Google Chrome 85 is in distribution, and promises a significant leap forward in terms of performance: page loading will be 10% faster than previous versions on Windows and macOS. The performance gain is due to a build-time optimization called PGO (Profile Guided Optimization), thanks to which the performance-critical parts of the code run faster. In reality, the PGO was introduced for the first time on Windows even in 2016, when the Visual C ++ development environment was still used, now it arrives in the new Clang environment.
Another new feature of Chrome 85, more UX side, is that you can expand and collapse tab groups by clicking on their label. By default the feature is disabled, but it can be activated using the dedicated flag: chrome: // flags / # tab-groups-collapse
The tab "multitasking" function is more convenient in touch devices in tablet mode: as on Android and iOS, next to the address bar there is a square icon that contains the number of open tabs. Clicking (or tapping) it opens a side scrolling carousel of all open tabs, with real-time preview. The novelty will arrive first on Chrome OS, later it will be distributed on other systems that include tablet mode (also called: Windows 10).
There is a new system for sending web pages to mobile devices, namely via personalized QR codes. Just click on the appropriate icon that will appear inside the address bar (bottom right) to generate a code (as a distinctive symbol we have the good old Dino). At that point, the code is framed with the smartphone and the transfer is finished. Note that the QR code also includes a text field showing the URL of the page: the URL can be changed, and the QR code will change in real time. All without having to reload the page.
There are also important changes to the built-in PDF reader, but they won't come right away – Google says "in the coming weeks". It will be possible to fill in the forms and then download both the original and the completed document. The browser will also be able to remember where the user went in a previous compilation session.
Then comes the support for decoding image files in AVIF format. It is a new codec that is more efficient than those currently on the market, such as JPEGs or WebPs. And they also include support for HDR information. Finally, the download of EXE, APK and other executables will be blocked if it happens through an HTTP connection included in an HTTPS page. This is a very rare scenario.
On Android, however, there is a revised sharing menu: the commands for printing and saving as PDF are more in evidence, and the last line of the app shows up to seven. Finally comes the function to switch to an open tab if the URL you are typing matches. This is useful to avoid having double tabs open: it has long existed on desktop, now it also arrives on mobile.
Distribution began on desktop and mobile platforms; Chrome OS 85 is expected to arrive in a week or so, as usual.