Google rolls out Chrome 90, which defaults to HTTPS instead of HTTP

Even if you don't specify, now Chrome will try to connect to new pages securely.

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Richard Lawler
April 15th, 2021
In this article: news, gear, 90, Chrome, AV1, browser, Google Chrome, HTTPS
ANKARA, TURKEY - SEPTEMBER 02: Logo of Google Chrome is seen on a screen in Ankara, Turkey on September 02, 2018.
 (Photo by Gokhan Balci/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Google's long-standing push for greater adoption of secure HTTPS browsing takes another step forward, as the v90 edition of Chrome hits the stable channel for desktops starting today. Bleeping Computer points out that this release comes a day after it was expected, likely to include fixes for a zero-day exploit first revealed at the Pwn2Own competition.

In March, Google announced that Chrome would default to HTTPS starting with version 90, saying that it's the most used protocol, improves privacy and security — wouldn't want anyone spying on browsing habits without using the built-in FLoC technology to do it — and improves initial loading speed of sites that support it. On iOS the change will arrive a little later, but you should see it right away on desktop and Android, and don't worry - Engadget has been HTTPS ready for years now.

This version of Chrome also builds in the AV1 encoder for the first time on Google's desktop browser and said it's "specifically optimized for video conferencing." While we've seen AV1 implemented by Netflix to play video on mobile devices, the "royalty free" 4K codec is also apparently going to improve streaming on very low bandwidth networks, and improve screen sharing efficiency compared to VP9. As usual, restarting your browser will probably be enough to get the new version installed, or you can go to the browser's About page under Settings —-> Help to force an update.

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