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New in Chrome 59

  • Headless Chrome allows you to run Chrome in an automated environment without a user interface or peripherals.
  • Notifications on macOS will be shown directly by the native macOS notification system.
  • You can now capture full resolution photos with the image capture API, and there’s plenty more!

I’m Pete LePage. Let’s dive in and see what’s new for developers in Chrome 59!

Headless Chrome

A headless browser is a great tool for running automated tests and server environments where you don't need to see the rendered output or have a visible UI shell. For example:

  • Using Selenium for unit tests against your progressive web app
  • To create a PDF of a wikipedia page
  • Inspecting a page with DevTools

Starting in Chrome 59, you can now run headless Chrome. It brings all modern web platform features provided by Chrome to the command line.

Check out Eric Bidelman’s post on Updates for full details. He’s got examples on how you can use it to convert pages to PDF, dump the DOM and how to use it programmatically in Node.

Native notifications on macOS

Chrome has historically included its own notification system for web and extension developers to show notifications to users. But, we’ve heard from users and developers alike that they want Chrome to use the native OS notification system.

Starting in Chrome 59 on mac OS, Chrome will use the native notification system, improving the user experience and ensuring that the notifications feel more integrated in the platform. My personal favorite, notifications will now respect my do not disturb settings.

Notification generated by Chrome (left), Native macOS generated notification (right).

Because of the way macOS handles notifications, there are a few low usage APIs that are now discouraged, as they’ll result in a degraded experience on macOS.

Check out our Updates post for all the details.

Image capture API

Capturing high res photos in a web app can be hard. Either the user has to upload a photo they’ve already taken, or switch from the browser to the camera, take the photo, switch back to the browser and upload the photo.

With the new Image Capture API in Chrome 59, you have to access the full resolution capabilities of any available camera. The API provides control of features such as zoom, brightness, contrast, ISO and even white balance.

Check Sam’s post for full details and sample code you can use to get started right away.

And more!

  • The MediaError.message string provides, if available, any additional error message detail to help web developers debugging media player errors.

These are just a few of the changes in Chrome 59 for developers.

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I’m Pete LePage, and as soon as Chrome 60 is released, I’ll be right here to tell you -- what’s new in Chrome!