As part of a broader update to its Chrome web browser, Google today announced a handful of new features coming to the latest version of Chrome on iOS. Among the key additions, the Chrome app gains access to Google’s enhanced Safe Browsing feature that proactively warns you about dangerous web pages. Other updates include UI changes, the ability to set Google’s Password Manager as the autofill provider, an updated language identification model, and more.
Some of these changes have been available on Android and desktop versions of Chrome for months or even years, but are now making their way to iOS.
For example, Enhanced Safe Browsing, which was available on Android and desktop versions of Chrome, is finally coming to iPhones and iPads in this release. This feature is able to predict and warn users about dangerous websites by sending real-time data to Google Safe Browsing to be checked for things like malware, phishing, and other threats. Chrome will also send alerts to iOS users about compromised credentials so they can change their usernames and passwords accordingly.
Once the app is updated, users can enable Enhanced Safe Browsing on their iPhone or iPad via Chrome > More > Settings > Enhanced Safe Browsing.
Another feature coming to iOS is something called “Chrome Actions”, which helps you perform certain tasks more easily without having to dig into app settings. For example, you can enter actions in the browser’s address bar, such as “Clear browsing data”, “Open Incognito tab”, or “Set Chrome as default browser”. The app will then immediately direct you to the correct page. The Chrome address bar can also predict when a user can benefit from a Chrome action based on the words entered so you don’t have to know the correct command. It has been available on computers since 2020 and on Android since April 2022.
The update will also allow users to set Google Password Manager as an autofill provider, competing with other password utilities like 1Password or Dashlane, while providing an alternative to the built-in password management system. If enabled, Chrome can help users manage and populate their passwords on any website or in any mobile app on their iOS device. The feature was already available on Chrome on desktop and Android before.
In terms of the browser interface, Chrome’s main screen has been redesigned to now include more than just your recent tabs. You’ll notice that the app will now offer access to the same Discover feed of personalized content typically found on the Google mobile app homepage. This will come to Chrome on Android in the future, Google notes.
Google is also improving Chrome’s Website Translation feature, which uses on-device machine learning to make websites available in the language of your choice. An updated language identification model will be launched on iOS which will accurately determine the language of the page you are visiting and whether it needs to be translated or not.
Finally, additional minor changes have been identified based on the App Store release notes for Chrome 103. This includes the new ability to manage camera and microphone permissions for specific sites using the icons of camera and microphone in the address bar, as well as the ability to upload and add iCalendar files to your calendar and remove duplicate New Tab page tabs in the background. Some have noticed that Chrome’s three-dot (overflow) menu has also gotten some tweaks, to better highlight the Bookmarks tab and Reading List, which are now further up the list.