Auto-playing videos can range from mildly annoying to expensive depending on the circumstances. Over the past few years, the number of sites this tactic has risen, leading to increased data charges and audio interruptions.
Thankfully, it won’t be a problem for much longer. Google has announced that its auto-play blocking feature will finally arrive with the next major version of its browser, Chrome 66. However, rather than blocking all videos, Chrome will take a liberal approach.
By default, it will only block auto-play on videos with audio. It will also play if the user has ‘signaled interest’ by clicking somewhere on the site during the session. It’s far from the ideal solution, but it should minimize disruptions without harming genuine uses.
One such example is using muted video formats instead of animated gifs. Gifs tend to use a lot more bandwidth than compressed video, so in that case, auto-play is useful. For sites that only have troublesome audio, Google is introducing a mute feature. It works similarly to current tab muting, but persists across restarts of the app and PC.
Chrome 66 Release Date and Features
Chrome 66 is currently in the Beta channel and is supposed to land sometime in mid-April. As well as the above feature, it will enable an experimental design, reduce browser crashes on Windows, and remove trust for Symantec certificates following its failure to comply with standards.
There will also be several tweaks behind the scenes, with a new Asynchronous Clipboard API introducing new ways to copy and paste images and other data types. Google has also introduced Action Center notifications to Chromium, though its not clear if that will make this build.
You can read more about the upcoming features on the Chromium Blog.