Chrome 97’s new keyboard API rejected by Apple and Mozilla

by Alexandru Poloboc
Alexandru Poloboc
Alexandru Poloboc
News Editor
With an overpowering desire to always get to the bottom of things and uncover the truth, Alex spent most of his time working as a news reporter, anchor,... read more
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  • You will be glad to know that Chrome 97 has just been released to the Stable Channel.
  • With this new build, a set of better tools for deleting stored website data were added.
  • Developers added more granular zoom controls for the mobile version of the browser.
  • The latest keyboard API introduced by Google has actually caused major controversy.
chrome 97

It’s been two months now since Chrome 96 was released to the Stable channel. And even though everyone expected a new build to become available every week, this was not the case with Chrome 97.

This was mostly due to the holiday season, which means that workers halted their processes and took some time off.

However, today, Chrome 97 is finally arriving in the Stable Channel and brings better tools for deleting stored website data, nicer-looking web apps, and more granular zoom controls for the mobile version of the browser.

A lot of new useful features brought by Chrome 97

Apps such as Excel, PowerPoint, and Word could not use the Keyboard API to identify which key has been pressed on a specific layout such as French or English.

With this build, the addition of the keyboard-map value solves this problem and while web developers obviously support it, it has faced strong criticism from Apple’s WebKit team and the development team at Mozilla.

Both have voiced privacy concerns, saying that this API exposes a fingerprinting surface that can be used to identify and track you, especially if you’re using a keyboard layout that is uncommon in a region.

Thus, the API change has been classified as harmful by Apple and Mozilla, and will not be implemented in Safari and Firefox.

Also new with this build is a HTMLScriptElement.supports() method. This allows developers to use a unified way to detect new features that use script elements.

Furthermore, this new feature also makes it easier to search from the last index of an Array using two new methods.

We’re not done yet, as another really interesting feature in Chrome 97 is an enhancement to the communication protocols.

Google is now introducing a WebTransport protocol framework that supports bidirectional communication of reliable and unreliable data using cancelable streams and UDP datagrams.

Before we end, let us also mention an attribute that has been added to the PermissionStatus interface, so that it’s easier to identify and differentiate between different objects of the Permissions API.

Google has already started working on Chrome 98, which hit Beta channels already, and will be added to the stable channel somewhere around the 1st of February.

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