Google Chrome 84 is Available and Fights notification Spam

As recently announced, Chrome 84 is available and addresses, among other things, repeated requests for notifications. The update also includes new features for web developers.


With more than a billion users, Chrome comfortably installs itself at the top of the ranking of the most used web browsers.

Fights notification spam

Compared to previous versions, Chrome 84 is not a gigantic release. The user interface undergoes very few changes and the few new features are quite basic. Nevertheless, they should prove to be very practical in everyday life.

Google recently reported that abusive notifications were "one of the main complaints from users", so the Mountain View company decided to tighten the screw by blocking those of some sites by default to avoid incessant pop-ups.

Google Chrome takes this opportunity to start deploying the SameSite attribute again. Initially planned on Chrome 80, the firm had to back down because of the coronavirus pandemic. This new feature prevents third party domains from creating cookie files when the user is not on their website. This offers the user better protection against over-tracking.

Support for Web OTP API

With Chrome 84, Google adds support for the OTP (one-time password) Web API, an initial Apple creation. Chrome is now able to detect incoming SMS messages and automatically import the one-time-use code into a web page. All this is done just like on iOS, with a simple tap on the notification.

Content indexing API

The new Content Indexing API is also an experimental feature. It's a purely developer tool and is basically a list of resources that Chrome has already cached about a web page or web app.
Developers will use this feature to create better offline viewing experiences, allowing them to cache content locally with a better accuracy and make sure websites don't break when there's no internet connection or the connection has temporarly timed out.

 Idle detection

The Idle Detection API notifies you when a user is idle, indicating they are potentially away from their computer. This is great for things like chat applications, or social networking sites, to let users know if their contacts are available or not.

Wake Lock API

The Wake Lock API is implemented in this new version and can be exploited by websites to prevent the device from shutting down and locking itself under the effect of the screen saver.

To illustrate this feature, Google takes the example of a cooking site, Betty Crocker. By using this feature, the site was able to record "a 300% increase in purchase intent indicators," Google reports.

For computers, Chrome finally limits the consumption of the processor when the browser is not in the foreground. The functionality is being rolled out gradually and should be operational for everyone with Chrome 85.

Finally, Chrome 84 warns users of MacOS, Windows, Linux and Chrome OS if an EXE, APK or other executable file is downloaded via HTTP on an HTTPS page.

Further reading

This covers only some of the key highlights. Check the links below for additional changes in Chrome 83.

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