Chrome 56 for Mac and other platforms has entered Google’s beta channel. When released to the general public, the browser will bring native support for the FLAC audio codec within the browser and other perks. This should come in handy because macOS does not support the FLAC file format out of the box so users often must use a third-party converter or video player to play these files. With Chrome 56, Mac users will be able to play FLAC-encoded audio files embedded in web pages or local files drag and dropped onto the browser window.
Other enhancements are part of Chrome 56 for for Android, Chrome OS, Linux, Mac and Windows.
For instance, there will be a brand new “Not Secure” warning for HTTP password and credit card pages. Google’s browser has always indicated connection security with a green icon in the address bar for secure HTTPS pages, but Chrome 56 will now mark regular HTTP pages that collect passwords or credit cards as non-secure.
The search company claims that this feature, which will roll out gradually over the next few weeks, is “part of a long-term plan to mark all HTTP sites as non-secure.”
In other words, website developers will need to secure their traffic with HTTPS and follow general security guidelines unless they’re OK with Chrome labeling their websites as insecure.
Newly added support for the web Bluetooth protocol will let Chrome 56 connect to and interact with Bluetooth Low Energy devices such as printers, LED displays, heart rate monitors and more via the Web Bluetooth API on Android, Chrome OS and Mac.
This feature can be combined with physical Bluetooth beacons to discover and control nearby devices. Other new features, enhancements and tidbits in this release of Chrome 56 are listed in Google’s blog post linked below.