(Update 27/04/2017): Chrome 58 has been released on Android devices. Changes include a redesigned history panel and the ability to manage in-progress downloads.
(Update 20/04/2017): Chrome 58 has now been pushed to the stable channel. The update features 29 security fixes as well as the improvements outlined below. The update is currently available to desktop users on Windows, macOS, and Linux and can be downloaded here.
With Chrome 57 now available on the stable channel, Chrome 58 is next in line to be released. The dev build of Chrome 58 brought with it new and improved features that we haven't seen before. General performance, visual and battery-saving improvements are set to be made to the browser upon release, along with some minor bug fixes and vulnerability patches. The new beta version of Chrome 58 shows hints of the big redesign changes coming to Chrome with areas like History, Bookmarks, and potentially the extension page transformed to the Material Design. The standard "New Tab" page has now been fully removed, placing a "Suggested Articles" section on the page instead. Perhaps the biggest update, however, is the ability to run Chrome web apps in full-screen, making web apps one step closer to feeling native.
Another key feature that seems to be guaranteed with the release of Chrome 58 is for the new Macbook Pro; the current build of Chrome 58 supports the device's new Touch Bar. The implementation of this support, so far at least, seems to be similar to that of Apple's own Safari web browser, featuring escape, forward, backward, new tab, bookmark and refresh buttons that can be accessed at a simple touch of the bar. Also, tapping a search.URL button takes the user straight through to the URL field in the web browser. As of yet though, not much else has been done with the bar, but we expect to see some drastic improvements from here on out now the fundamentals are in place. Perhaps the likes of volume and media controls within Chrome, or gestures for inputs or actions may be coming soon.
This new version of the world's most popular browser will be developing upon several of the power-saving and performance-enhancing features that were implemented in Chrome 57, such as the ability to "throttle" background tabs when not being used. Chrome 58 will be developing upon this, by limiting the timer for background tabs that are using power excessively, basically meaning the background tabs will go into a "power-saver" mode. Supposedly, background tabs can use up to a third of the browser's power usage, possibly even more dependent on what content each tab has loaded, so this improvement should definitely benefit Chrome users on devices with limited power. Once fully implemented, background tabs will have a share of just 1% or less of an individual processor core.
The stable release date of Chrome 58 is likely to be toward the end of April/start of May 2017 but you can download the latest test build from the Chrome Release Channel.
Recommendation: Testing for Google Chrome 58 should start as soon as possible, ensuring all features within any online applications work as planned within the Chrome browser for a smooth transition upon release. Any applications that feature support for the Apple Macbook Pro's Touch Bar should look at incorporating such features for Google Chrome users as well.
Prefer your Chrome even newer? The next version, Chrome 59, is also now available through the test channels.Last modified on Thursday, 27 April 2017