Recently, the Chrome Dev Summit 2021 took place, an annual event where the Chrome team shares the latest product innovations and their vision for the future of Chrome and the web.
The most interesting changes:
Plans to limit the amount of information in user-agent strings
The user-agent string contains a lot of information about the user’s device and browser, which can be used for browser fingerprinting. The Chrome team intends to combat fingerprinting by reducing the amount of information available by default in user-agent strings.
Beginning in April 2022, Chrome will gradually shorten its user-agent strings to only include information such as the name and version of the browser, whether it is desktop or mobile, and what platform it runs on.
According to SearchEngines, professionals will still be able to get additional data about users using the User-Agent Client Hints API, but users will be able to decide how much information they are willing to share.
Adding User Flows Support to Lighthouse and Chrome DevTools
User flow is a visual representation of a sequence of actions that a user takes to achieve their goal.
The Chrome team has unveiled a new Lighthouse API that allows you to analyze User Flow by simulating link clicks, scrolling and loading of additional pages, instead of analyzing the performance of each page individually. With this functionality, professionals will be able to better assess the user experience and identify performance issues throughout the user’s journey through the site.
The User Flow analysis capability has also been added directly to DevTools. With the recently launched Recorder panel, professionals will now be able to analyze, record and export the entire user’s journey on their site.
Work on two new Web Vitals metrics
These are metrics such as Smoothness and Responsiveness.
The Smoothness metric addresses the problem of freezing during animation or scrolling. With its help, site owners will better understand how often animation frames freeze, and how much it affects users.
The Responsiveness indicator, in turn, is designed to assess the overall responsiveness of the page.
Both metrics are candidates for inclusion in the Core Web Vitals, notes NIXSolutions.
Automatic night mode
Chrome is also working on a machine learning-based night mode feature. This means that the browser can automatically generate a dark theme. Users can optionally disable this feature.