Google Rolls Back Chrome Browser Update That Broke Web Games And Apps

Google Rolls Back Chrome Browser Update That Broke Web Games And Apps

Chrome version 66 introduced new rules which would automatically mute autoplaying ads and videos that tend to be quite annoying and often end up pushing users to ad blockers which is not good for both Google and its publishers. Developer Benji Kay, who specializes in audio tools and games for the web, explained that postponing the policy will not fix the many issues that have appeared. Sites could only start video and audio automatically if they had a high score on Chrome's 'Media Engagement Index, ' which takes into account how often the user clicks on the site and watches media.

"The team here is working hard to improve things for users and developers, but in this case we didn't do a good job of communicating the impact of the new autoplay policy to developers", John Pallett wrote in a developer forum on the bug. As users continue browsing the web, Chrome updates that list as it learns where you play media and where you don't.

The update was rolled out in April with the objective of blocking loud media content that is being played automatically on some websites.

Notably, the autoplay changes are still applicable for HTML5 video and audio, meaning autoplaying videos are still blocked.

But as Chrome is the dominant browser on the internet, claiming a 57.4% share of online users in April across desktop and mobile according data from StatCounter, any changes have a significant impact on the way the web works. The company said it plans to reintroduce the change with Chrome 70, which is set to debut in October, and that developers should have worked around it by then.

As Pallett noted, "We're doing this to give Web Audio API developers (e.g. gaming, audio applications, some RTC features) more time to update their code".

Still, the auto-muting update still appliesto audio and video HTML tags. The update rendered those games unable to play sound. However, the more you use Chrome, the better the browser becomes at understanding your personal do's and don't's, and will make adjustments accordingly.

Google offered no timeframe on when it might again enable the audio blocking capability of Chrome.

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