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Chrome 76 beta: Dark mode, Incognito mode, and Flash get updates

The new beta is rolling out now for multiple platforms, introducing tweaks to some fan-favorite features.

Published onJune 14, 2019

The Chrome logo on the back of a Chromebook.

Google has announced the Chrome 76 beta on its Chromium blog (via Reddit) along with the new changes it introduces. The new beta features some key changes to dark mode, Flash, Incognito mode, progressive web apps, and more.

Automatic dark mode for websites

Chrome’s dark mode rolled out for Windows 10 back in April with Chrome 74; however, it receives an important update in Chrome Beta 76.

Websites can now automatically display a dark themed version of their pages to reflect the user’s preference; so long as the website has enabled the setting, if you visit it in dark mode, it will also show a dark theme.

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Progressive Web Apps get easier desktop installation

Chrome 76 also makes it easier to install Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) on desktop with thanks to a new install button. You’ll find this in the omnibox (the address bar) rather than within the three-dot menu where it previously was. It looks like a little plus icon with “install” written next to it. PWAs will also check for updates more frequently than previously — now every day rather than every three days. 

Incognito mode now harder to detect

This change wasn’t mentioned in the blog post, but Google’s Paul Irish pointed it out on Twitter.

Incognito mode can sometimes be used to bypass certain website restrictions, like paywalls, so some websites use a script to detect if the user is in that mode. 

Chrome Incognito mode has been detectable for years, due to the FileSystem API implementation. As of Chrome 76, this is fixed.
Apologies to the “detect private mode” scripts out there. 💐
— Paul Irish (@paul_irish) June 11, 2019

In the Chrome 76 beta, the API implementation these scripts took advantage of has now been fixed, so websites will no longer be able to rely on this method for detecting if you’re viewing the page in incognito.  

Flash blocked by default

The Flash changes were also left out of the Chrome Beta 76 patch notes, but 9to5google says all Flash content is now blocked by default in the browser.

Flash is set to be removed from Chrome completely in 2020, but for the moment, Chrome 76 beta users still have the option to set Flash to “ask first” [in chrome://settings/content/flash], which means you can still enable it on a site-by-site basis.

There are a bunch more developer-focused tweaks in the blog if you want to dig into them all here.

The Chrome 76 beta is available now for Android, Chrome OS, Linux, macOS, and Windows. Join the Chrome beta track on Android via the button below.