChromeDriver or the Chrome debugging extensions for VS Code and Webstorm, and WebSocket clients such as Puppeteer, can now run at the same time as DevTools.
  • Two separate WebSocket protocol clients, such as Puppeteer or chrome-remote-interface, can now connect to the same tab simultaneously.
  • Chrome Extensions using the chrome.debugger API can now run at the same time as DevTools.
  • Multiple different Chrome Extensions can now use the chrome.debugger API on the same tab simultaneously.

Workspaces 2.0

Workspaces have been around for some time in DevTools. This feature enables you to use DevTools as your IDE. You make some changes to your source code within DevTools, and the changes persist to the local version of your project on your file system.

Workspaces 2.0 builds off of 1.0, adding a more helpful UX and improved auto-mapping of transpiled code. This feature was originally scheduled to be released shortly after Chrome Developer Summit (CDS) 2016, but the team postponed it to sort out some issues.

Check out the "Authoring" part (around 14:28) of the DevTools talk from CDS 2016 to see Workspaces 2.0 in action.

Four new audits

In Chrome 63 the Audits panel has 4 new audits:

  • Serve images as WebP.
  • Use images with appropriate aspect ratios.
  • Avoid frontend JavaScript libraries with known security vulnerabilities.
  • Browser errors logged to the Console.

See Run Lighthouse in Chrome DevTools to learn how to use the Audits panel to improve the quality of your pages.

See Lighthouse to learn more about the project that powers the Audits panel.

Simulate push notifications with custom data

Simulating push notifications has been around for a while in DevTools, with one limitation: you couldn't send custom data. But with the new Push text box coming to the Service Worker pane in Chrome 63, now you can. Try it now:

  1. Go to Simple Push Demo.
  2. Click Enable Push Notifications.
  3. Click Allow when Chrome prompts you to allow notifications.
  4. Open DevTools.
  5. Go to the Service Workers pane.
  6. Write something in the Push text box.

    Simulating a push notification with custom data. Figure 1. Simulating a push notification with custom data via the Push text box in the Service Worker pane

  7. Click Push to send the notification.

    The simulated push notification
    Figure 2. The simulated push notification

Trigger background sync events with custom tags

Triggering background sync events has also been in the Service Workers pane for some time, but now you can send custom tags:

  1. Open DevTools.
  2. Go to the Service Workers pane.
  3. Enter some text in the Sync text box.
  4. Click Sync.
Triggering a custom background sync event
Figure 3. After clicking Sync, DevTools sends a background sync event with the custom tag update-content to the service worker

Feedback

The best place to discuss any of the features or changes you see here is the google-chrome-developer-tools@googlegroups.com mailing list. You can also tweet us at @ChromeDevTools if you're short on time. If you're sure that you've encountered a bug in DevTools, please open an issue.

See the devtools-whatsnew tag for links to all previous DevTools release notes.