Google Chrome was first released (as a beta) on September 2, 2008, meaning the browser turned 10 years old on Saturday. But with the timing of the long Labor Day weekend in the U.S. this year, Google waited a few days before talking about what’s new for Chrome and its over 1 billion users: artificial intelligence and augmented reality. Also today, Google released Chrome 69 — yes, the browser has been through 69 versions now (a new one is released approximately every six weeks).
Google has been weaving AI into all its products and services for quite a few years now, and Chrome is about to start getting the same treatment. In fact, AI has already made a mark in Chrome via Google Translate integration, which uses an AI-based translation engine, as well as being used to detect phishing sites, malware, and malicious extensions. But the team wants to go further:
Imagine searching on Chrome for a singer you just heard, and having Chrome show you not just their bio, but also their upcoming concert near you and where to purchase tickets. With AI, Chrome will also better understand what you’re trying to get done, and help you do so faster. Vacation planning typically requires juggling multiple tabs and open documents. But as Chrome evolves to better understand what tasks you’re trying to get done, it can help manage all this complexity for you as you switch back and forth between hotel research and booking flights.
Chrome first launched on Windows (the stable version arrived in December 2008). It was later ported to macOS and Linux (the first stable version arrived in May 2010) and eventually arrived on Android and iOS (June 2012). The company has been talking about supporting AR and VR via these platforms for a while now, and in July it debuted a VR-ready Chrome.
As for AR, Google expects the future to bring a “more immersive browsing experience” and wants to leverage the technology “to bring information that you interact with across the web and put directly into your physical environment.” Here is what the team envisions:
Say you’re shopping for a couch online and want to see how it would look in your living room. With the power of AR and Chrome, you’d be able to place a virtual rendition of a couch in your living room, right from your smartphone. This is just one example of how more immersive experiences on Chrome could help you get things done faster.
Shopping is just one example — it’s easy to see how browsers could soon become vehicles for AR and VR, just like they are for audio and video.
AI and AR aside, to celebrate Chrome’s 10 birthday the team has updated the browser’s Offline Dino Game that you can play when you don’t have an internet connection (you can also access the game by typing chrome://dino/ into your address bar). The “birthday edition” of Chrome’s Offline Dino Game will be available through the end of the month.