Chrome for Android Updated With Easier Way to Manage Permissions; iOS Gets Biometric Security for Incognito Tabs

Google is updating Chrome for Android with an easier way for users to manage permissions for each site. Alongside the updated site permission controls, Chrome for Android is getting Site Isolation improvements to better protect users from malicious websites. Google is also expanding Chrome Actions by adding new options to make privacy and security management easier for users. Additionally, Chrome for iOS has been updated with the ability to protect Incognito tabs with biometric authentication. Users on iOS have also received support for taking full-page screenshots.

Chrome for Android is getting updated site permission controls that you can access by tapping the lock icon from the left side of the Chrome address bar. Through those controls, you will be able to customise permissions you’ve granted for each particular site. This is similar to how you can look at the site permissions by clicking on the lock icon on Chrome for Windows and macOS.

You’ll also be able to toggle between sharing and not sharing access to things like your location and camera by tapping the lock button. In an upcoming release, Google is also bringing an option to Forget the site from your browser history in Chrome. This will allow the browser to reset permissions as well as clear cookies and site data with a single tap.

Google said that its updated site permission controls are rolling out in Chrome for Android and will be available to other platforms in upcoming releases. Gadgets 360 was able to independently verify the change as a part of the latest Chrome release (91.0.44472.164) for Android devices.

In addition to the updated permission controls, Google is expanding its Site Isolation on Chrome for Android with two improvements that are aimed to protect users from more malicious sites.

One of the improvements is around the availability of Site Isolation that will be applied to sites where users log in via third-party providers, while the other one is to bring the system-level feature for sites that carry Cross-Origin-Opener-Policy headers. The Site Isolation feature enables the browser to process each site separately so that any malicious sites wouldn’t be able to access data from other sites open on the device.

Google has also expanded Chrome Actions that are meant to let you access browser features directly from its address bar. There are new actions, which are initially available to desktop users, to help you manage your privacy and security easily. For this, you can type “safety check” to perform automated operations such as security check of your passwords and scan for malicious extensions. You can also type “manage security settings” or “manage sync” to quickly access relevant controls.

Chrome is also getting underlying improvements in image processing to make phishing detection 50 times faster and consume less battery. These improvements are coming to users on Android and Windows, Mac, Linux, and Chrome OS in the upcoming weeks.

In addition to the fresh privacy and security-focussed features, Google has updated Chrome for iOS (92.0.4515.90) with the ability to add biometric authentication to Incognito browsing. This change allows users to add Touch ID, Face ID, and Passcode to Incognito tabs by going to Settings > Privacy > Lock Incognito tabs. It will allow you to protect your Incognito tabs to be visible to anyone until you confirm it’s you.

The updated iOS release also brings the option to capture screenshots of whole webpages. You need to look for the Full Page option from the top of the screenshot editor on the updated Chrome browser to capture full webpage screenshots.

Google has also brought a new Discover design on the New Tab Page to let you explore your interests more easily. Settings, History, and Bookmarks have also been visually redesigned. There are also options to share, bookmark, and add individual tabs to your reading list from the Tab Switcher. You need to select and hold any tab in the Tab Switcher to bring up a menu with these options. Further, the updated Chrome for iOS brings stability and performance improvements.

You can download the latest Chrome for iOS release from the App Store. The app is 138.8MB in size and is compatible with devices running at least iOS 12.2.

It’s Google I/O time this week on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast, as we discuss Android 12, Wear OS, and more. Later (starting at 27:29), we jump over to Army of the Dead, Zack Snyder’s Netflix zombie heist movie. Orbital is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts.